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 […]

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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 […]

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For the Spirit

The other day was my first time to roam around Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown, to celebrate the eve of Chinese New Year. The sights were a vivid red in every corner, from lanterns to red envelopes to charms to shirts. The sounds were a loud repertoire of lion and dragon dances and powerful drums, plus the […]

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From Here

You are here. We read this phrase on fire exit and shopping mall maps. Getting lost inside a building is no problem, since this type of map points out your exact location and shows you where to go. The map is more relevant to its reader compared to urban maps. Urban maps may be accurate, but […]

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The Power of Names

I learned in college chemistry the word nomenclature, a naming system for many chemicals and substances. It is responsible for the weird-sounding names we read on the ingredients at the back label of packaged foods and shampoo bottles. Biology has a similar system: taxonomy, a method being used to give organisms their scientific names, which […]

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The Capital “L”

More than two years have passed  when I first began capitalizing the letter L in the word Love. It was just two nights ago when my partner, Claire, asked me the reason behind it. Since then, she has read of my writings of Love, and Love still has the big L. After I explained to […]

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