Thanks to Michael Mira for his contribution to Cargo Literary’s Issue 11 cover.
“Norte” refers to the northern provinces of Luzon, in the Philippines. Driving northbound from Manila, awe-inspiring mountains and hills gradually replace the shimmering skyscrapers of the metropolis. Up there, the roads are smooth, the air is crisp, and the agrarian way of life downshifts your need to rush. The north is a place where city dwellers from the capital search for respite from the chaos of urban life. This is not to say that the northern provinces are underdeveloped. Baguio City and Vigan are as urban as they come, but somehow the beauty of old architectural landmarks and natural landscapes harmonize with ever-expanding developments rather than fight for supremacy with it. For me, going north means journeying to the edge of the Earth. By the time you reach Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines, you feel as if you’ve traveled back 1,000 years to a place where the greenery has never been touched by humans.
– MICHAEL MIRA