Manila, the Philippines
May 18, 2014
My grandfather must have turned in his grave. He was the first Filipino Baptist minister in my hometown in the 1930s; fast forward to about 80 years later and his daughter – my mother – declared she wanted to do a visita iglesia in Manila. As a PK (pastor’s kid), Mom could count with one hand the times she had been inside a Catholic church. Perhaps because of this blog, she finally caught on to my fondness for religious art in these colonial era churches.
Wedding @ San Agustin Church, Manila
Tarlac, the Philippines
May 1, 2014
My friends and I had to count years before we found the time to take this road trip. Our plans for a rustic R&R in the lupain (farmland) of our haciendera friend Perfy always fell through, our free time never in synch. Conflicting schedules aside, there was never a reason urgent enough to drop all other plans – until my BFF, Danson, came home for a month-long vacay after seven years overseas. Thanks to a non-working holiday, all five of us crammed into Vang’s car and drove to Victoria, Tarlac on Labor Day.
Bestie and TTT @ Isdaan Floating Restaurant, Tarlac
February 23 – 28, 2013
The red brick terminal exuded that retro vibe. In the absence of connecting tubes, passengers deplaned onto the tarmac. Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport was decidedly quaint, a throwback to the airports of old before the age of glass and steel. I had landed, not only in a remote kingdom, but in the distant past.
Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal
Singapore, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
November 21 – 25, 2011 / February 29, 2013
Singaporean cuisine is certainly not bad; it’s just not distinctive. The city is a melting pot, so is its kitchen. The dishes call to mind other Asian cuisines. Rather “reductive,” to borrow Madonna’s vocabulary. Still, I relished all its familiarity, more so its sweets. As the most universal taste, sweetness doesn’t demand uniqueness.
Ice Cream Sandwich
Ice Cream Sandwich (Phia Ice Cream) @ Singapore
Puerto Princesa City, the Philippines
March 24 – 26, 2013
Ten percent of the Philippines lies on hard yet soluble bedrock. For millions of years, water, aided by tropical heat, has carved out a large swathe of Visayas and the entire length of Palawan into a karst landscape of sawtooth peaks, whitewashed cliffs, and rocky mountains undermined by a network of caves.
Mom @ Karst Mountain Elephant Cave, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Kathmandu / Patan, Nepal
February 24 – 27, 2013
In one fell swoop, a hawk glided down the busy street and dropped the prey dangling from its claws.
A huge rodent bounced off the trunk of a parked car.
The furry corpse, flattened by the impact, did not even merit a glance from fellow pedestrians. It was a scene straight out of Animal Planet played out in downtown Kathmandu.
Hawk over Kathmandu
Bagac, Bataan, the Philippines
August 10 – 11, 2013
“What if there’s mumu (ghost)?” Mhel posted in our Viber thread her concern – or maybe excitement – about visiting old houses. Old does not necessarily mean haunted. I spent my childhood in a creaky old house across from a cemetery and not once did I witness any paranormal activity. Perhaps that’s why I dig the old world charm and long history of heritage houses and none of their supposed spirit dwellers.
Casa Bizantina @ Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar