So call it gloating. It’s my moment of superiority.

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar. Call me serenity.
I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar. Call me serenity. Music saleswoman Elena Koniaraki, 39, rides her bicycle between cars at a central street in Athens July 11, 2012. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

I’ll make this short and sweet. Short and sweet, like my trip home on evenings like this.

So it’s a Friday, and a payday at that. So most everyone with bulging pockets are rushing out of their workplaces—as if they were running away from a fearsome monster.

So hordes of them are trooping to their favorite TGIF foodie corners and weekend hideaways—the farther away from the feared work monster, the better. Continue reading “So call it gloating. It’s my moment of superiority.”

Boatless Badjaos

Badjao houseboat
Badjao houseboat in modern times. (Photo from

I was just telling my neighbor here, Kabsat Kandu, about a chance encounter I had with a Badjao beggar family who were stranded in flooded urban streets, minus their boat.

I was recently in Manila, gulping down my second cup of coffee in a rush to catch an appointment, when someone banged on the steel gate of the old family home (which now housed a printing press) where I was staying. She was waving a letter and shouting in an unfamiliar language. The noisy machine drowned her out, and no one else in the house seemed to want to indulge a visibly desperate beggar.

“My lucky day,” I told Kandu with no trace of irony. Continue reading “Boatless Badjaos”