Sagada Folk Tales: Si Sal-salak-en

It’s that dreaded time of the year when the sun will never take a peep out from the ominous dark skies and you have to wet-proof yourself from the non-stop downpours. Such weather dampened an already gruesome Monday morning as I find myself stuck at the bus stop for a ride that will seemingly never…

As they light those fires, I reminisce…

My earliest memories of the Anglican cemetery of St. Mary the Virgin in Sagada that we fondly call “Kamusanto”  (Campo Santo) with the eloquence of the local tongue were when I was but 5 or 6 years of age. I went there with my old man for almost two weeks straight when he was constructing…

“Paint Me Like One of Your French Bulldogs”

If I fancy myself being immortalized in a painting, I’d be elated to be depicted as a poodle in a tutu. Not saying this because of my obvious devotion to dogs but because I’m aghast at the reactions of people who are socially crucifying a painter who had portrayed two anthropomorphized dogs donning  Igorot native attires…

Sagada Folk Tales: The Legend of Lake Danum

Way before this placid little lake became a subject of  boundary issues and there was no dissent whether to call it Banao or Danum; long before cows grazed its now dwindling patches of green, and before flocks of tourists did jump shots against a mesmerizing fiery backdrop of the sunset,  this place was once a plain plateau, a…

Barefoot Chronicles: Third Time’s a Charm

  Without hesitation, I claim that the mountains of BC are love at first sight and experience for me. Simply because I am reminded of home with the painfully familiar coniferous bounty that British Columbia’s forests boast of. I lived below the century-old pine trees of Tangeb back in Sagada so I got to smell the pungent sweetness of…

Home is where?

  A friend once told me it took her three years to finally come to terms with the fact that she has a different country from what she has known to call home. I held on to this, thinking my time would come. That give or take a few years, I would gradually have a…

Sagada Folk Tales: “An-ananga”

A long time ago in a quaint town by the mountains, lived a young couple named An-ananga and his wife whom he called his Princess. Such was the beauty of the woman that An-ananga was lovesick and could not bear to leave her for even just a second.  He would gaze at her all day…

Of Stories to be Retold…

It’s been a year since my favorite local historian left to join her forefathers after a century of a life well-celebrated. I remember her not with grief but with continued awe of how she graciously led a life with purpose. Though I cannot help but be unpleasantly reminded of one unjustifiable failure that I should…

Be Kind, Be Inspired

There was, or there were junctures in the past when just about anything can inspire me to pen a jumble of either nonsensical, profound or passably read-worthy thoughts. Riding a cramped bus, the feel of gritty sand cascading through my fingers, the sunset, or even just a broken pencil–a lot of things used to switch…

‘Woofy Birthday, Woman!’

So my hooman turned a year older today. She’s convinced herself she’s still 21 so I’m letting her indulge in this fantasy. Just for today. I know that for some reason, she was dreading the advent of this day. Who does that? I love birthdays! Most people love birthdays! But I guess she’s not most…