Tuesday, January 8

How to perform a meltdown, how to restart a life: the second weekend in the islands

I guess that you can take the boy out of the island, but you can never take the island out of the boy (insert cf).

The second weekend back home was spent with friends from college days. A quick two-hour bus ride south of Manila brought us to Puerto Galera where over the weekend we owned a boat, and a few unmanned islands. The sea and the skies were just gorgeous as usual, and everything felt great.

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The guffaws just never ran out. And fresh fruit shakes, too.
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The food just taste tastier than usual when the air is always clean, salty, and warm. Hours are uncountable, revelries are listless but wonderful, the sun is a king, and the stars are all grown up constellations, not just some isolated bashful flickers in the night time .  
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Sunday, January 6

How to perform a meltdown, how to restart a life: the first weekend in the islands

A departure begets an arrival. I have finally landed back in the islands, and these past four weekends have been simply wonderful. There is an overflowing comfort and joy from friends and families, not to mention the eternal warmth of the tropical weather, Saturday nights spent in the beach, home-cooked meals, dirt-cheap cigarettes and beer, and cable TV. So far, I would like to think that I am doing pretty well in handling the post-Tokyo hangover.

This is what my first weekend in December looked like:

 Carbon-blue skies everywhere, 0

 Trails of sea milkshake snake,

 Friends, beer, and sundowns IMG_0759

Long and spectacular sun set, with all the shades of my slowly burning skin, IMG_0760 IMG_0762

Slow mornings. A swim perhaps, into the aqueous transmission?
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 The early afternoons were spent on a rented bicycle, scuttling into the old town.

 Haruki occupied the remaining hours of my day, IMG_0773

 ... until another sun sets.
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I can do this over and over again, and I swear it won't hurt...

Photos of Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines.

Wednesday, December 26

How to perform a meltdown, how to restart a life: the last weekend in the city

How uncanny to leave a city for good while it was wearing off all forms of life. It felt like as if no one was winning, and that even mornings looked like sunsets.

Tokyo was yellow beneath my last footsteps, a proof that my lonesome city was colorful even during goodbyes.
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Just how do you pack four years in a box? Leave everything behind, and bring only the classics. IMG_0294

During the last days, I took a thousand photos of sunsets all over the city: at the university in the morning, at Akihabara at mid-day, at Kanagawa in mid-afternoon, in O-okayama in the early evening. Funny how sunsets look all the same everywhere, yet feel so different everytime. IMG_0812 IMG_0813 IMG_0815 IMG_0816

I remember now how I described Tokyo during my first days four years back. This time, when I left, it was a cold rainy Monday morning and Tokyo bled white all the same. As the limousine bus I took from Shibuya cut across the city on its way to Narita, I tried to collate a mental (instagrammed) pictures of all my favorite city fixtures every time we passed by one, especially of those I had been to once.

Behind the frosted glass of the bus window, the Tokyo Tower was ashen, and looked as commonplace as the other radio towers dotting the city. Has someone even noticed it this morning, I wondered. I take that perhaps, I was the only person in the world who took a photo of it that day, gracing my unmistakable departure, my sweetest goodbye to my most favorite city in the planet thus far. IMG_0810

Wednesday, September 19

Summer in Nagoya

This year’s summer is particularly arduous--- I had to move to Nagoya last June and had to break all that is routine in Tokyo. It was just a hot mess really, but thanks to so many people who were always welcoming, helpful, loving and very kind. The stay was memorable, something I can make a good sigh for, now that it's over.

As usual, I have only documented this strip of the university where I was staying. This trip-to-university thing has become a recurring theme of some blogposts here, I notice. But here we go.

It was always wet over there, and the rain comes burning with thunder--- always kind of remind me of the years spent in the tropics.

The walk to the school includes a huge boulevard with the most expensive cars running around like as if they were only doing an errand for the day. Not a surprise, noting that this area is famous for the automobile industry. Oh how they love their cars and their big bikes, and for a good reason: the city is not as compact as the capital. Moving around can be pretty sweaty.

I was told that I was staying in one of the posh-est area of the city. Expensive looking condominiums were like legos stacked on top of each other, dotting the rolling hills of Yamate. I love however, how on the street level, things are so rustic, and organic.

The university, itself is humongous. Naturally, my pecks are at their prime for all the walks I did (under the hottest days of the year, if I may add).

Some days were just breezy and awesome. I finally owned a field after a long time (Sunken Garden, being the last one!). I drank, counted stars, played guitars, slept, ogle with dog owners and chain smoked over this green space. What more can you ask for?