This post is more of a reflection from childhood. As a child who studied in a public school with free books from the government having contents printed in black and white, I used to be discontented to see that the beauty of the places on my textbook was a face of injustice - no colors.
[VIGAN] My cousins, I used to be like them, a child: I was born in Vigan
[VIGAN] My neighbor gave this book to me. It ignited my fire to wander (1998).
Sadly, my childhood has witnessed that the economy is not really in good shape. Because if it was well, my parents should have bought me an Encyclopedia Britannica I have always requested them to buy. My thirst for knowledge was severe. But I breathed the air of reality instead. If the Philippines is a rich country, my parents should have landed to lucrative jobs and I should have requested them to bring me to those rice terraces.
ABRAFAST FACTS: Abra is a landlocked province in the Cordilleras composed of more than a dozen tribes and dialects.
Photo: Binongan Tribe of Daguioman. Although it was not exactly the rice terraces mentioned on that textbook, I realized that the magic of my early love life is coming back. All I know then was, rice terraces are only found in IFUGAO - that is because my HEKASI books are not telling there are many rice terraces in the CORDILLERAS
CORDILLERASFAST FACTS: A mountainous region in the Philippines' Luzon island composed of 6 provinces with distinct people and dialects namely Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province.
Photo: Mountain Ranges in Banaue, Ifugao.
[VIGAN] My manyayagit neighbor picked this book from a trash but I still read it.
Aside from that, I sleep with an Atlas I borrowed from the school library (although that shouldn't be taken home). I put the book below my pillow before I sleep. When I was in Grade 3, the first world map I ever had was sold in our school for 100 pesos. That map was actually attached in a notebook. That time, I (almost) memorized all the countries in the Asia with their capitals and I had basic geography knowledge for the Western hemisphere based on those books and map I have studied.
[VIGAN] Atlas I borrowed from school, uh, I forgot to return
I also learned that Cebu has 6 cities (that time) and Negros island has more cities than any other island in the Philippines (that was 1998) and the only cities I saw in Northern Luzon were Laoag, Baguio and Dagupan. But when my cousin saw that map, she cut it into pieces. I cried so hard. My cousin didn't know the value of that map to me. She used it for play. I considered it as my best friend. That was an extremely hurtful day losing a best friend. I knew I was just a child. I don't have my own income. So losing such map is grievous. I don't know how can I provide another one. And to think, I study that map everyday for several months.
[TUBO] Kawayan Rice Terraces, the first I have ever seen
As a grown-up kid, that reminded me of my childhood dreams. From that day, I knew I am going back to my first love and I don't want to let that magic go away again. The suppressed desire is resurrected from the permafrost. I will travel. I will aim high. I will hit the mark. I will inspire my future children. I will let them know that passion should not be sacrificed. /end