Chasing Waterfalls: Casaroro and Pulangbato

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Hello readers. It’s been a while; 2016’s come and gone (thank God) and I’m back with a vengeance.

I survived the Christmas break, and I managed to squeeze some travel plans in between the parties and the ditzy soirees.

Yesterday I visited Valencia for the first time. Valencia’s a small town, a short 20 minutes’ ride from Dumaguete. And it has two of the most amazing waterfalls I’ve seen, namely Casaroro and Pulangbato (literally Red Rock)

Getting to Casaroro was a bit of a challenge. You have to go down a steep flight of stairs. We had to traverse some rocks and streams (and we had to deal with some pretty strong currents too) to get there, but boy was it magical.

Pulangbato was smaller in comparison, but it was just as serene.

Here are some photos from the trek.

Continue reading “Chasing Waterfalls: Casaroro and Pulangbato”

Are You Cheating On Me? (Poetry)

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“I tried to change
Closed my mouth more
Tried to be soft, prettier
Less… awake
Fasted for 60 days
Wore white
Abstained from mirrors
Abstained from sex
Slowly did not speak another word
And that time my hair grew past my ankles
I slept on a mat on the floor
I swallowed a sword
I levitated
Into the basement
Confessed my sins
And was baptized in a river
Got on my knees and said, “Amen”
And said, “I mean”
I whipped my own back
And asked for dominion at your feet
I threw myself into a volcano
I drank the blood and drank the wine
I sat alone in begged and bent at the waist for God
I crossed myself and thought
I saw the devil
I grew thickened skin on my feet
I bathed in bleach
And plugged my menses with the pages from the holy book
But still inside me coiled deep was the need to know
Are you cheating on me?”

–Denial, Lemonade (Beyoncé)

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Photography by Teegee Villanueva. 

Elizabeth, Mississippi (Poetry)

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a cigarette

in between my lips

in hers, the hollow afterglow

a whimper, a song, a sigh of great relief

Billy Idol plays on the radio

 

Elizabeth lays in bed

her head heavy, bowed down

her body entangled over mine

she emerges from her second baptism,

distraught and yearning for a river

She rises swiftly from the precipice

and dons her favorite yellow dress,

 

She thanks me for my kindness

I thank her for her service

I call my wife on the telephone

I tell her everything’s alright.

–Poetry by Teegee Villanueva, photography by Teegee Villanueva

For Peter, My Ghost (Poetry)

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Peter old friend

we are only human

we are made of dust

from Adam’s soil: ashes

creatures of chance

unable to cope

unable to see

blind to the world

and the bridges put forth before us,

we are damned

to suffer, one way or another

to rest everlasting, to end.

But we are glorious

even when we come undone

and the world will always remember

the songs we wrote

for Alice, for Emma

for women we do not even know

–Words by Teegee Villanueva

Notes on a Suicide (Poetry)

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Let me linger for a moment

Let me remember

Let me find wisdom in the waves

Let me drown in it.

***

I can hear the water curling at the seams

pockets, pockets, full of stones

a walk, a hop, a body it seems

floating lifeless in the water

and lifeless it drifts to shore

Words and photography by Teegee Villanueva

Spurn (Poetry)

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Are you really worth the trouble

The wait

The glory and the devotion?

Are you a religion

A god, my God?

My savior and redeemer?

 

Like a seed

Implanted in rich soil

You sprout out tendrils

That reach out;

they come at me

With knives,

they hold me hostage

 

You play with my emotions

And what a cruel thing to do—

Who the fuck do you think you are?

 

Words, photography by Teegee Villanueva

Tongues (Poetry)

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This poem is about you
your big nose
your perfect teeth
your heavy eyes
your humble lips

I miss you.
On quiet nights
when your legs
were wrapped around mine
when our tongues
spoke a language,
only lovers could mime

What happened to us?
to you, my solitude?
solace of every passing summer
the peace of every dreary winter
are you there?
do you still care?

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Words and photography by Teegee Villanueva

Dyck Cediño

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“We seek and we find; merely to find and then seek. For every beginning there’s an end, but what end brings is a new beginning. We are the essence of creation and the embodiment of destruction: this is the duality of our existence. We create in order to make sense of our own destruction. We constantly seek to find meaning; only to discover that we are meaning itself; mirror images of the vast infinity found within every single being. And the only consolation we get for this life is our own death. This is mainly the reason why I create art, cuz I believe that as much as we are representatives of destruction (physical or ideological), we must also create to make amends with this duality of existence. And this is how I move forward.”–Dyck Cediño

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Prints by Dyck Dedino.