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 loneliness - no colors.
[VIGAN] Children from my hometown
[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. My parents, if they were rich, should have brought me to those rice terraces upon request.
ABRAFAST FACTS: Abra is a landlocked province in the Cordilleras composed of more than a dozen tribes and dialects.
Photo: Banao 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.
[MANABO] Tribal Children of the Rice Terraces. I traveled here to bring hope.
I am now a nurse. From the fruits of my hard work, I started to augment my travel fund. From there, my life has changed. From a simple dream to see the rice terraces, it evolved. It changed me.
I had the chance to travel to a remote place. The first set of rice terraces I saw was a surprise. I wasn't aware that such wonder is existing in that remote town called Tubo.
[TUBO] Tubo 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.
That first time I saw those rice terraces almost placed tears to my cheeks. It reminded me of my "less" childhood life. I really thank God I experienced having less because I probably won't know how to recognize having "more" if have not experienced having less. Yes, I have more now. More experiences. More friends. More beautiful memories. More opportunities to travel and help children to be healthy and happy.
[BANAUE] I was a child who dreamed to see rice terraces; this child is dreaming with it.
[DAGUIOMAN] Young generation of the Banao Tribe: a tribe owning rice terraces
[MALIBCONG] Little angles of the Banao Tribe of Gacab Village
[MALIBCONG] A kid of the Banao Tribe of Dulao Village
[LICUAN-BAAY] Giving slippers-of-hope to the mountain kids of Bulbulala Village
[TUBO] Maeng Tribe Children of Tubo, Abra: a gift-giving mission
[BANAUE] From a black & white textbook image to a colorful reality
[TUBO] Maeng Kids of Tubo: Children of the Rice Terraces
It is not about material wealth. I consider fulfilling a childhood dream priceless. All these things happened because of turning a childhood dream into reality, through hard work - that is to travel and see the rice terraces, it went beyond...
From a childhood dream to see rice terraces, it turned out to be a mission. It's about the children living therein. Seeing the children of the mountain tribes living near the rice terraces has become a passion. When I see them happy, that's something words can not explain. And whenever I see them reach their dreams, hopefully in the future, that would be priceless! It's more than the worth of gold. It fulfills me. I found the place where my heart belongs...
...and it is life-changing to find the purpose of your existence: travel, help and also change other people's lives, for the better! /end