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Posts from the ‘Philippines’ Category

“Flipped Classroom” time

Teaching part-time has been a very rewarding experience, but it has not without its challenges.

I love getting to that “Aha!” moment of realization in my students and I sometimes think that in order to really get people’s attention, one must really “invest” a whole lot, because although they can’t help it, these tired and stressed population DO NEED their beauty sleep.

So, I’m interested in trying out the #Flipped #Classroom approach tomorrow.

Will see how it goes. 🙂

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton 


All Saints Day

Traditions last as long as families and significant others keep things going…

November 1 is such a day for Filipinos. In remembrance of their dearly departed, they give their annual dues, in the form of flowers, candles, and prayers. There is that Catholic belief that the souls of the dear departed are in Purgatory, and they cannot pray for themselves, thus they would need their loved ones on Earth to pray for them. By mentioning their names and praying out loud, the dead will have a better chance for getting into heaven.

In these areas, columbariums are still non-existent, and thus the townspeople visit their dead in the cemetery, where the tombs are stacked impossibly high next to each other, OR, that tiny graves are dug in between plots.

No, there is no actual planning and landscaping, and thus, it can get pretty crowded. The following photos are a glimpse of how All Souls Day is commemorated here in the locality (and pretty much for every other provincial town here in the Philippines…)



Photo: Lovers at Sunrise, Siargao May 2017

Lovers at Sunrise, Siargao, May 12, 2017.

One time, a friend of mine asked me, “How do you find these people (i.e. Lovers) to photograph?” I answered, “I don’t know, they just happen to be there most of the time…” Anyway, when I was there, we were given leave to go out to a popular resort place in #Siargao, and I was one of the first people out of the van. Walking up the boardwalk, I saw these two wrapped in an embrace, motionless like stone. But they were not stone…far from that. They breathed as one, like a living entity of two hearts, ensconced in each other’s mutual loving presence.

Later in the day, I would hear a reading of Pablo #Neruda’s “Sonnet 27”, and remember distinctly what this embrace would feel like, and how wonderful it was to have been loved, “…as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul… where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.”

There is a beauty to its vulnerability that draws me closer. I don’t think I have to explain myself, but I feel it is necessary to say that although I love the emotions love brings, it is not the idea of it, that drives me to write in such a manner.  🙂


Photos: Intramuros morning

My friend Arla was entertaining her friends from France while they were in town for a few days. She asked me to join them for breakfast in Intramuros, before they would leave on a flight later that same day.

Intramuros was one of my favorite touristy spots to shoot in, when in Manila, and I was free for the morning so I went. Nico and Mickael were friends of hers from when she did her clerkship rotation in France, while she was in medical school. They had been touring spots around the country for a couple of weeks and were just winding down.

They were great, a couple of good-natured guys were very nice and fun to talk to. They gamely tried Binignit, Champorado, as well as Halo-halo, when we were in Ilustrado for breakfast.

Being in Intramuros, the walled city, is always a good excuse for me to take photos and walk around. So much so, that Arla was amused enough to laughingly comment that I was almost more touristy than her friends. 🙂

Oh well, it simply could not be helped.

There are always plenty of colors and textures that pique my interest every time in this place.

I called this one, “Frenchman in Manila”, actually, this was Nico having a quiet moment looking on at the architecture and me noticing that the bougainvillea-laden floors made for a good contrast point.

Mickael had a small Canon point and shoot, which gave me the idea to shift to smaller cameras with a better sensor than my iphone. Also, I like taking photos of people taking photos. 🙂

Flowy skirts. March 2017.

Going up the rise. March 2017.



Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas, 31 years old,  a native of Aklan, was shot to his death while riding his motorcycle from a medical mission held in Lanao del Norte. He was in the Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB) program and he had decided to stay in the area after his tenure. He allegedly came from a medical mission in Sapad, and was on his way home when he was shot by an unknown assailant. Efforts were made to take him to the hospital, but he was dead on arrival.

It was initially hard to get in touch with his relatives because he was deployed in a far-flung area and since his phone was locked, no one could get a hold of his immediate family. I can only imagine how they must have felt when they got the news of his demise. It is one of the terrible things that you hope you never get to hear.


I’ve never met him, but he came from the same medical school I was from, and he was friends with many of my friends. Still, it does not diminish the fact that he’s gone, and too soon. Here was an idealistic young man who thought it best to serve in marginalized areas, and in the heat of the moment, he was gunned down like any other common criminal.

No leads on who did this, so far.

The Department of Health condemned this, and many netizens have taken to social media to talk about it and air out their grievances.

The gravity of the problem didn’t hit me until I was able to see, and write about it. And even talk to my DTTB friends who had been there. These guys are modern day heroes. The struggle and threat to life and limb is definitely real.


March 6, 2017. Wear black for Drey. Wear black for Justice.