Author Archives: Rem Tanauan

In Me

I punched him in the face, hitting his nose and moist gums with my right knuckle. I was fed up with his taunting while trying hard to bear my headache due to a slight fever. He was stunned, eyes widened, immediately touching his bleeding gums. I barely remember what followed. Perhaps he walked away, while […]

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design by Rem Tanauan

Yaman: A Baybayin Meditation

No matter how familiar they appear to me, through many occasions of writing and reading, Baybayin characters remain open to many meanings. I’m not sure with other writing systems like Chinese characters or Egyptian hieroglyphs. They seem to me precise and exact – combine characters and there you get new meanings.  But I cannot describe […]

Microsoft Image

Higher Selfie

Since I rarely take my own pictures, it seems puzzling to me of what motivates people taking many pictures of themselves. In these pictures they are pouting, frowning, smirking, smiling. They face the mirror and shoot themselves either wearing make-up, a strange hairstyle or sunglasses. They take them in many angles, in many places, in the […]

Rajesh_India | flickr

Open Friends

With only a few texts and online messages, a friendship between people who have not yet seen for years is seemingly starved for attention and nurturing. This friendship may fray, and in the future meeting an awkward feeling rises and wrestles with a realized irony that seeing again a friend is like meeting a stranger. It is a […]

Paul Downey | Flickr.com

Thank You

Teʂekkür. The word twisted my tongue (it sounds t’sh’k’r) but sweetened the Turkish smile of Ozgür, a newfound friend I met in my recent travel in the Cordillera, Northern Philippines. He taught me the word a few nights after we had a small chat about our respective cultures. He helped me again to recall the […]

Marlon Garcia / Foter

A Life With Relatives

I know my relatives, at least in my mother’s side of the family. (I grew up barely knowing my father’s side.) I know my uncle and aunt and their spouses who have become part of our family. I know their adult children who are my first cousins, and their spouses and their children, my nieces […]

@rild / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Silent Love

It is hard not to speak to the one you Love. I did that twice. I did that to choose to allow silence between us, in an attempt to find some cure for our toxic arguments about many things we do and don’t do. In those weeks of not talking, I realized we had been […]

Enthusiastic Businessman

Tell Me Something About Your Soul

I remember my interviewer’s face in my first ever job interview 7 years ago. He was looking astig, occasionally puffing his cigarette while perusing my resume. He then squinted at me as if he was reading my mind. I like to think that I was a rookie in a movie scene, fated of meeting a […]

(c) Microsoft images

In Our Separateness

Separate is a root word that metamorphoses into multiple meanings yet often reminds most people in the personal level emotionally-charged experiences. For those who have endured difficult marriages, to separate is to end the suffering of living with someone’s hell; those separated are the ones who did it. Separation is either an action that cuts […]

Juan Tamad (c) Anton Diaz /  Our Awesome Planet

Is Juan Tamad Really Lazy?

Picture this: a young man sitting beneath the shade of a guava tree, lying restfully with its native hat covering its head. He sleepily sits there, waiting for the guava fruit to fall instead of picking it. This image of a familiar folklore character has been known for ages across generations of many Filipinos. He […]

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