• Slice of Life,  Writer's Cafe

    How Things Are| II

    Every time I come from a trip to the Philippines I always feel refreshed. But for this recent trip, it was more revelations than rejuvenation. My mistake is always forgetting to write down my observations and feelings after every trip. There is a kind of intensity about life in the Philippines that makes it almost impossible to reflect if one doesn’t make an effort to do so. This is why I’m taking advantage of the quietness back here in Canada, before I dive into my ordinary life and forget about these thoughts. Corona, an observation – Almost every establishment back in the Philippines had a fever gun. But aside from…

  • Essays,  Letters,  Writer's Cafe

    Manila and its Uncertainties

    I don’t know if you will like Manila. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a dirty, chaotic, third world city. The streets are filled with grime and potholes. The people push past you or stay grounded when you try to make your way as you whisper excuses. But I still love it here. I fell in love with it as a kid when my father first brought us back for a visit. We had lived in my grandmother’s marbled, three-story house. The house was a beautiful mid century modern piece of architecture – designed and built by my architect grandfather. The stairs and walls were made of concrete…

  • Notes on Adulting,  Slice of Life

    How Things Are | I

    Exams – I took an exam last weekend. Whether I pass or not doesn’t matter because if I fail, I’ll try again. But of course, it’s best to be prepared. I am trying not to hinge all my hopes and dreams into one basket. Something I have been guilty of doing for very long and have only learned quite recently not to. We’re guilty of placing all our projected desires into one object and expecting it to fulfill all our needs, may that be a partner, a job, a friend, or a gemstone bracelet with amazonite, tree agate and sodalite to ward off all misfortunes. A poet whom I enjoy…

  • Notes on Adulting,  Slice of Life

    The Challenges of a Filipino Millennial Immigrant

    Healing. The word has become a kind of joke meant for the small stuff. A cheeky answer to questions ranging from how your weekend trip went, or how you found the beyond meat burger to be. I joke about it too, I thank my friends for my week spent in Toronto and how healing it’s been. But looking back, I did mean it more sincerely than I thought. I didn’t realize that I was actually hurting emotionally and mentally because of my move back to Vancouver. Up until I went to counselling I had been struggling with these emotions on my own and trying to work it out. My counsellor…

  • Slice of Life,  Writer's Cafe

    Sunburns

    Hello, it’s been a week since I came back from a two-week stay in the Philippines. My skin is red and raw from sun burn, and the sleeping hours are still skewed. There are many thoughts that have been running through my head ever since I got back. I realized that that trip was a happy goodbye. I was assured that I always had a home and friends who treasured and loved me just because. But it was time to stop looking back and pining for a life I had already left. In the words of my good friend Kristel,”Be yourself! Immerse yourself!” It’s always been my problem, elsewhere was…

  • Nourish,  Slow City Life

    Quick Japanese Siomai, a Savoury Satisfying Snack

    I never thought about how easy it was to make siomai because I usually make dumplings from scratch. However, my pretentious no-carb diet and love for savoury dishes led me to pilfering our kitchen with possible ingredients to feed my stomach. To my surprise I realized I had these random ingredients that could actually work to make siomai. It’s so easy, you just quickly mix all the ingredients, roll it all up, cut into bite-sized pieces and leave to steam! Ingredients: Ground Pork Onion Chives Carrots Nori (Dried Seaweed) Salt & Pepper Light Soy Sauce Steps: Mix ground pork, chopped onion chives, carrots and season with salt and pepper. Place…

  • Curated Corner,  Featured Posts,  Slow City Life

    Curated Corner 3: Coffee, Art & Rain

    This collection of curated spaces: A coffeeshop, an art museum and an anime is a nod to that particular feeling of surrealism and nostalgia when sun meets rain.  Something particularly nostalgic about staying in coffee shops is during that transition from summer to rainy months when the rain would often fall even during a sunny day. In Filipino folklore when such weather occurs, it means somewhere in the world a Tikbalang couple (mythical creature that is half horse, half human) were being wed. I’m not sure why such myth exists but my theory is because such a day always feels magical, as if the dimensions to other worlds blurred and…

  • Nostalgia Pieces,  Writer's Cafe

    An Eternal Summer Afternoon

    I read somewhere how the Philippine government was trying to figure out what to do with 10 million mangoes produced in excess due to the warmer weather. Mango float, mango shake, mango graham, mango juice, mango jam… the list went on in my head. But the list quickly turned into memories of long, languid, hot summer afternoons, and falling mangoes. There was an abundance of mango trees in Area 1. It was a neighbourhood of faculty homes in the fringes of our university. The paved roads had become dusty from continuous plumbing repairs by Manila Water but it was still lush with overgrown plants and trees. There were mostly fruit…

  • Slice of Life,  Writer's Cafe

    Currently: April Fool’s

    I’ve never really been a fan of spring, save for the cherry blossoms. But everything else about spring feels like a lie to me. It signals warmer weather but is as cold as winter, and because it’s the start of planting season, suburbia smells like manure. Not to mention the pollen allergy that comes with it, spring definitely reminds me of broken promises. I call it “Your Lie in April” like that anime. But aside from complaining and being salty about the season, I’m here to update you on things that have been happening in my life lately. Currently, I am . . . Watching: The Table (2017) a Korean…

  • Notes on Adulting,  Popcult, Art, Etc.

    4 Relatable Films for the Weary Young Adult

    The question I dislike most during job interviews (or when doing small talk with strangers and relatives) would be “what do you want to do in life?” with the occasional variation of “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I might have an idea of what I want to be or where I want to be, the problem is that the people behind these questions always want specifics. “No, but what position, what do you really really want to be?” Did everyone else have it all figured out?! Am I the only one who has no idea? After taking my last required unit during the midyear, I went on…