I am hopeless at keeping MY stuff; great at hoarding other people’s writings. Today, doing Google research on some old articles, up pops a reminder.
Oh, yeah, I have a travel blog!
Actually, several blogs, created on wordpress.com one reckless day. A friend had mentioned my swerved and rambled across so many fields — it would be good to organise these into several blogs sside from indayvarona.com (this, the main scaRRedcat blog).
So since wordpress is a free site — unless, like me, and only for this blog, you pay for a domain and some premium theme) — I registered several blogs.
A note from that time:
“The problem with being a madcap writer is, that readers could get confused by the jumble of themes. Though I’m the one who gets confused the most. That’s certainly true now as I comb through old files of published articles and columns, and snippets that have never seen the light of day. “
Here are the blogs and some “about” notes:
Eros&Agape (nope, not THE erotica site🙂 comes with this note:
The title comes from a section in my first blog, also called scaRRedcat, now lost to the cosmic wastes. It’s self-explanatory.
Many pieces in this blog come from a time when Adrian Cristobal, publisher of The Manila Times, challenged me to “drop the manifestos” in favor of stories about life and lust.
(Truth: he and a couple of senior editors were fighting to spare me from the “massacre” that happened when Mark Jimenez took over the newspaper. I don’t think Jimenez every forgave them for hoodwinking him into believing “every newspaper needs a resident leftist” — but that’s another story.)
I took Adrian at his word and caused a minor scandal by having my main op-ed page column (“Left-Handed” changed to “Southpaw”) carry titles like “For Play,” “The Big O” and “Self-Service”. You get the drift. (Yes, another columnist, “Quirky”, Lakambini Sitoy, and I got away with it.)
I like politics too much or I’d probably be richer now, writing in this vein. The sensual side of this writer folded up, on the op-ed pages anyway, when Tito Guingona gave his “I Accuse” speech. (My friends will tell you I write sometimes scary erotica🙂 Let’s leave that for another day.
The section, “Why A Travel Blog?” says this:
I love travel. I collect travel magazines just to check what worlds are opening or closing. And I am dismayed by the amount of glossy paper and spectacular photography that are sacrificed on the altar of public relations.
A straight PR piece is fine. But when it masquerades as journalism, or when the demands – okay, persistent requests — of clients result in a puff piece taking one whole page of newsprint, I see wasted opportunity.
In my old magazine, we took pride in travel pieces that were not commissioned. We didn’t have a budget for that section but our staff had a talent for getting lost in alleys and strange byways as an offshoot of undertaking more “serious” coverage or attending conferences and seminars.
I won’t pretend to be an author of travel literature. Not in the way of Pico Iyer of Colin Thubron. I don’t have the time or wherewithal to invest that kind of time and energy and logistics. Maybe one day, when I grow up….
But I’ve got a stash of little pieces and several notebooks full of unprocessed notes. And so here I am, with a travel blog that will probably feature people as much as places.
There’ll be many holes in my articles. How to get there, how much to pay, who’s who and what to pack… for that, I recommend guidebooks. All I have are memories.
will the title of my first book, when I get around to completing the re-writing of stuff and the writing of new essays.
Joel Pablo Salud, the new “Chief” of the Philippines Graphic keeps on reminding me to hurry up. He’s come up with, what, three books while I take my sweet time. And Mae Paner has come out with her Kwentaxi debut after just a year churning out tales!
Joel picked “Grace Notes”, which is the title of one column I wrote for the Graphic.
A note about this blog:
A catch-all for everything outside of politics and war, art and travel reportage. It basically covers people, real and imagined, who never make it to the headlines. Which, I guess, means there will be plenty of politics, war, art and travel here.
I owe the title to my sister, Nenen, and her classical artist friends. Anima is the name they called their group whenever they sang in chi-chi restaurants. I liked it and asked permission to steal it.
My memory must be failing. I remembered wanting Anima to be about art. But the “about” section says:
ANIMA means “life force”.
This subsidiary blog of the scaRRedcat Group celebrates life and meditates on death and mayhem through the stories of people real and imagined. These writings do not qualify as “hard news” coverage, though some articles first appeared as columns in national broadsheets or news magazines.
ANIMA is the counterpart of the “Loons & Wounded Birds” section in a late, departed blog site. Real life could turn out more fantastical than fairy tales; imagined scenarios may read like a news feature.
We could call it “creative non-fiction”. But some days the creative may outweigh nonfiction. And some days non-fiction might read like some fantasy. I’ll try to make it easy by posting clear labels — though it will probably take away half of the fun. Some posts will probably be more images than words. It really depends of what moves me.
The stars of the stories come from up and down the economic, gender, religious and cultural byways. These vignettes mostly focus on characters as a way of parsing issues. The blog will probably feature as many artists as practitioners of the darker arts.
There’s one last blog, DIALOGUES.ph
There is nothing there yet though many articles written in the last five years would probably fit into this space, not to mention the various Facebook posts and convocations.
Check out the few articles, essays on these blogs and tell me how you like them, and share suggestions for improvement. Except for JUST DO IT. I promise to start inputting a story a day in these blogs.
A warning: because my writings do ramble and swerve and swoop and duck into all kinds of strange alleys and byways, some of these words will pop up in more than one blog🙂