I'm curious about people and places that make something out of nothing.
In the Nimmanhaemin neighborhood, posters promoting TEDx and Chiang Mai Design Week hang outside cafés serving single-origin coffee. Entrepreneurs and digital nomads hunch over laptops at co-working spaces all across town. World-class creators like Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul, best-selling author Naomi Duguid and art world darling Navin Rawanchaikul choose to live here. The relaxed, open vibe is as you’d expect in any place that’s put creativity on the agenda. But this is not Brooklyn or Berlin — this is the capital of Northern Thailand.
This essay was commissioned by the editors of Rogue Magazine (rogue.ph), a luxury and lifestyle magazine in the Philippines (now defunct). The brief asked me to focus on my relationship to my adoptive city, Singapore, as a Filipino expatriate. Following print publication, it’s gained a second lease on life on Medium.
Sugarlandia In A Bubble
In theory, it is possible to travel through the Philippines without encountering politics. In practice, not so easy.