A long overdue Thank You note to my friend from way down there in Guimaras, the good prosecutor from Iloilo, Jo Lacson, for arranging us a date with the Bantay Dagat of Nueva Valencia. On her red-letter day. Salamat! Also to my skipper Hannah Gargalicana, for paddling me to the awesome floating bamboo cottage for … Continue reading PHOTODRIFT: SEA SENTINELS, TAKLONG ISLAND NATIONAL MARINE RESERVE


Silence came upon me hearing my teenage señorita surmise about her late grandfather: “perhaps Lolo is far away now, he is no longer making any signs.” Paramdam is special to us bereaved ones. Sort of a pride and joy. To sense Tatay trying to keep in touch in any way is a consolation. Everybody wants … Continue reading SENDOFF


Sundowning, in medical terms, refer to a state of confusion, disorientation, and agitation which occurs during late afternoon up to early evening. An inexplicable behaviour with unknown cause. Twilight Zone is for real. This is particularly true in our office. Oras de Peligro. When the clock strikes four, everyone makes a mad, mad, mad dash … Continue reading SUNDOWN IRIGA CITY


I recall two occassions when I drove my father crazy. First, when I broke the family’s 18th century crystal damajuana to smithereens. The other — a terrible crime — when I accidentally recorded my voice over his Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Hits cassette tape. All my other sins fell short of these two atrocities. Now there … Continue reading REDEMPTION


Caramoan is pretty much all the same. White sandy beaches. Crystal clear water. Island-hopping. Survivor Series. The usual. There is more to the peninsula, and the people, not everyone can see. Let me walk you to the Street side of Caramoan: There is no premium gasoline in Caramoan. The next gas station with this combustible … Continue reading PHOTOWALK CARAMOAN


The blackout has freed the neighborhood of videoke noise for a while. What a relief. At least for a few weeks. Now, a taong-grasa has occupied one of the videoke houses. Filthied the place with shits and more. Hoohaa. Videoke should be banned forever. It’s not just the noise. It’s the lousy melodies. I can … Continue reading AFTERMATH


This is my first ice-cold beer in weeks. I’ve just come from a poweroutaged, internetless land: Camarines Sur. Ground-zero for super typhoon Nina. On Christmas night 2016, the last and strongest typhoon of the year struck the province. For more than four hours, Bicolanos holed themselves up from Nina’s destructive winds. A force so familiar … Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: THE CHRISTMAS TREES OF IRIGA CITY


The boys of Crescini bridge don’t fall for any digital toys. Their wings are not for hugging devices. I was on my way to pick up the Cereal Killer at school when I chanced upon them — hanging in mid-air. It’d be great to introduce him to these young daredevils. I’d like to show him … Continue reading NO TV


Google Street View has finally covered the nooks and crannies of Iriga. The Prius, Google’s camera-fortressed vehicle, even chanced upon me as I was on my ‘walk business’ around this city. Yep, here’s yours truly on this sleepy side of town taking one step at a time. Tsamba. People are more likely to get crushed … Continue reading BUTTERFLIES