Roads and Kingdoms

Gumbo in Baguio

Where my friends and I commune at breakfast before the Baguio Pride March.

Scallops on Sand Bar

Where my friends and I eat scallops then survive a storm.

Yu Char Kueh and Soy Milk in Taipei

Where I find my childhood summer breakfast in Taipei.

Preen Supernatural Series

A five-part series on my supernatural encounters. I don’t claim to believe in the supernatural, though I will tell you that everything I’ve written about here is an actual personal experience.

Spot.Ph: I Eat Therefore I Ham

A food column where I write about nostalgic restaurants and interview people who are active in the food scene.

“Chinese-Filipinos are still Filipinos” — my only non-food related post on Spot.Ph

Shake, Rattle and Roll: Modern Philippine Horror
June 2009

Scare Me to Death: The Golden Age of Philippine Horror Cinema
March 2009

Islands of Blood: Horror in Philippine Cinema
January 2009



The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010
ed. Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar

The Bridge

A podcast of an abridged version of “The Bridge” read by Nikki Alfar on Pakinggan Pilipinas, a podcast site for Filipino stories.

Listen to it here.


At first I could hear nothing but static, which was weird because my phone normally has good reception. And then I heard it: a male voice. It took me a while to understand what it was saying, but not before I recognised who it was.

Achie,” he was saying.


I could feel the blood drain from my face, my body begin to shake. There was no mistaking that voice. I had been hearing it for twenty-six years of my life.

“Daddy?” I whispered.

But he was gone, the line dead.

I slumped in my seat, almost dropping the phone when I set it on my desk. That was my father. Of that I was sure. It couldn’t have been anyone else. It all would have made sense, except that he had died in front of his family two years ago in the ICU of the Cardinal Santos General Hospital.

Read the rest here.

“Daddy” is published as “Lao Peh” in
A Hoard of Thunder: Philippine Short Stories in English 1990-2008
Volume II 2001-2008
Gemino H. Abad; UP Press, 2013

The Child Abandoned

THEY SAY THAT A PERSON knows that she’s reached Quiapo by the way it smells. My grandmother—my Lola—described the scent as tentative, as if the air itself was constantly waiting for something to happen. You can see what she means, if you sniff hard enough.

Read the rest here.

Seek Ye Whore

Week 0
Foster remembered, exactly, when it was he got it into his head to get married.

It was the time he leaned over his cubicle to see Donovan taking a bite out of a dripping, overstuffed roast beef on rye too big, too thick, and too appetizing to have come from the cafeteria.

Read the rest here

Boss, Ex?

He was the first thing Bien saw as he came up the escalator of the third floor of Virra Mall. The man was two heads shorter, about a five-foot three to Bien’s six-foot frame. His extremely short hair was unevenly cut, his dark eyes watchful, darting back and forth even as they focused on Bien.

He sidled up to Bien, a big smile on his pockmarked face. “Boss, ex?” he asked.

Read the rest here

Waking the Dead

DARIO stared out of his bedroom window, studying the mass that congregated at his doorstep below. The dead of Barrio Masigasig had arrived at his house today, dug themselves out of their graves, many of them ancient and rotting, caked with dirt, their faces caved in, chests sunken, limbs falling or long gone.

Read the rest here