I remember looking up from where I was sitting on the roof of the jeepney and my vision was painted with luscious shades of green from the mountains of Kalinga. I would peek over the edge and I would see the River Daya with its water beating against rocks and even from high up on the road in the mountains, I could still hear its rapids.
Right there and then, while riding through the partially paved road on our way to Bontoc from Kalinga, in the 4 years since I’d been back in the Philippines, it was the first time for me to really appreciate the beauty of this place. For once in my life, I was happy and proud to be back here and even as I sat in the village and watched Grace and Apo Whang Od hand-tap tattoos onto local tourists, I felt the yearn to embed their tradition into my skin.
My good friend and talented Folk singer shared with me a project she had done a year ago with advocates of http://connectionartproject.com and in the video they made basically expressed how I felt over the weekend with the people of Buscalan.
Her entry can be found here and the video is shown below:
Since I’ve been back in Manila, I’ve been more patient and more tolerant with this place; something you’d never thought I’d be. When given the chance, I would take long walks rather than hailing cabs and sometimes, I’d find myself taking my time rather than rushing from point A to B (except for that time I took my time and ended up being tardy to work). I keep thinking of things to do to help make this a better place to live in and I’ve been keeping a mental list of the places I want to see and what I can do for them.
No, I haven’t turned into a tree-hugger but the way I see this place has definitely changed. I still long to be back in Auckland though but the feeling isn’t as strong as it used to be and right now, I am happy with where I am now and I am proud to come from this beautiful place.