Boat builders we must remain

I have this lifetime obsession with boats.

I secretly spend a huge amount of time reading and writing about watercraft of all types. I enthusiastically ride them every chance I get—from the rakit (pontoon barge) of many Abra River crossings in my childhood and youth, to the modern inter-island passenger ships that ply the southern islands from the Port of Manila, which I’d usually choose over airplane rides.

Continue reading “Boat builders we must remain”

Why settle for fun? We could gun for awesome instead.

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Why settle for fun when our country, in presenting itself to tourists and other countries in general, can scale up to "great and awesome."

Whether for the right or wrong reasons, whether in all sincerity or tinged with irony, many Filipinos have cheerfully taken to the official tourist slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”

I don’t doubt that some kinds of pleasures or pleasantries are partaken in the Philippines with a lot more fun than elsewhere. We seem to offer a lot of them with a helping hand, a song and dance routine, a fiesta smile, and endless tables of sumptuous banquets. Centuries of foreign colonial rule made sure to erase the fierce looks of Lapu-Lapu and Bonifacio from our faces, relegating them to stone-cold statues weeping alone in the rain. Continue reading “Why settle for fun? We could gun for awesome instead.”