The golden ticket

July 1987. I thought that I planned well considering that I arrived two hours before the gates opened at nine. Yet, there were already two dozen people ahead of me. It was a typical Tuesday morning at the embassy of the United States of America in Manila. We were all applying for a visa to …

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Courtside with my father

September 1997. American Pete Sampras had easily beaten Alex Rădulescu of Romania in three sets at the US Open Tennis Championships. From the stands, my father leaned back contentedly on his seat. He recounted some of Sampras’ best points. We might not have been courtside, but he must have felt like we were. I flew …

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On leaving the islands

June 1987. Sitting on a bamboo bench on the beach in Bauang, I watched the sun begin its slow descent into the South China Sea. A couple of young kids worked on their stumpy sand castle near the surf. Otherwise, the beach was practically deserted now that the school year had begun. I didn’t plan …

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