Author: Mina Deocareza

Back to School ‘Feels’

Tomorrow begins another school year for many students in the Philippines. The other day, I went to a nearby book store and saw a couple of students shopping for school supplies parents and friends. Having seen such a scene, I could not help but reminisce the good old days. School was the most important thing to me as kid, perhaps because I was always number one in class. No wonder, first day of school really mattered to me. Since I was really competitive, I saw it as an opportunity to make really good impressions and let my teachers and classmates know how serious I was with academics. Of course, school supplies also meant a lot to me. They some of the most essential tools I needed as I aimed for excellence. My parents knew this so well, especially my father. Despite his busy schedule, he would always find time to accompany me to the mall to do some shopping. He was also aware of how picky I was. I wanted nice-looking notebooks made from quality paper, …

Throwback: Pahiyas Festival 2015

Yesterday, while taking a look at some old photos saved in my computer, I came across a folder containing images from Pahiyas Festival in 2015. It was quite a memorable experience. Imagine, it was my first time to attend the festival, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Yet, I had to have presence of mind throughout the day trip, since I was sent there to cover Nikon Club’s Pahiyas Festival Photowalk for WhenInManila.com. Anyway, here are some of the photos I took during the event: I was also able to attend last year’s festival but failed to take a lot of photos because of the limited time we had. (We were stuck in a traffic jam, so we were late for the event.) And I hope I could join this year’s festivities, too.

Sulok Cafe: My New Favorite Tambayan in Antipolo City

Before 2016 ended, I was able to meet Rod and Andy of Sulok Cafe in Antipolo City for a WhenInManila.com feature. I had a lot of fun that afternoon because the millenial couple was so cool. I learned that they were also in their 20s and both of them used to hold corporate jobs. Last year, they decided to quit their jobs to put up their very own cafe. Guess what? They even used the money they originally intended for their wedding and married life to start this business, which opened just last July. It was a huge risk, sure. But to be honest, I really think that they made a great decision. Sulok Cafe was a great place, we thought. We were impressed by its nice vibe, as well as the fact that it encouraged people to be who they really were. It could be everyone’s sacred corner. We also noticed that the cafe was serving a wide array of dishes and drinks at affordable rates. That time, I was with my two sisters and …

Where We’re All Heading To

I haven’t written a poem in a long time. Besides the fact that work has been draining my energy and creative juices for the past few months, my self-doubt has also been so strong that I always question myself and my ability to write. No wonder, I feel amazed whenever I find poems I wrote in the past. Usually written on pages of old notebooks or saved in old folders in my drive, these poems give me hope. They may not be perfect (in fact, I find some of them too amateur), but they inspire me to be the person who I used to be–someone who was so confident in creating art. Anyway, he’s “Where We’re Heading To”, a poem I wrote two or three years ago: Territorial boarders, skin color, and language barriers define alienation: We are not from the same country, we differ in skin color, and speak different languages; we are not the same.  Your concerns are different from mine and it is easy not to care at all. It’s great, I can eat …