With Bong, our godfather of cool, at Culture Crawl on East Vancouver. Photo by Robert Quebral.

When I was a child, my mother had a photo album that had a cover of a high road winding along a mountain pass, surrounded by the orange and yellow foliage of the fall season. To me, that cover was even more memorable than the photos inside the album.

I suppose that image was buried deep down inside me. I didn’t know I was looking for that image until I found it.

In British Columbia, Canada.

At the tailend of the fall season.

In one degree weather.

Live, not leave: the view from Rosy and Jolly’s house in BC

This has been my vista for the last 5 days now. Gulls flying overhead in the afternoons. Grouse Mountain looming large, illuminated in the evenings by dots of light from the ski resort on its peak. From afar, a highway that looks like a scene from Inception, traffic moving on a steep incline. Then, on the east side, a forested area shaded in fog, lifting in the afternoon, returning in the morning.

There is a book about this place, written by Douglas Coupland. One of these days, I will go to the public library  and read about it. In the book, every  great city in the world is “mirrored” here.  Bavaria and Liverpool. Auckland and Vermont, so it says. I have yet to see Manila though. Even though there are Filipinos everywhere, I don’t see a strong aesthetic being formed yet, but it is definitely emerging. Bong took us to a restaurant on Commercial Drive called Kulinarya, owned by his friend Rosette. There were photos of kids playing in the rain, surrounded by the grit of our beloved homeland. Crowds of smiles. I miss those smiles.

Over here, it’s nature that smiles at you. Every day.

Grateful for all those who made this journey happen: Rosy, Jolly, Rez, Kaye, Rita, Ramie, Beth and Stella for the immediate documentary support.

Too many other names due for mentioning, but I hope everyone understands that I’m still overwhelmed and in the middle of restructuring everything.

I will continue to document my journey to this beautiful country as much as I can on IG. Little bits and pieces of daily life here that make me stop and think about our existence. Believe me, it’s been very difficult to curate due to the sensory overload, but I try my best.

I’m not very good with infinite scroll, hence the limited number of IG contacts I’ve added. I’m slow, so bear with me friends. Tutal “bear” months na naman eh. Haha corny forever ano. Some things don’t change.

Thank you in advance for your time and love.