AFTER the special Edsa 20-20 edition commemorating 20 years of the first People Power, PCIJ’s i Report has come out with a double issue with a special focus on unusual journeys people have taken through time and space. Below is the issue’s epilogue:
The town of Sagada sits stoically high up in the mountains of the Philippine Cordillera. Its center is a portrait of American colonial uprightness: it is anchored by a picturesque Episcopal compound with its church of solid gray stone slabs, a sweet clapboard rectory, a whitewashed hospital named St. Theodore’s, a graveyard, and a charming café.
This is the first face Sagada presents to her visitors as they unload themselves off the bus. For many visitors, this is the only face this remote mountain town has. But as the shadows lengthen and the mist begins to shroud Sagada, or one chooses to stay longer, one can glimpse the town’s other faces.
Some say Sagada presents to her many visitors the face they really long to see. The environmentalist sees it as the home of a tribe whose traditional patterns of using resources are intrinsically sustainable. For burnt-out yuppies and urbanites, Sagada’s rural charms are a refreshing breather from the triviality and blandness of Manila’s mass-produced offerings. Young revolutionaries and activists fancy Sagada’s native culture as a utopia unspoiled by commercialism.
Sagada is all of these, but also more than the sum of its parts. Its dazzling beauty, light, and clean air continue to attract artists and writers. But this compelling magnetism has also attracted its fair share of the scum of the earth.
In this issue, the i Report features the unusual journeys people have taken, journeys through time as well as space. Howie Severino is amazed that everywhere he goes, Filipinos love the camera and the camera loves them. Filmmaker Nick Deocampo describes
his search for lost Filipino films. A Canadian traveler takes snapshots of basketball courts, featuring places and people that aren’t necessarily pretty, but which provide insights into how Filipinos play. The essay on Sagada’s lost boys is not so much travelogue as chronicle of a place and of a time. So is “A Sta. Ana Story,” which is about an old family living in an old house in one of Manila’s oldest districts.
We feature these journeys in the hope that our readers will be inspired to see the world in a new light and perhaps embark on a quest of their own, thinking not so much of where they are going but of what they will leave behind in the places they visit.
- Unusual Journeys
Most travel pieces by Filipinos involve shopping, but there is more to traveling than searching through the bargain bin. Unusual journeys inspire the traveler to see the world in a new light.
- CAMERAS AND PINOYS
Romancing the Camera
by Howie G. Severino
Filipinos love the camera and the camera loves us.
- A Basketball Diary
by Steven Pollit
A Canadian traveler discovers the Pinoy passion for basketball in Visayan villages way off the tourist track.
The Lost Boys of Sagada
by Danilova Molintas
The young men who grew up in the midst of Sagada’s tourist rush have fallen to the temptations of easy money, easy women, and what seemed for many years an easy life.
A Sta. Ana Story
by Grace Loreno
The time-warped district of Sta. Ana in the old Manila is changing fast, the remnants of its storied past now being overrun by fast-food joints and urban blight.
- LOST FILMS
On the Trail of Lost Films
by Nick Deocampo
The pieces of our celluloid heritage are scattered throughout the world.
The Quest for Katsudon in the Kingdom of Kawai
by Dean Francis Alfar
Being functionally illiterate in Japanese makes the search for the perfect katsudon in Tokyo truly challenging.
i Report‘s latest issue also contains our usual take on current events:
- PHILIPPINE DEMOCRACY
People Power and the Perils of Democracy Lite
by Herbert Docena
Beneath the coup plots, shadow plays, and shifting alliances is the old protracted struggle for power in the Philippines.
- Preparing for Disaster
by Vinia Datinguinoo
For a disaster-prone country, the Philippines is notoriously unprepared to deal with calamity.
- Wowowee and the Women of 200 P. dela Cruz St.
by Sheila S. Coronel
TV networks benefit from the poverty and despair of their audience. But until the “Wowowee” tragedy, TV executives were oblivious to the perils of peddling dreams.
Through the Tube, Darkly
by Sheila S. Coronel
Primetime newscasts are fixated on crime stories, but then that is what their audiences want.
- MARTIAL LAW
The Way We Were
On Sept. 22, 1972, the military closed down newspapers and broadcast stations and hauled to jail journalists and publishers.
The latest i Report issue is available at leading bookstores nationwide. To get a subscription, click here.