Jumping Ship

As I countdown the days before my adventure of a lifetime (well, thus far, in my 30 years of existence, at least) comes to an end date calendarily (because I will forever cherish this chapter of my life for years beyond its terminal date of late March, 2015, so in that trippy “Cloud Atlas” sense, […]

Let’s Not Forget

With catchy slogans like #itsmorefuninthephilippines and the seemingly automatic default coping skill of the mass populace to rationalize, give it up to God (this one, in particular, being my most used strategy as of late), and/or find the silver lining in anything and everything, it can be easy to fall into the idea that life […]


Today, I realized I have 6 months left teaching and living in the Philippines. And, my heart feels torn. Sad because after a year and a half, I FINALLY “get” life here.  I’ve adjusted. Not fully, but, quite frankly, I don’t want to fully adjust.  I feel like with full adjustment, I’ll lose my sense […]

Rice Soldiers

10:30am-11:00am Saturday morning, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, Philippines Anonas Extension across from Savemore. After grocery shopping this morning, I go to a local carinderia to eat lugaw (hot chicken rice porridge).  Because that’s the thing to do after you buy groceries…buy food to eat instantaneously.   Anyways, as I’m ordering, a feel a slight tug […]


If you don’t know your context, SITCHOASSDOWN. First of all, I will start with the understanding that though I have lived and worked amongst the masa in Metro Manila for the past year and some change, I am still and will always be disconnected due in part to my natural aloof personality and my Filipina-Canadian-Americanness. […]

Destiny’s Children

Today, after school, I chose to work in the library. As fate would have it, three of the retiring teachers at the school were also in the library enjoying the air-conditioning and electric fannage, no doubt. Seeing that we’re sitting within a foot of each other and I want to reach out more to the […]

Dear Ellie Goulding

Dear Ellie Goulding, Hello, Ms. Goulding!  Greetings from Metro Manila!  My name is Leah Marie T. Villanueva and let me just say how much your music and artistry has helped me through some uncomfortable moments in the past few months.  “Uncomfortable” meaning just down right soul-jerking moments where I could proverbially smack a bee and […]