Meeting Mr. President

After a hiatus of more than two months from being a reporter, I seemed to have lost my footing and it felt strange when we covered a press conference with the president of this island dubbed as the Rainbow’s End a couple of weeks ago.There were already two reporters from the other two existing papers in Palau ahead of us. The President’s chief of staff asked for our business cards (that, and an email address are part of one’s…

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Island hopping

Even before the Continental Airlines flight we boarded from Manila landed in Palau last October. I resolved to go around the islands I saw from the plane window on a boat trip.After almost a year’s stay, I finally got the chance to visit some of the islands, braving a few hours boat ride and leaning on my daring, adventurous spirit for luck because until this time, I still don’t know how to swim. (I have started some lessons though-…

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Trekking shoe-less

(Published in Sunstar Davao, January 15, 2006 issue)The invitation to go on a jungle and river trek came from friend Micmic Villaflor of the Tia Belau newspaper in Palau one Thursday afternoon. I said yes even before she gave me the details (I’m still the same “fly-now ask-later” type of person I was in the Philippines).I became excited because I thought I already bid goodbye to my outdoor activities in Davao just before I left for this island called…

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Transitions

The only permanent thing in the world is change, or so the saying goes. And so with this article comes many changes, first in the column name. For the past couple of years, I had been writing a column titled LoCaL CoLoR in the Philippines but less than five hour’s plane ride from Davao City three weeks ago brought me and officemates Aurea and Celina to this island in the pacific to work for another newspaper and to another…

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The ultimate Balinese experience

She was a small lady, weighing maybe a little over 90 lbs and I looked her over, lingering on her hands while wondering if she can handle the job she was hired for. I was inside one of the “Whisper Zone” rooms of the Mandara Spa at the Palau Pacific Resort (PPR) to have a taste of the free Balinese massage offered by the spa director, and was greeted by this small Indonesian whom I mistook for a Filipina.…

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Island hopping

Even before the Continental Airlines flight we boarded from Manila landed in Palau last October. I resolved to go around the islands I saw from the plane window on a boat trip. After almost a year’s stay, I finally got the chance to visit some of the islands, braving a few hours boat ride and leaning on my daring, adventurous spirit for luck because until this time, I still don’t know how to swim. (I have started some lessons…

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Missing the movies

IN a progressive city like Davao where movie houses are regular features in malls and shopping centers, going to the movies are as regular as eating in restaurants or going window shopping. I know I can always go anytime I have the chance or the required 50 bucks (balcony seat plus sitsirya and softdrinks) but more often, I get a chance to go to the movies on free tickets. Looking back at it now, I realized that for the…

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Moving out

I’ve been used to the peaceful second floor office our newspaper occupied for the past nine months, comfortable in having my own key so that I could come in anytime I feel like it, even in the middle of the night. I shared the office with four other officemates but all of us has complete freedom with whatever we want to do without thinking somebody will walk in anytime and peek at what windows we are opening in our…

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Uniquely Palau

A few days ago I chanced upon an old file in a compact disk where I listed things that makes Davao unique from any other city...and the idea came up to make a list of things that will give you a glimpse of things unique in this island. This is not to offend the Palauans or the islanders but here are a few observations I had for the past year: *Kids’ necks and faces sticking outside of car windows…

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Gunfire!

In an island where guns are strictly prohibited and policemen are not seen carrying them, hearing a gunshot is a remote possibility and a remarkable event. The law is very strict about it, and anyone caught under possession of even just a bullet or an empty shell could mean 15 years imprisonment. Before coming to this island of Palau, I had visions of joining regular shooting practices and tournaments so that by the time I would come back to…

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