I learned the word Burman from Rudyard Kipling. In his letters and stories, he used the word to refer to the people of Myanmar, then named Burma by the British Empire. Whether it was a blanket term for all tribes in Burma or meant specifically for the Burmese tribe, I didn’t know. What I did know was that he regarded the Burman fondly, a sentiment that I shared when I visited their country. In the words of Kipling himself, “Personally I love the Burman with the blind favouritism born of first impression.”
Siquijor / Lazi / Maria / Enrique Villanueva / San Juan, Siquijor, the Philippines
March 27 – 29, 2018
So near yet so far. Such was Siquijor from Ki’s hometown in Negros. During his walks along Dumaguete’s famous seafront boulevard, he wondered about the faint strip of land on the horizon. Somehow, it took decades for that curiosity to make the quantum leap to urgency. And it took a leap of faith for me to board a glorified banca run by GL Shipping Lines. The short distance between Dumaguete and Siquijor stretched to the longest hour in choppy seas.