TRAVEL

Farmer says there are no spirits in the fields

In the middle of last year, I had to travel to the CALABARZON provinces for work. In the middle of this, I was invited to take a side trip to Candelaria, Quezon to visit Radel Matibag, a young farmer who had just returned from an exposure program in Japan. I wrote about his journey in […]

Read more
TRAVEL

Children’s playground and urban garden at Rizal Park

Rizal Park in Ermita, Manila, isn’t just a beautiful public green space, it played a big part in Philippine history as well. Formerly called Luneta National Park, his was where not only National Hero Jose Rizal was executed by firing squad in 1896, but also where, 24 years earlier, Mariano Gomez, José Burgos, and Jacinto […]

Read more
TRAVEL, TRUE WEIRD

My Siquijor adventure: getting hexed on an island paradise

In 2010, I was sent by a travel magazine to Siquijor, a small island province in the Visayas region of the Philippines. You need a ferry to get there, and I and the photographer took one from Dumaguete. The island was first called “Katagusan,” after the molave (Vitex parviflora) trees that populated it. When the Spanish […]

Read more
BLOG

Made gising-gising for the first time

Made gising-gising. This is a vegetarian version that uses patis and vegan bagoong for umami and chili chutney for heat because I had no chilis on hand. It’s… okay. It lacks the savory sweetness that pork offers as well as the bite that fresh green peppers can bring. But all in all, not bad for […]

Read more
BLOG

Ginataang ube from a friend

A friend sent me ginataang ube made with ube halaya from Baguio, black rice from Kalinga, and kamote and bananas from Tagaytay. I’d been craving ginataan for a while so this was a lovely surprise. And it was delicious! It was still warm when I got it, just freshly cooked. I’d never had ginataang ube […]

Read more
BLOG

Farmers shouldn’t be charity cases

A friend sent me a bag of produce which included these citrus fruits. I really admire their farm because, among other things, everything it grows is organic, and it really does try to give its farm employees decent wages. Agriculture and food security are big now, and a lot of people are taking advantage of […]

Read more
BLOG

When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I make tea

Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I try to immerse myself in an activity that requires a lot of physical motion and very little critical thought. Working in the kitchen is one such activity. I made masala chai, which I like doing from scratch. Masala chai is Indian spiced tea. It’s made by brewing black tea with […]

Read more