Category Archives: Essays

Spammed

Last week, I cooked Spam. I opened the can, slid the rectangular cube of pink meat out, sliced it into thin slabs, and fried them lightly. I served the slices with white rice and some leftover braised lentils. The last … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Leave a comment

56 Years a Slave

The posthumous publication of Pulitzer Prize-winning Filipino-American journalist Alex Tizon’s “My Family’s Slave” has provoked much discussion and some controversy. Many readers were moved by the plight of Lola Eudocia Tomas Pulido, who was eighteen years old in 1943 when the … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | 6 Comments

The Literary Kontrabida

Although the rich, the powerful, and the pretentious are stock villains in Philippine literature, one would be hard pressed to count the truly memorable kontrabida on the fingers of one hand. The reactionary Padre Damaso, in Jose Rizal’s Noli me … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Leave a comment

A Pasta Obsession

Cacio e pepe, literally cheese and pepper, is a dish so simple that it’s hard to get right. Recipes for this dish abound, many of them with as few as three ingredients: pasta, grated pecorino Romano, ground black pepper. Some … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Leave a comment

When in Rome

It’s hard to escape pop culture in Italy. We trooped through the Colosseum and I recalled scenes from the Russell Crowe movie Gladiator. We climbed up the Palatine Hill overlooking the Roman Forum and I remembered the opening scene in … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Leave a comment

Kill the Pushers

The death toll for Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, now entering its fifth month, is said to exceed four thousand. Dubbed “The Punisher” by Time magazine, Duterte has projected the kind of macho persona that Pinoys often associate with action … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | 10 Comments

What Did Rizal’s Simoun, Elias, and Maria Clara Look Like?

I first read Jose Rizal’s Noli me tangere and El filibusterismo in elementary school, in simplified English translations for young readers put out by Abiva Publishing. What I liked about these books were their beautiful illustrations (having lost my copies … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Leave a comment

Book Clubbing

I attended a book discussion group at my local library last week for a class assignment. The book assigned was The Rainbow Comes and Goes, a memoir jointly written by the journalist Anderson Cooper and by his mother, the famous … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Leave a comment