Thursday, December 05, 2013

my hometown

I've been thinking of writing some posts on things like the Philippine countryside, uniquely Philippine customs and traditions, Philippine way of life, or just day to day observations. Like the countryside folks in Quezon province and the northern towns of Ilocos Norte. I am raring to post about my hometown, the towns of Pagudpud, Burgos, Adams, Banna, even the newly opened mountain pass from Solsona to Apayao. I want to post how the local folks get on daily. At the local market, the corner store, the local clinic or hospital even police outposts. And of course things that the family will do together.
The road to my hometown. I get a joyful feeling whenever I think of this road and of the green nature that surrounds the town.

I love the morning breeze and the fog that envelopes the town and its barrios. Bucolic. Sounds old and a bit corny but for me — that (!) is the right term. (How long it will last, that, I am not sure).
Gasgas river

A cousin gave me copies of some photos that I asked from her. I was awed when I saw in some of the pictures that fog still envelopes the town in the early morning. The air at such hour is so cold, very fresh, your exposed extremities get numb and you may even get the chills. It is at this hour that a short dip in one of its rivers or streams is best. The water may be cold but it totally refreshes you and gives just the right shot of adrenaline to power you up for the day! The water that nourishes the town flows from mountain streams. In some places you can still dig holes beside riverbanks, let the water settle and get clearer, then you may drink the water from your small well right there. The water tastes sweet and refreshing, yes, it is still clean.

The people in my town are very hardy, more so the barrio folks. They farm well and they know how to make use of their environment efficiently. They gather freshwater shells from the rivers and stream. They cook these into unusual but yummy dishes when fish is hard to catch and the harvest is low. They may use kaingin in their farms but they plant trees not only for subsistence but also for shelter. I believe that an increasing number in migration and global influence are somehow causing a difference in my townmate’s ideals. A lot of them are in a hurry to catch up with the rest of the world. Some are not aware of the grave consequences that their efforts to improve their lives has produced.
I was sad when I last visited my town. The town may have progressed into one of the most progressive towns in the whole province of Ilocos Norte, but sadly the landscape has changed.

I get emotional whenever I am in the open field. I love open spaces. I love breathing in the fresh air, more so of my town. I love to look at the green fields, the meadows, paths criss-crossing streams into the woods, wide rivers whose waters turn from crystal clear to green and to deep blue. Brooks sing in my hometown, the sound of the water sound like melodies to my ears. I get so happy just by gazing at streams slicing farmlands, even in irrigation ditches and canals (built by the local government and a Japanese construction company). If you are an outdoorsy person you will understand what I am trying to say here.
Gasgas river. Hope it looks better now though.

I love how nature is in my town, I just hope that the quarrying, illegal logging, and other practices that are accelerating its environmental destruction will abate. I hope that the local officials or NGOs will see to it that the town’s natural environment be saved. I am hoping too that reforestation and saving the water sources, as well as saving the river shorelines from too much dredging and quarrying be given immediate consideration, before it’s too late...
I want to do a lot... and yet
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