Palawan, Philippines. Wish You Were Here Wednesday.

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On the way to the ferry, we stopped at a snorkel shop where we rented water shoes, fins, goggles, breathing tube thingy. Everything bright orange. At the shop, I still wasn’t sure if I actually would snorkel, but I figured, if I decided to do it, I’d need the equipment. And a bag of fresh pandesal, soft, semi-sweet bread rolls, to feed the fishies, too.

This is Pandan Island, Honda Bay, Palawan, Philippines. This is where I first tried to snorkel. That’s a big deal for me because I can’t swim. It’s sad to be a Filipino who can’t swim. But, snorkeling is different, right?  Continue reading “Palawan, Philippines. Wish You Were Here Wednesday.”

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Everything about this place — the calm and quiet, the water, the moonlight, the fireflies — tipped my mind over, poured out my cares and spilled away the needless worries, and emptied me so completely that good things could find their way inside my heart again. Continue reading Firefly Watching on Palawan’s Iwahig River, Philippines

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“We are talking about papers, here,” said activist and documentary filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas. I heard this emphatic, simple statement when the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist formerly of the Washington Post spoke at the University of Chicago on May 9, 2012. The Filipino-born, California-raised Vargas entitled his June 2011, New York Times Magazine-published letter, My life … Continue reading “Home is complicated”: Thoughts of returning from an undocumented Filipina