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”



beggars in Cebu, sto. nino church in cebu

beggars in Cebu, sto. nino church in cebu

Photographed in Cebu City, Philippines. Photography by Teegee Villanueva. May 29, 2016

“Clothes as text, clothes as narration, clothes as a story. Clothes as the story of our lives. And if you were to gather all the clothes you have ever owned in all your life, each baby shoe and winter coat and wedding dress, you would have your autobiography.”–Linda Grant

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sto. nino church in cebu

sto nino church in cebu

Balloon Vendors 1&2. Photographed at Cebu City, Philippines. Photography by Teegee Villanueva. May 29, 2016

“She was tough in the best sense of the word. She’d taken blows, the disappointments, and had worked her way through them. Some people, he knew, would have buckled under, found a clutch, or given up. But she had carved a place for herself and made it work.”–Nora Roberts

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quiapo, quiapo church, beggars in quiapo church

“Lorenzo”, Quiapo, Manila. May 20, 2016. Photography by Teegee Villanueva

“People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.” -Jim Morrison

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Give Me Shelter

poor man, homeless man, homeless people, depression, sadness

“Give Me Shelter”. Carriedo, Manila. May 18, 2016. Photography by Teegee Villanueva

I was overcome with a deep and profound sadness this afternoon. I felt dead; I came undone and it obviously affected my output. I was editing images when the thoughts came on, and I was ruminating non-stop. I went silent for two hours. I ignored everyone who tried to speak to me. And after an hour or two, I felt better; relieved, at the moment, from the demons who perpetually torment me.

I tell you this with absolutely certainty: this illness will kill me one day. I don’t know when…maybe tomorrow, maybe in the next two years. Who can say.

On the photo: while walking around Binondo, I ran into a man washing his clothes (and himself) at the Carriedo fountain. It was dirty and the water was polluted. He noticed me, and when he did he carried on as if I weren’t even there. It was a sad sight and I thought it was reflective of the Filipino experience–at least for those living in the margins. It’s not an easy life for most Filipinos; most people live on subsistence wages or very low salaries here, and life becomes a burden…when it shouldn’t even be.


Give Me Happiness

happiness, binondo, binondo manila


“Give Me Happiness”. Escolta Street, Manila. May 18, 2016. Photography by Teegee Villanueva

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.”

–Anthony De Mello

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beach, picture of a beach, beaches in the philippines

I miss the waves.

I’m back in Manila. The city, the smog…I wanna get out of here. Everything feels the same. Everyone looks the same. Millennials amok with their opinions and their smartphones. They all dress cool, but are they? Everyone wants to have a “personality”–something to do with fashion I guess…something colorful, something loud and expensive, something to make them stand out in a sea of 14 million people.

It’s exhausting.

How’s the universe treating you lately?

Artwork by Teegee Villanueva