Iucunda Memoria est Praeteritorum Malorum

A few days ago, in a rather beautiful fit of hysteria, I decided to uninstall the Facebook app on my mobile device in a desperate attempt to tame my social media primal instinct. My proclivity to tap that blue, perspicuous “F” icon with a strong semblance to the Masonic Tubal Cain symbol has become an unhealthy second nature every time I unlock my phone. This 21st-century disease, a modern-day St. Vitus Dance, is an addiction that has been proliferating on a global scale, with the smartphone-wielding masses as its willing victims. I’ve hoped to end its villainous reign over me by removing it from my phone. Really?

Seriously, my Facebook usage has taken its toll on my infinitesimal personal productivity — so, I decided to get rid of the app for good — only to find myself scrolling through dainty Instagram posts instead.

Revisiting WordPress, staring blankly at the immaculate whiteness of the “Write” space, I realized that the struggling wordsmith in me, styptic at best, has been reduced to a lifeless bard, maimed and devoid of inspiration. Look at what you’ve done to me, adulthood.

A noble crusade to redeem my juvenile passions led me to pry an ancient email inbox open: the jejemon-esque but thoughtfully-conceived “blasphemous_boy07@yahoo.com” account. Amidst the debris of my teenage preoccupations, I rediscovered my love for drawing, an odd fascination for the occults, an inexplicable zeal to ferret out my ancestry, and this epic poem I wrote myself:

Continue reading “Iucunda Memoria est Praeteritorum Malorum”

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Sea Gypsies, Social Standing and the Rat Race

DSCF6912I took this photo during our most recent trip to Basilan.

If you’re not too familiar with these floating cottages, they’re traditional Bajau houses— abodes on stilts, made almost entirely out of driftwood. These houses forthrightly reflect the lifestyle of the nomadic people who live in them: simple, close-knit and pretty much wedded to the ever-changing whims of the ocean. Bajau communities of old were even more noteworthy; families lived in small boats called lepa-lepa. Traveling in a flotilla, they traded with strangers from lands faraway and bartered their bounty of fish for fruits, trepang for cloth, pearls for sacks of rice. Continue reading “Sea Gypsies, Social Standing and the Rat Race”

Nostalgie de la Boue

12837728_1320755307940073_1636248642_oI grew up in a house where tuyô was a breakfast staple.

That salty bastard of a fish, along with a relish of tomatoes and onions, a vinegar-calamansi dipping sauce and god-knows-how-many-platefuls of freshly steamed white rice.

Back in the days, tuyô was an ubiquitous symbol of the great unwashed– after all, it was being sold at 50 cents each. While a breakfast of tuyô isn’t so bad, eating it every single day would still be considered a gastronomical torture. Continue reading “Nostalgie de la Boue”

Hipster-ing with Vintage Cameras

12615699_10153901295653276_8477818728855915889_oJust a few stills developed from the 24-exposure film I used on Henry’s Yashica Electro 35 (an expired roll of Fujifilm Superia 200).

Wait a sec… develop? Film?! How is that even still a thing? Are you in some kind of a hipster movement?

Call us hipsters, but there’s something romantically nostalgic/nostalgically romantic about photos taken using analog cameras. Just look at that photo of Henry above. (It’s my personal favorite among the bunch I took at our recent Manila photowalk.) Continue reading “Hipster-ing with Vintage Cameras”