Essays & Reportage

The Tropical Gothic Town of Dumaguete

To outsiders, Dumaguete is still seen as a sleepy, provincial town largely known for Silliman University, a breeding ground of Philippine literature. Poet ANGELA GABRIELLE FABUNAN shows us how Dumaguete is also home to a unique and thriving art scene. Photographs by Carmen del Prado

There are many ways Dumaguete’s history is everywhere. For the writer Nick Joaquin, tropical gothic is a reaction to the West’s exoticizing gaze of the Philippines. It is grounded in Filipino folklore, as in his sto

Angela Gabrielle Fabunan — Fascination — Dios Ti Agngina Elaine Javier

In the plethora of love poems available in books, the internet and beyond, how does anyone write a good love poem at all? Carol Ann Duffy has certainly mastered it, by the way in which she lovingly crafts love poems in her book "Rapture." She succeeds by always keeping the mystery of love at the reader’s sight—she is both the seductress and the seduced.

Rapture follows the trajectory of a love affair in thin, compact but beautiful little poems with a huge impact. We follow the lover through the

Love on the line

We meet in the dark of the night, huddled over our phones, in bed, behind closed doors. We meet on the internet.

We also meet in the light of morning, with the spread of breakfast before us, with the day’s first beams streaming in.

We know who we are talking to. I know the shape of his body, his face, his hands. He knows when I’m happy and knows when I’m not in the mood. I learn to say “good morning” before breakfast, when we meet online after meeting in the dreamworld.

I learn about his coun


You’ve all heard it before—“A poem shouldn’t mean but be” (Archibald MacLeish), “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (William Wordsworth), “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world” (Percy Bysshe Shelley). But what does it all mean? There is one thing I know. A word should not be devoid from its context. The poem lives because of its traditions and backgrounds—as a person does.

I am a Filipino-American. Am I less American because I am Filipino? No, because each

NUDi EXposed: Nature in the Nude

Among its machine of interconnecting ideas, a compelling painting hides a challenge to be solved.

Yvette Malahay-Kim’s ongoing exhibit has the artist’s fascination with the sea as its starting point.

Raised in the islands of Cebu and Negros in the Philippines, Malahay-Kim speaks of the sea as always playing a part in her work.

The “nudi” in the title refers to a family of marine invertebrates called nudibranchs or sea slugs.

Ranging in size from a quarter of an inch to a few inches, Malahay-

Imagination onto Canvas: An Interview with Desiree Aloba Carabio

Desiree Aloba Carabio of the University of the Philippines Cebu is a visual artist who has ventured into the artistic frontier of digital art. At the 49th Shell National Students Art Competition, she explored the theme of Metamorphosis with the digital painting “Marlon Monroe.” Her winning piece navigates the intersections of public and private, the process of transformation and the complexities of gender. As a work of art, it allows us to share the experience of performing gender and to find in


I know how it feels to be unwanted. I was unwanted from birth, rejected by my birth parents. My adoptive parents took pity on me and I ended up in their arms for life.

But growing up, I also felt like I didn’t belong. As a Filipino immigrant, I was labeled. I didn’t have the accent, so I was teased horribly, called a “brown monkey,” a “flip,” and other degrading names. I was in a whole new atmosphere, and so I learned to adapt. I have been learning to adapt my whole life—to an adopted family, t