boracay 'steps'.

ok, so here is my walk from my hotel to the beach, part of my step series as i would like to call it (london 05, houston 05). i have other pictures that are a bit better and do boracay justice, but i'll post them later...
Posted by double R at 11:43 PM | 0 comments read on


i'm back.

after travelling for close to 24 hours (don't ask me why i chose my particular itinerary), i'm back. i was lucky since for some reason or other, i got bumped up to business class (sat in the upper deck) which is always fun.

it's good to be home, my mind is so full, but i'll post soon.
Posted by double R at 10:17 PM | 0 comments read on



so this is my last day in boracay, and what can i say? first of all, whatever i write down won't do this place justice. you'll have to check back when i post my pictures up...

after the hustle and bustle of manila, the congestion, the traffic and the tonnes and tonnes of people, it was nice to finally get to boracay. the sand is white, the water is warm and clear, the sun is bright and the sky is blue. most of my days here were spent relaxing on the beach, eating, reading my book, a few boat trips around island and some snorkling. snorkling among the coral reefs was a highlight, seeing brightly coloured tropical fish swim right up to me and with me.

even with the sunscreen, i got pretty burnt, but the redness has turned into a browner me. i've begun to mix in with the locals and get asked less and less if i want to buy a pair of sunglasses or a watch.

i really learned something about myself since i've been here. i always tend to look at my neighbors lawn -- the grass is always greener over there it seems. when in vancouver i often joke by saying i'd like to leave my life and live on the beach and surf (even if i don't know how). however after a few days of paradise, i longed for my own bed and the comforts of the first world.

be content, be in the moment, be in the present -- this is what is real.
Posted by double R at 9:16 PM | 0 comments read on


ghosts of obando.

i've been thinking alot about my mother lately. partly because my brother is getting married, and i know that she would have loved to see that day. obviously of course it's because i'm visiting with her 1 brother and 2 sisters out of 8 that are still here in the philippines.

my mom's eldest brother, tito narcing picked me up from the airport. it was good to reminisce with him, my mother was really close to him. he recounted some stories that i didn't even know about my mother, i felt the urge to write the history down. he also showed me his wallet, one that she gave him, a wallet that he still uses, although worn.

obando is my mother's hometown. the first couple of days of my trip i stayed in obando with my tita osay, my mom's sister. though there was a language barrier, we managed to communicate the way a mother and son do. getting up in the morning and having breakfast ready on the table for me, just the way my mother did was a welcome change from my normal bachelor life.

i also made my way out to the province, in pandi to visit my tita fely. she was overjoyed to see me. it is uncanny in a way how much she looks and reminds me of my mother, especially in the nuances of her expressions. we exchanged more stories and memories, and even a few tears. i wish that she was closer, living in vancouver.

i walked the streets of obando, past my mother's high school. i visited the local church, and examined the buildings of the town. these streets, are narrow and storied ones. these streets, my mother walked. it was as if my mother told me to take this trip to get reacquaint my roots, for me to reconnect with her past. it's as if she wanted to remind me of the brave and difficult journey she made from these streets all the way to canada so that she could have a better life for herself and her future family -- for me. lately, i won't lie, i haven't been feeling so brave dealing with some of the things that are going on in my life. coming back here, to her home has made me realize that i need to trust in myself and to find that courage when facing the unknown, just like she did.

i will never forget obando.
Posted by double R at 10:03 PM | 0 comments read on


random PI thoughts.

1. filipinos love to text/sms. in fact it is the world's text capital

2. i get mistaken for korean or japanese, even by my own cousins. however the 'darker' i've become, the more and more i am seen as a 'local'.

3. filipinos love to eat pork, and lots of it. they also love to fry everything.

4. weird beauty products i've seen -- shampoo that makes your hair 'blacker', and soap that makes your skin 'whiter'.

5. when people say something that sounds like 'mom' they are actually saying 'maam', short for 'madamme'. i thought they were being rude by assuming my only slighter older female cousin was a mother.
Posted by double R at 10:03 PM | 0 comments read on



ok so it's been a while since i've posted. i have been thinking about so many things and wanting to post about so many things however computer access has been limited so i haven't been able to. anyways this certainly has been an enlightening trip. it has been almost 13 years since my last visit to the philippines, and i think the most important thing that i learned is that during this time, i thought that i was certainly 'in touch' with my culture. but i realized that just because i dance and teach filipino folk dance does not mean that i am 'in touch'. in a way, i have idealized what it means to be filipino, what it means to live in the philippines, and how certainly different it is from living in north america.

before i left, i had to take a balikbayan box much to my chagrin. i even had to move stuff from the box to my regular suitcase. i really thought why do i have to bring all of this stuff, especially when i thought that they had all of it in the PI. but no. every little thing that i brought, from the chocolates to the pistachio nuts, to the bedsheets, the totally cherished. i felt stupid for not wanting to bring anything back.

anyways, on one of the first nights i went out to the baywalk, which is on roxas boulevard in manila to hear some live bands and have a night out. it was so great to hear live music, music that i related too, mostly covers, 'live' of some of my favourites. the bands were fabulous, i sang along, and had a few too many.

i am bringing back some OPM (Original Pilipino Music) to remember that night for sure.
Posted by double R at 2:59 AM | 0 comments read on


writing from the PI.

i'm sitting here upstairs at my cousin's pediatric clinic in obando, bulacan, so i've made it. the dial-up is kind of painful, but i think it has been pretty good that i haven't been on a computer since saturday morning.

my trip went very smoothly, but it was long. the in-flight service on JAL was amazing -- seriously, no matter how much customer service training you give the folks at air canada or any north american airline for that matter, you will not be able to match the graciousness of the crew on JAL. maybe the fact that they don't speak any english might be another reason. anyways, it was very pleasant, especially considering the fact i was in a 747 packed with a tonne of japanese children, not all of which were well behaved.

anyways, i had to change planes in tokyo, and it's funny all airports kind of look the same after awhile. what kind of sucked was the fact that we all had to clear security again after coming from a 'secure' plane. anyways, the flight to manila was great. also a 747, but this time, nobody on the plane. i was able to sleep across three chairs, but not after i had an asahi.

i finally make it to manila, and as soon as i walk out of the plane, i could feel the scorching heat. the line up to go through customs was pretty long, but all in all, despite all of the horror stories i was told to prepare for, everything went very smoothly. no one checked my bags, no porter harassed me, customs was nice. it was nice of me for my cousin, ate ces to greet me with her husband, kuya willy and my mom's oldest brother, daddy narcing.

i look forward to reconnecting with all of my family over the next two weeks.
Posted by double R at 9:53 PM | 0 comments read on


leaving on a jet plane.

ok, so i'm off -- don't know how much i'll be able to post, but i hope to update here as much as i can.

been too busy to be excited, but it's been five years since i've had a real vacation like this so i know i'm definitely going to enjoy myself.

need to brush on my tagalog...hope i don't stand out like a sore thumb.
Posted by double R at 7:12 PM | 0 comments read on


things i find weird.

a few things that i've seen people do lately that i think are just weird.

1. cutting your nails on the bus -- i don't need to see your nail clippings on the bus or anywhere.
2. pulling out your compact in a restaurant to reapply your lipstick -- that's what the ladies room is for.
3. flossing your teeth in public. i know you must not have a tooth pick (obviously), but i certainly don't need to know what you had for dinner as the piece of meat lodged in between your teeth flies across the room and onto my lap.
Posted by double R at 9:26 AM | 0 comments read on



this weekend, i got my passport renewed and went back to surrey...:). before when we used to rehearse in surrey, i would make my way home every weekend. now, especially since we are on a break, i hardly make it out here. this weekend, i packed my bags and stayed out with my dad, did all the last minute errands for my trip and today we have the cast party for our most recent show. it's funny that even though when i'm downtown i am constantly surrounded by people, i can certainly feel like an island sometimes. when i come back home, everything slows down a bit, and not much has changed. rodney's painting the house, my dad has bought some nifty new curtains, but for the most part, my childhood home and the neighborhood remains the same. it's comforting, it's good to reconnect, it's good to take a breath.

the funny thing is, i know that tonight and everytime i see the glass and the mountains that frame downtown when i'm on my way back 'home', i exhale.
Posted by double R at 9:24 AM | 0 comments read on


weekend over.

well pride weekend came and went. overall it was a very fun weekend, met some new people, saw people that i haven't seen a while and boogied down on sunday night. seriously there must have been a lot of out of towners or guys that didn't go out much because everywhere i looked there were very good looking men everywhere. too bad i didn't meet more of them.

now just getting ready for my trip to the philippines. it's funny that our family has a tradition of bringing odd requests back to our relatives back home -- i'm glad to do it. this time, the list is:

1. cashew nuts
2. pistachio nuts
3. m & m's
4. bed sheets
5. electric shaver

will have to bug someone to take me to costco this week.
Posted by double R at 8:40 AM | 0 comments read on

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada