It was the summer I spent commuting tirelessly in and out of the city. We were tied up in our separate worlds, but today we had managed to squeeze in a quick lunch at this bustling cafe next to the shop where I needed to collect some books. I did’t recognise him at first, looking […]Read More 072519
There is a street I have loved since I was fifteen. If you, like I, were a University freshman living at Kalayaan, there is a chance you may have fallen in love with the same street. Maybe we walked down this street together, once. Maybe we will walk this way again.Read More 053119
I’ve always lived in cities, these labyrinths of concrete and steel. Navigating through a city like Manila is an exercise in patience. After being away for over a decade, I find that I am still finding my footing here. And sometimes, losing my way also feels like the same thing. We meet again, Manila.Read More 040219
It took me all this time. Today I have a body that you have never touched.Read More Seven Years
I loved him, that’s the problem. I love him. What he doesn’t realise is that, for me, there will always be the pain of the love he and I could never get right. It’s actually about pining for someone desperately and loving them dearly, but you can’t figure them out. It’s about when you’re always in […]Read More Between the Lines
Maybe – out in the big wide world beyond us – we will run into each other again. If we do, I hope that by then we can both look back at this time and be able to laugh at whatever pain we have caused each other. I really hate people. Of all the people […]Read More Coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck
It’s ok to love the deep dark places in ourselves, to explore their murky depths and hear our own voice back, a haunted echo, it’s ok. But. Be the shine. Always be the shine, and give out your light and warmth like pennies in the offering bowl of everyone you meet.Read More The Shine
— (in my sleep I dreamed this poem) Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift. – The Uses of Sorrow, Mary OliverRead More
“I want what I want because I want it simply because.” he said. And just like that hazy mist of wanting him lifted.Read More Pyrrhic Wars
“I hate your stupid face.” “It can’t be that stupid,” he answers, “it likes your face.”Read More
I feel a little broken but also a little bigger. Do we ever really move [on]? Or does the void warrant movement, motion, improvement, commotion; everything that we never had but always wanted. Even after all this time: you [still] move me.Read More 070710
“I don’t like that word.” I stammer. “What word? Goodbye?” he asks. “Don’t…” I grab him by the arm, his biceps tightening as I pinch, and lean in to steady myself. I exhale as I release my grip slowly. After all, this is always how we’ve operated: constantly keeping each other at arms length. “Okay,” he says, […]Read More Oranges
That moment when you finally cave and go on a date with this boyishly handsome French nomad; he is in town only for a week. He speaks six languages and is currently learning his seventh. His appetite for adventure rivals your own. You agree to meet for lunch, it turns into dinner, then becomes a night […]Read More Lieux de Memoire
— I will never be a well behaved woman. I would rather pass my days lying in the middle of dirt roads, staring at the full moon with a bottle of summer red in my palms. I would rather have kids when it suits me, not when society expects or throws shoulds. […]Read More The Type
“I’m walking through the night between two villages; over the fields, no lights, only stars.” C tells me. One day, you will walk between two villages in the company of stars whose light has traveled hundreds of years across galaxies to reach you; to bear witness as you in turn reach for another hand – […]Read More Darkness and Space
“It’s not that I hide,” I tell him, “I’m just not used to being seen.”
“What do you mean by being seen?” he asks. “Is it strange that a man wants to get to know you and not just look at you?”Read More Seen
They tell us all these stories
About women who became unforgettable
Because they walked away
And their absence opened up an ocean of longing
And their fault was only that they were too beautiful to be grasped
Between two arms and kept close.
They tell us stories about the women who were unattainable
Because they vanished
Inside a plane to Paris
On a road to Mandalay
In a train to Little Britain
And who carried the hearts of the men they left behind
In their suitcases.
I’ve always thought of myself as a writer first and a photographer second. But these days, I am unable to conjure the words for the many ways I think and feel.
To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. Just as a camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a subliminal murder – a soft murder, appropriate to a sad, frightened time.
– Susan Sontag