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Showing posts from July, 2008

People talk to themselves a lot

Is the end near? [the answer here] "How would we know if it was? Do the new modes of information exchange that we're constantly inventing exacerbate our anxieties? Or is millennialist paranoia some sort of cultural constant? Of course, these questions are difficult, if not impossible to answer. So i'll take a wild guess: as communities continue to become defined more by common ideologies rather than common geographies and as ideological contrasts become further exaggerated as a result, we become less able to identify with each other because our world-views are simply becoming less compatible. In other words, the more we choose to spend our time conversing with people who are interested (or worried) about exactly the same things that we are, in relatively tiny but globally dispersed communities, the more we feel like the rest of the world is just plain crazy." Demetrie Tyler

Palengkera: my route

This is the path my footsteps trace almost automatically when I go to the market. I start at the foot of the hill where the flower stalls are lined up. I squeeze through jeeps and cars waiting bumper-to-bumper for the traffic to ease forward inch-by-inch. I stop for rosal, not in the flower stalls where wreaths are prepared for funerals and celebrations, but with the manangs who set up their flower stands on the road, just beside the exit of the Marbay parking building. Then I walk across from the rosal manangs to my meat suki, where I buy pork or beef. From there I go deeper into the meat section and take the slippery, perpetually wet steps down to the seafood and chicken section. Here I have a suki for chicken. But all she sells is magnolia chicken. Today I came across a woman who was selling freshly butchered and dressed broiler chickens. She caught my attention when she called out, “Bagong katay po ito. Hindi galing sa freezer!” Next time, I will buy my chicken from her. I don’t h

Palengkera: dahon ng sili and plastic bags

The dahon ng sili was slightly wilted but I had five kilos of food on my back and it was time for me to go. It just so happened that there were three of us buying dahon ng sili from the same woman. I stood to the side and waited and listened as one of the buyers haggled with the vendor. “Magkano kamo ang dahon ng sili?” The vendor replied: “Dies isa.” “Ang mahal naman,” exclaimed the thin, spritely, wrinkle-faced manang with jet-black curly hair (surely she used hair dye) as she shook four bundles of tired-looking dahon ng sili. “Gawin mo nalang trenta itong apat!” The vendor shook her head silently. At this point, the other buyer interrupted. Her obviously “relaxed” hair was freshly washed and styled with shiny mousse or gel, and she wore light blush over heavy foundation. She wore a beige hoodie, a tight striped shirt, tight jeans, and shiny silver flats with pointy toes. Perhaps a trendy college student, or a trendy call center girl. But what drew me to her was not her appearance (


For the first time ever I'm disappointed with The month of June won't show up in my 2008 archives. GRRRRR! How dare! Does anybody out there know how to make June re-appear? I've already tried removing the archives and putting them back on. Several times.


Sometimes I feel like theory just buries lived experience under incomprehensible abstract bits. Why (cuss word) bother?

Meat is something to be grateful for*

There are few things that can bring the same satisfaction as this: Being surrounded by trees and family and friends. Working together in an outdoor kitchen area to butcher and cook a pig with Skatoy and a bunch of ponyboys. Making blood sausages with Manong Mattias. Eating tinuno, pinuneg, dinakdakan, and boiled pork with salt and sili. Pouring and drinking gin which No. 1 Biker Boy spiced with cinnamon bark bought in the hangar market. Watching the Artist-in-Residence be the manang and guide the wild kids into the woods and out again. This is one of those things that affirms why I live and love in Baguio. Few things make me feel this alive. *I'm so grateful I don't care that I ended the title with a preposition and that most of this post is made up of incomplete sentences.

Green Riders tatatata-tataaah!

Yesterday 50+ cyclists aged 8 to 50+ put their lungs on the line and cycled through the constricted, congested, ailing capillaries of the heart of Baguio, through Session Road, Bonifacio, Magsaysay, Harrison Road, U.P., Leonard Wood Road, Gibraltar, Mines View, the Mansion, South Drive, and Burnham Park. Why choose such a painfully polluted route for a Sunday fun ride? Because the Green Riders, an informal group of Baguio cyclists inspired in part by the Tour of the Fireflies , want to project a presence and build a voice that can call more, more, MORE attention to, and demand more, more, MORE action on Baguio's need for clean air, better traffic rules, bike lanes, and courtesy between motorists and cyclists and runners and pedestrians (and horses!). The Green Riders will repeat this fun (but as of yet smokey) ride every first Sunday of the Month. One nice thing about this informal group is that the Green Riders don't see themselves as heroes on mountain bikes or road bikes.