David Haldane

The Battle of Surigao Strait

By David Haldane | November 8, 2018 | 8

I haven’t always been a sucker for national anthems. Time was, in fact, when I was a long-haired radical who thought that feelings surrounding nations and their flags were sentimental, childish and naïve. Boy, have those times changed. Yesterday I was overcome by emotion at the renditions of, not one, but four national anthems all in a row; those of Japan, the United States, Australia, and the Philippines. The occasion was the 74th annual commemoration…

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A Death In The Family

By David Haldane | November 1, 2018 | 9

The truth is that I didn’t remember him until I saw him dead. His name was Junelito S. Villondo, but friends called him Juni for short. Nearly every day for a year, Juni came to our house in Punta Bilaras one of the dozens of workers charged with making it home. His particular specialty; stainless welding and metalwork. Last week, our engineer mentioned in passing that Juni had called in sick. Yesterday we went to…

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Watching The Paint Dry

By David Haldane | October 25, 2018 | 8

It’s not as if we don’t have other things to do. There’s cooking, washing the clothes, taking Isaac to school, going shopping, visiting friends. But lately, when not occupied with some other regular or necessary task, we’ve taken to spending our time in a new and unfamiliar way; I call it watching the paint dry. If you’re wondering what paint looks like drying, well, you’re right to wonder; it doesn’t look like anything. And that’s…

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By David Haldane | October 18, 2018 | 15

I don’t know what it is about me and salads. Two weeks ago, I had one named after me, David Salad. And this week a different one put me in the hospital. Perhaps sharing your name with a salad is kind of like marriage; being unfaithful can cause a calamity. My own near-fatal infidelity began as many do; with what seemed like an innocent flirtation. Ivy and I had spent the morning at the local…

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By David Haldane | October 11, 2018 | 10

It was the kind of thud that breaks your heart. The kind that gives you a sinking feeling, both literally and figuratively. The kind that says, in menacing terms; ok, bud, you’re stuck! Now let’s see if you can get yourself free… My gut told me loudly that we couldn’t. We had set out earlier that day in our 2011 Toyota Fortuner to see a surveyor in a distant barangay that we hardly knew. To…

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David Salad

By David Haldane | October 4, 2018 | 12

As some are won’t do, I have at times entertained fantasies of fame. What I never imagined, though, was achieving it as a salad. And yet, at a certain restaurant in Surigao City there it is in big flashy letters on the menu right up front; “SPECIAL OF THE MONTH; DAVID SALAD, 200 pesos.” Oh fame, delicious fame. It all started as something of a joke. One day I walked into a place called Andreani’s…

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