Bantayan

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To writing by and about the sea; to learning the plight of its stewards; to knowing the names of its bounties as if they were some ancient chant. Litob. Bunsod. Subagyo. Tikos. Bawo. Miroy. Sikad – Sikad; to realizing that you will never know all of its secrets no matter how many times you visit, and how hard you try; to finding comfort in not knowing.

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Jagna

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Jagna seems to be the Anda of three years ago – quiet, determined, and on the brink of major change. The strategy has shifted from agriculture and trading to ecotourism. It has all the ingredients for that too – white pebbled beaches, rare black corals, and a living heritage in its iconic product, calamay.

Tourists will come in droves soon. But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy this secluded three-cottage alcove. Most locals don’t know it exists. The place doesn’t even have a name yet, so I can still call it mine. For now.