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


Ilian Hill, November 5. Ilian Hill — three weeks later. On November 22, Ilian Hill, in Iriga City, was campground to hundreds of young men and women for the 5th One Southern Luzon Regional Scouts Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. Cool. But what a waste to such refreshing backdrop. Which is also … Continue reading BREAK CAMP


YouTube is the absolute troll. My Cereal Killer now believes Arnold Schwarzenegger’s meat is fake. False as CGIs. It would be a shame if a millennial finds out of this silly thought. I just hope he wouldn’t stumble upon Lou Ferrigno’s verdant complexion. One day I took him to the Kabataan Partylist Bicol chapter pocket … Continue reading CEMETERY PEACE


I can’t believe the news today, I can’t close my eyes and make it go away A young girl had to be pulled away from her father’s murdered body. Police van overruns protesters in US Embassy dispersal. Unclaimed cadavers rotting in Quezon City. Philippine-China dispute won’t be solved in our lifetime. In Remedios Street, hundreds … Continue reading REMEDIOS STREET


Caloy is the best haircutter in Malate. I can trust him with my head even with his eyes closed. He moves from one place to another. And — as always — I would find him. Another shop. Another rate. Trouble is he never runs out of stories to tell, and it slows him on the … Continue reading COMPOSURE