Rain

Paris, 24 July 2021 at 8PM Ten minutes ago, it rained so hard. But like the way the rain came, now it stopped although there’s still a drizzle and occasional distant thunderstorms. I’m not used to heavy rains in Paris, so that was a surprise. The weather is usually calm here with just varying levels…

Before They’re Gone

One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic made more conspicuous was our mortality. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, there were news of people getting infected with the virus and dying a few days or weeks after, causing anxiety to many. At certain points, it did enter my mind that I could…

What “My Octopus Teacher” Made Me Feel

I never thought documentaries about animals or nature would make me cry–not until I watched My Octopus Teacher. At one point, I had to pause watching just to cry my eyes out. As someone who is not good in swimming and does not have any experience in diving, and as such, has not seen nor…

Summer

June to August is the summer season in France. Based on my observation, it’s the only period when the weather feels as warm as most months in Manila. For the first time this year, I used my yellow fan in the office, a souvenir from an event I attended during my first year here. We…

Home

A colleague moved to a new apartment this week and relayed to me that although her new place is comfy and spacious, she was unable to sleep during the first night. That brought to mind my first night here at my place in Paris, about three years ago, when, exhausted from a day’s work, from…

Kain Tayo!

It is a rainy Saturday afternoon in Paris now and because of the cold weather, I suddenly craved for special goto with chicken strips, tuwalya (ox tripe), sliced century egg, spring onion slices and toasted garlic bits. With calamansi (Philippine lemon) extract, it tastes heavenly. But I guess, I have to set aside my culinary…

Personal Narratives

Our lives are made up of different stories bound together by various themes. Unlike fictional short stories or novels, however, where the turn of events are sometimes predictable or when the characters and their actions lean towards the theme and the authors’ perspectives, real people’s stories are more complicated and more interesting. In fact, in…

Abril 9 – Araw ng Kagitingan

Ngayon, ika-9 ng Abril 2021, ginugunita ang ika-79 na anibersaryo ng Araw ng Kagitingan. Sa araw na ito, inaaalala ang pagbagsak ng Bataan sa kamay ng puwersang Hapones o “Fall of Bataan” noong 1942 at ang nakakagimbal na Bataan Death March kung saan maraming mga sundalong Pilipino at Amerikano ang namatay. Panahon ito ng ikalawang…

Philippines: Un Pays au Pluriel (A Country of a Thousand Faces), 1987

When I first found the French-English book Philippines: Un Pays au Pluriel (1987) from the bottom shelf of the Embassy library, it seemed like just any other book about the Philippines with pictures of nature, tribes wearing their traditional garments, and Filipinos wearing beautiful smiles. But when I read the description of the author Jean…

Marching Forward

March is Women’s Month. (Hi to all women reading this blog right now.) It is the advent of spring. It is the last month of the first quarter of the year, which makes us realize that time indeed flies. It is also the time when the weather in Europe becomes unpredictable — sunny one day…