A Volcano Paradise that is the Jeju Island

My friends know very well how unaffected I am with nature (A.K.A. I am not a nature lover!). I remember how bored I was when I, together with my colleagues and friends, visited the World Natural Heritage Site Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Underground River) in Palawan Island in 2012. It is not that the…

Art Nouveau and Victor Horta

When I was young, my only idea of Belgium was Christelle Roelandts. The year was 1994. And my interest in Belgium began. Christelle Roelandts and 1994? Miss Universe 1994 was held in Manila, Philippines. Christelle Roelandts was Miss Belgium and she was one of my favorites. Unfortunately, she did not make it – not even…

Paghahanap kay Miss B (Finding Miss B)

In 2009, I won my first Carlos Palanca Award for Literature (Full Length Play). In 2010, the University of the Philippines Press accepted the play for publication. In 2011, the play was finally published (my first book came out, yehey!). Below is the preface/introduction of Miss Dulce Extranjera o ang Paghahanap kay Miss B (University…

Performing Catholicism, Performing Ambivalence

In 2003, I was admitted to the master’s program (theatre arts) of the UP Diliman Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts of the College of Arts and Letters. My thesis was on the nailing ritual in Cutud in the province of Pampanga.  The nailing ritual was not my original research plan. I initially wanted to…

Four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Four Days: Day 2 in Beijing

After the tour on our first day, Jayson dropped us off at the hotel: Ease Cloud Hotel. When the agency (Royal Kites Tours and Travels) announced that we would be staying at Ease Cloud, instinctively, I googled it and read some reviews. Relatively, Ease Cloud Hotel is a new hotel. This means, there are only…

Four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Four Days: Day 1 in Beijing

On 21 December 2018, my colleagues, my friends and my partner traveled to Beijing, China on a tour package. Our flight back to Manila was on the 24th of December, with high hopes of making it for the noche buena or the midnight Christmas meal on our respective homes. The original expected time of arrival…

Le Grand-Place, Brussels: Place Making is Community Making

When my book Performing Catholicism (UP Press, 2016) was chosen by the National Book Development Board to be part of the official book launch event of the Philippine Pavilion at the Frankfurt International Book Fair in 2016, I made sure to do a side trip to Brussels. Besides, the transportation system in this European region (i.e….