Kapre: A Love Story

kapre and girlThis is the tale of Kapre, who lived in ancient trees tangled in shadow. Massive, stubbed fingers the color of faded coffee, scrabbling at tree trunk and bark for sustenance. Irises the color of twin moons, mouth the redness of withered santan. He shinnied up mountains in the heat of day, made nests of dried bones and rain at night. He could see himself in the twisted gnarl of branches, found comfort in the rigidness of bamboo. Nestled in the thickness of wood, Kapre could pretend friendship with plants and soil. Birds found homes within the snarls of his beard. Bees sought honey in the yellows of his eyes. Continue reading

The Departure

That morning, when they awoke, Julietta had a bad feeling. Nothing she could put a figure on, just a feeling. The sky, for one thing, was different: a strange pewter color. And normally, at that hour of the morning, just a little after sunrise, she could still hear the birds. But today there was nothing.

Her husband rolled over on the bed beside her and groaned. “Is Alex up yet?” he asked.

“I don’t think so,” Julietta answered.

“Better get him up, he’s got a long way to drive down the coast.” Continue reading

What You See

He was finally bored that morning in September, and what he did he would later blame on the confluence of things. Mercury in retrograde, for one, although he did not exactly believe in horoscopes, unless it meant the stars aligning for good fortune, preferably in shoes or jewelry. Then there was, for another, the restless claustrophobia of the quarantined.

This was exactly fourteen days to the date of Paulie’s arrival in Iowa City—all of two weeks since he had come bearing three pieces of luggage that screamed hot pink, flipped his long black hair with his perfectly manicured fingernails as he surveyed his own anticipation for this welcome change of place, then proclaimed the entire idea of autumn in the university town as nothing short of “fabulous.” Fabulous. That was his word for all good things. He was properly dressed for the utterance, with none of that generic travel garb he abhorred in people with lesser sartorial imagination: his five-foot-six frame on the right side of lean was clad in a Donna Karan ensemble in chocolate brown, punctuated with Jimmy Choo snakeskin sandals chosen for their casual elegance as well as for the demands of heightened airport security. The trip all the way from the Philippines—except for the hellishness of its seeming perpetuity—was almost a breeze, except for one tiny bump: those eyebrows he raised at immigration, in Detroit, which was nevertheless something he completely expected, when he was asked upon presenting his travel documents: “You are Paul Andrew Segunda?”

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PGS goes online

Welcome to PGS Online!

It’s taken a while coming, but given the rising costs of producing and distributing in print, PGS, which began its existence in digest form on paper, has now made its move to the Internet.

I was a printer by trade not too long ago, specializing in offset printing. I am familiar and comfortable with the nuances and intricacies of producing a physical digest or book, one made of paper. There are many, time-consuming steps involved in doing so, from pre-press, to actual press work, to post-press finishing. Each of these steps has many sub-steps within them that take some effort to complete. Though some new and marvelous machines do allow for books to be created with the push of a button now, it is not so for offset printing, not the way I learned the trade. It is a source of frustration for me that many people not in the know think that producing physical books is as simple and easy as clicking the “print” button with a mouse and expecting the printer to spit out the document.

And so, I received my comeuppance.

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