Chang Casal

Essayist, Scriptwriter, Copywriter

Writer from Manila. Essays on pop culture and society, travel & lifestyle articles, and online video content. For collaborations, drop me a line at [email protected]


CNN Life

How did hacenderos live back in Negros' glory days?

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) - What do a Spanish Colonial bahay na bato, a massive Art Deco "boathouse," and an Italianate mansion have in common? Not much when taken at face value, yet combined they tell part of the story of Negros Occidental's rich, almost mythic past.

Why you should watch Netflix's 'Dogs' right now

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) - I've always looked at my dogs as these conductors of happiness, like time spent with them is an escape from the real world. When I used to live at home with my parents, I'd take my dogs into my room to decompress after a bad day.

The pupper is now in session: How animals help in therapy

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) - Two huge Labrador Retrievers rest on the floor, opening up for a belly rub from their handlers; their reward after a long day of work. The dogs, Robbin and Arya, and their humans, married couple Mikal and Vene, are finishing up their assessment.

Ancient Filipino writing systems that aren't Baybayin

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) - When a House committee approved the "National Writing System Act", which seeks to declare Baybayin as the country's national writing system and aims to put the script to use in street signs, public facilities, government halls, publications, and even food labels, many linguists, historians, and even average Filipinos got upset, to say the least.

5 ways to cheat Manila traffic

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) - The moment they arrived in the Philippines, Transport Network Companies (TNCs) like Grab and Uber were embraced by Manileños as the antithesis to their tiresome and vexing daily commutes.

Why do gender reveal parties exist?

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) - Our family stands in a circle around a table at my sister-in-law's home. There's a baby doll on the table propped up on all fours. Not knowing what to expect, we all whip out our phones to capture whatever is supposed to go down.

For those with mental illness, happiness is not a choice

As the stigma surrounding mental illness continues to persist, it remains difficult and frustrating for those who suffer to find the help and treatment that they need. But for others, taking medication is a step towards the right direction, a recognition of importance of treating mental illness as a significant health issue.

What does it mean to be 'gender non-conforming'?

Author's note: A few terms that need definition: "Sex" is biological, and is characterized by the body we are born in. "Gender" is social, and is characterized by cultural norms, or what we deem to be masculine or feminine traits. "Gender identity" is a person's sense of self as male, female, both, or neither.

Jake Zyrus: "They are upset that I am throwing away the gift that has taken me to Hollywood."

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) - "'What about that powerful Charice Pempengco voice?' I'm aware that people think about this even if they don't say it to my face," Jake Zyrus writes in his memoir, "I am Jake," where he recounts every detail of his transition, from the excruciating recovery from top surgery to the changes his hormone replacement therapy will make to the very thing that shot the artist formerly known as Charice Pempengco to superstardom.

Why 'Boys will be boys' and 'Kababaeng tao kasi...' have to stop

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) - In the latter half of 2017, a New York Times exposé ignited a movement that gave sexual assault survivors around the world the courage to speak up, not just about their experiences, but against the shame, the stigma, and the culture that keeps women silent.

OLX Blog

What I learned from cycling to work everyday

On one of the worst days of Metro Manila traffic, a friend of mine Tweeted something that really stuck with me. She said, "Don't forget: You aren't just stuck in traffic, you ARE traffic." For days, I couldn't rest easy knowing that every time I drove my car to work I was contributing to the traffic.

The ultimate guide to maximizing your weekends

It's 4:45 pm on a Friday and you're sweating with anticipation. You've (thankfully) finished up all your work for the week. You can almost hear every on the clock overhead. As the clock strikes 5:00 it's as if everyone at work has just risen from the dead.


OLX Philippines Culture Book

For OLX Philippines’ 10th anniversary, the company sought out writers to craft a coffee table book chronicling their 10-year journey to the top of the online buy-and-sell game. I had the opportunity to work with the team and co-write the book. Below are some of the pages I contributed.