Three Days in Benham Rise

May 5, 2017—It was a dry and humid day in Infanta, Quezon. I wandered around the fish port, quietly observing the locals. I would occasionally glance on my phone, snap a shot, and try to post it on Facebook. But the entire town is practically a dead spot, making it extremely hard for us to…

Year of the Rooster

Hudyat ang bagong taon ng simula ng panibagong siklo ng pag-ikot ng mundo sa Araw. Natuldukan na ang mapanghamon at madalas malupit na mga araw ng 2016, subalit entrada lang ang mga iyon sa mga paparating pa ngayong bagong taon. Bukod sa kapalaran ng bawat isa, o ang kahihinatnan ng tambalang KathNiel, JaDine at iba pa…

Duterte’s Balancing Act of Two Superpowers: US and China

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is treading a dangerous path trying to balance two superpowers in his hands: China and the United States. In a recent turn of events, Duterte has decided to retain the military alliance between the US and the Philippines after rashly announcing a “separation from the US” on independent foreign policy during…

Scarborough Shoal: Close Encounters with China

Technically, the place is merely a collection of rocks and reefs. But its numerous names mirror the tension that has engulfed its waters. China believes it is Huangyan Dao based on their historical claims. Filipino fishermen from Zambales refer to it as Kalburo or Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal — a safe haven against storms. But…

AlDub and the APEC Summit

Forget YouTube for a while if you’re tired of watching AlDub replays. Chances are, you can watch Eat Bulaga at home for a few days. Thank the long weekend courtesy of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. But if the APEC Summit seems like an alien concept to you or if it may sound…

The Batanes Survival Guide: 13 Places You Must Visit

Just a decade ago, Batanes is just a small, unpopular island at the northernmost tip of the Philippines. Some would remember Batanes from the elementary textbooks as a place frequently hit by typhoons. Some would associate it with Ivatans, the indigenous tribe from the north who built the vernacular stonehouses. Either way, just a few…

Batanes: Tales and Tips from an Ivatan’s Granddaughter

Lola Inggay died when I was 11. She was 84. There were only too little memories I could associate with her, Christmas being one of them. My grandmother used to give me five peso coins from her plastic pouch every time I visited her. I used to think “Mano po” is some secret code to…

VFA and the Murder of Jennifer Laude

Co-written with Lian Buan One year after the death of transgender woman Jeffrey Jennifer Laude, SubSelfie.com provides an update to the case filed against the suspect L/Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton. Guilty Verdict December 1, 2015 — The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 74 of the Philippines ruled that US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton is “guilty…

Travel Virgin: Lessons from Indochina

It was terrifying and exciting. For the first time in my life, I traveled abroad. Everything was new. Every experience was something to look forward to. I didn’t have to think about writing news stories, checking scripts or going live in a couple of hours. All I had to worry about was my outfit for…

Ang Romansa Ko sa Bangkok

Isang karagatan lang ang pagitan ng Maynila at Bangkok. Wala pang anim na oras ang biyahe sa eroplano para marating ang kapitolyo ng kaharian ng Thailand na tinuguriang City of Angels. Pero kung pagkukumparahing maigi, tila milya-milya na ang pagitan ng dalawang syudad. Wala na sa hinagap ko kung kailan ko nakilala ang Bangkok. Sa apat…