PLAZA MIRANDA

We stand here together in the patio. For the most part, the stage setting for affairs of the church and the state; of indignation and proclamations. Also of con men and lawmen. Peddlers and beggars. Tarot readers and believers. Looking over, the Minor Basilica of Black Nazarene. We stand together amid social isolation, loneliness, and […]

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SAGRADA

Mierkoles Santo. The women prepare “Ina” for the procession. While the men do the cooking. They have a troop of parabuligs to feed. Devotees who would parade Ina around the town — on their shoulders. But that was long ago. Today, Ina rides on a chariot. Breaking up that old gang of parabuligs. Still, the […]

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SUNTASTIC

I have spent the whole Lenten vacation in Iriga City long enough to grow fingernails. All the stores on Rizal street sell the same nail clippers — cheap and China-made. Blunt as the back of a knife. The edges wear down as you go to the next finger. The Chinese made a drop zone of […]

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ESCAPING CHRISTMAS

Niño Jesus is a backcountry of the city of Iriga. Barely populated. No signal. No videoke. No pushing and shoving. No Christmas madness. I doubt if the locals here even celebrate that most wonderful day of the year. Ironically, the place is named after whom the Christmas bells toll. We made a two-kilometer hike going […]

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