Oral Origins 2: Gago and Leche

There are certain curse words that have become part of daily conversations. But do we really know where these words come from? After discussing Putang Ina and Yawa in the first edition of our special report Oral Origins, our sequel presents two more familiar utterances. Gago We all have probably gone through the nasty habit of christening our childhood…

Oral Origins: The Etymology of Putang Ina and Yawa

Editor’s Note: Here is the sequel — Oral Origins 2: Gago and Leche I faintly remember what led to our teacher’s ire that afternoon and why she was scolding the class. All I can clearly recall now were the dusty black shoes I was wearing. They were the first things I saw when I looked down in shame…

A Tribute to Visayas and Mindanao

It was the hottest time of day inside a rickety bus last April that I think I fell in love with Visayas. My skin was dark and burnt, having spent the last four days on polar ends of Cebu, and my forehead was dripping wet with sweat as we made our way from the Remegio…

Bantayan Island Will Never Be Paradise Lost

On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made its fourth landfall on Bantayan Island, the northernmost tip of Cebu. For days, the remote island had no communication to the world beyond the sea. The storm destroyed 90% of houses, including resorts and other establishments that sustained tourism in the island. In the days that…

The Siege of Zamboanga’s Youngsters by Makoi Popioco

A little boy cowered behind an overturned wooden chair, avoiding gunfire. The other boy breathed heavily, he dashed his small feet forward and with his frail hands, he fired. The boy hiding behind the chair got shot, fell down, and played dead. I raised my hand, pointed my index finger, pulled the invisible trigger in my thumb,…