Tippy dreams of one day changing the world, but still has to figure out how to exactly. She likes words and its capacity to invoke great emotion in people. On this silly little blog she chronicles travel, music, food, advocacy, pretentious things like books, film & art, and of course everyday life.
I met this little girl last December while I was on site in Payatas for work. She was the grand daughter of one of the public school teachers we were interviewing to potentially qualify for a home in a low cost housing development that was being built nearby. While her lola was being interviewed we played tag and blew plastic balloons outside. There’s not a lot of beauty and good things going around Payatas but I’ve learned that you can always find these things in the kids that live there.
The little girl in the first picture, I met outside of the hot air balloon festival in Clark last February. Along with her parents she was selling novelty products typically sold by Aetas in Pampanga, but I noticed her immediately because her smile was infectious- despite having to work at 7 in the morning on a Sunday. After taking her photo I bought one of those necklaces she was wearing and we exchanged a few short pleasantries before we parted ways. As I stood there watching her walk away she looked back at me, smiling that bright smile before she disappeared completely into the crowd. I’ll always find the spirit in children one of the most beautiful things in life.
I met Carina in Spain last year while we both were volunteering at a youth-at risk center in Girona as participants in the MAGIS program. Carina is English, and we were both in the same year of university, she, taking Spanish at Oxford. Right after World Youth Day she was heading to Latin America to do a year abroad, as well as a bit of traveling and teaching. Within the week we spent together farming, cooking, doing laundry by the campsite (yes! we lived in a campsite for a week), taking walks around Oscobe, and sitting on the grass by the pool eating el helado in the afternoons, we became great friends.
Finally, the last photo is of my little brother Lean who is seriously one of my favorite people in the world. He possesses a really offensive sense of humor that never fails to make me laugh, as well as the ability to be great at anything he puts his mind to. I took this picture of him last summer while we were having lunch at a little cafe in Piazza Navona in Rome.
“You will fall in love with the old couple down the street because to you they represent the impossible: a stable, long-lasting love. You’re trying to get someone to like you for more than ten minutes. A monogamous “never get sick of ya” love seems unfathomable. “What’s your secret, sir? Do you just say yes a lot?””
I admit that I do fall in love with old couples I see down the street all the time. But for me, it’s not that they represent the impossible, but rather the sort of love I hope to have someday. I guess sometimes you can’t really deny the romantic in me.
This couple I saw sitting on a bench near Boulevard du Palais when I was in Paris last summer. They just sat there talking while feeding the nearby pigeons, and like most old couples I see down the street do, they made my heart smile.
Thank you for being the best mother I could ever ask for. You’re the perfect combination of mom and “cool friend” (most of the time at least) and there isn’t a day that I’m not grateful for you. Over the years you’ve taught me many important things about proper behavior, kindness, the world- it would be impossible to list all of them down here, really. But on this mothers day I’d like to especially thank you for teaching me that in all things, we should love. This is something I live by, and when I have children of my own, will teach them as well.
Joined that mass of humanity that felt like the entire population of Metro Manila at the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pampanga last Sunday. While all eyes were on the Hot Air Balloons pre launch, I noticed this dad and his son.
I found myself in Payatas two weeks ago for work where I met this nanay (mother) who told us about how proud she was of her children and how she dreamt of better lives for all of them. We met her in her small home which she shared with her husband and 18 other people composed of their children, their children’s spouses, and their grandchildren. She was a very interesting woman. I thought she had a face that told stories of what her life has been like.
I saw this little girl drawing flowers as I waited for my family outside one of the indoor exhibits in the Roman Forum. Her dad was kind enough to not pass judgement on me as a creeper and to let me take a photo of her.