• City stories,  Culture,  Nostalgia Pieces,  The Daily,  Writer's Cafe

    Mostly Manila

    Some time in 2017- It was a scene straight out of a coming of age film. A jam packed apartment turned bar, the crowd singing along with the playing band. My friend whizzes through and gets me to follow her to the washroom where we stand inside with the door ajar as Dee looks on. “Zip me up!” Stellar had been struggling to get into her dress and decided that she’d take an Uber to Saguijo with an unzipped dress instead of changing into another one. “I’m stubborn I know.” She tells me as I try my best to zip her up. “I don’t think it’s you, it’s the dress,…

  • 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…

  • Curated Corner,  Featured Posts,  Slow City Life

    Curated Corner 3: Coffee, Art & Rain

    I haven’t been a fan of coffee since 2013. The last time I was an avid drinker was when I was back in Manila where I would frequent an art cafe together with my friend, Rob. We would talk about so many things, from story concepts to mundane jokes to relationship troubles. But as the years progressed and the constant move from one country to another took its toll, my insomnia started, and coffee was the last thing I wanted to touch. However, I still loved looking for coffee shops that offered respite to my often anxious state. They provided me a quiet and safe space where I could stay…

  • 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…

  • Nourish,  Slow City Life

    Nourish: Mini Croissant Sandwich

    Elevate your mornings with these mini croissant sandwiches. Creamy avocado spread with sweet grape tomatoes, and pancetta that’s just the right amount of savoury. A sandwich is pretty straightforward and totally customizable but I’ll share with you one of my favourite, quick snacks. I’m guilty of always skipping breakfast so I solve it by having these ready the night before and just grabbing them on my way out. I haven’t had a grumbling stomach at work these past few days. Ingredients: Mini croissants Pancetta/ prosciutto (your choice of meat) Cream cheese Avocado Grape tomatoes Cilantro Procedure: Cut the mini croissant in half mash the avocado and spread on croissant top…

  • Curated Corner,  Featured Posts,  Slow City Life

    Curated Corner: Lovely Things

    1.) SPACE: MUSEUM CAFE The Museum Cafe is the perfect place to spend a long hot rainy summer afternoon with good company. Our server for the day was attentive and amiable- instead of just ordering drinks, we had a Filipino merienda (afternoons snacks)  to pair it with. The interior is bright and sunny with art pieces and plants, the tables are made of marble and the walls of wood- on closer inspection, the cafe had quite a retro feel to it. It’s a very beautiful place, and it gets quieter on Sunday afternoons, a good time to lounge around, do some work, have an afternoon date, or quality alone time.…

  • Essays,  Nostalgia Pieces,  Writer's Cafe

    Third World Worries

    I remember the many nights spent walking in the heat and dust, sitting through 2-hour bus rides stuck in traffic, walking through the flooded streets of Chinatown. I remember you bringing me hot noodle soup and jelly rolls when I got sick, and buying me ice cream every day of the summer we spent together. I remember how we tried to keep from falling apart as we waded through all the inconveniences of a third world country – The floods, the traffic, the heat, the congestion, angry coworkers . You came home every night dissatisfied, phone constantly ringing. You always assured me that everything was okay as long as I…

  • Essays,  Nostalgia Pieces,  Writer's Cafe

    An Urban Life

    When I am back in Manila I will live in an old dingy two-storied wooden apartment, with a boyfriend who doesn’t mind if I model clothes or make-up. We would have pets, maybe a dog or a goldfish and a turtle. On Sundays we’ll while away our time watering and talking to our plants, lying on the couch and feeling the warm air waft through our dusty windows. We will shut our laptops and tablets, hide them in the closet and take out dozens of books to read in the afternoon. We will light incense and bow to the universe, offer food to the gods and munch on them afterwards.…