Bouncing around the Middle East, Part 1

I met Michele in Korea when she was teaching English in Cheju Province and I was in Seoul. Recently I asked her for an interview about the time she taught in the Middle East, in Kuwait, Oman and the West Bank. This interview took place over Skype from me in the Philippines to Michele in Philadelpha. Thanks to Michele for all photos.

Michele’s story

My introduction to the Middle East was fraught with a lot of tension and uncertainty. In January of 2000 I accepted an offer to go to Kuwait City to teach at AMIDEAST, a nonprofit American … Read More

The Only Place for Jazz in the Philippines

When my friend Ivon came to the Philippines for a visit, he searched online for jazz, found only one place, Tago Jazz Café in Cubao, and checked it out. “The players are really good,” he said, “and so young!” We dropped a few times, loved the music–which gets going sometime after ten in the evening–and were impressed with the total commitment to jazz we found there. Then we interviewed the owner, Nelson Gonzales.

Nelson’s story

In Tagalog, tago means “hidden.” In 2010 when Tago Jazz Café first got started, there were five partners chipping in—three friends, my brother and me. … Read More