It would be impossible to visit all the provinces in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in one day. The ARMM spans two geographical areas: Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao (except Cotabato City) in south western Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, covering a total of 12,288 square kilometres! But, from the 19th of November 2014 onwards, visitors to the ORG Compound in Cotabato City will be able to visit these provinces all in one day, have the chance to sample the delicacies from each region, and even shop at each village store displaying wares unique to their tribes. Read more ›
A firefly was in our bedroom
on the northeast
corner of the ceiling
It must have come
in from a tear in the window
screen, fascinated by
the bright ceiling light
mother of all fireflies
suddenly dead at the flick
of a switch.
So this firefly hovered
above our bed buffeted
by my husband’s snores
Groceries and hardware stores melt
into wet markets and storage drums
as the van leaves the city behind,
tin roofs spread into palm fronds
half courts into fields of green
where herons the size of flamingos
snack on fat insects
while the carabaos lounge
in their watering holes.
Religion is fluid
the cross morphs into steeple
curves into crescent and star and again
as immediate faith requires. The rivers
you pass are varied as the women
you have known, some wide and full
of life, some narrow and menopausal,
daughters of landslides
and of water finding its path.
The highway bleeds through potholes
from improvised explosion, or from flood
Where checkpoints have sprouted
like banana trees, its leaves waving you on
through schools with front yards
the size of football fields
past trees stripped diagonally of bark
fat dogs asleep beside the pavement
and vice versa.
That’s me on the left, receiving my prize book from Vanessa Almeda, Marketing Manager of Mindanews
Books are always a treasure for me, especially since I lost almost all my books to the floods of Ondoy back when we lived in Parañaque. When I first heard about this particular one, Mindanao into the 21st Century, a compilation of photos by photojournalists based in Mindanao, I knew right away that I had to have it.
But as with most things I wanted, it took a backseat to more important stuff (like food, clothing and shelter). So when I saw the Mindanews instagram contest #ourmindanao stating this book as the prize, I sent in an entry as soon as I could. It was this photo, but cropped to the instagram square:
leaving just the fisherman and part of the walk. Taken with the iPhone5’s pano mode. It won for the month of October, 2013.
“OUR PHOTOSHOP POLICY Whereas other magazines photoshop to achive the “ideal” body type or leave a maximum of three wrinkles, we never alter the body or face structure of our models with Photoshop. We firmly believe that the unique features of women — be it crows feet, freckles, or a less-than-rock-hard body — contribute to their beauty and therefore don’t need to be removed or changed.”