Thursday, March 25, 2010


 Dear insansapinas,

This is my unforgettable summer eons ago.
I could not take anymore. We were wading/walking in a shallow rivulet somewhere in a coastal area in Luzon.
My stomach was rumbling as if Manny Pacquiao was defending his championship against Clottey.
It must be the oyster. I finished a few blanched-with-hot-water-and-squeezed-with lemon-newly-gathered oysters from the farm. Oyster farm, that is according to the karinderia where we had our lunch on our way to the barrio where we would have our immersion in culture of indigenous people and at the same time reforest the denuded mountains in that province.
Kung baga forest make-over.

My classmates had already crossed the stream. I was still in the middle where water was at the waist level of a vertically challenged person like me.

They were shouting what I was doing daw? Can you guess? I said "Go ahead. I think there are some small crabs that tried to hitch in my pants. I LIED. You should have seen the dilation of my eyelids, the tremor in my lips and the raising of my brows by a fraction of an inch.

That experience taught me to bring imodium (diatabs for some)  all the time and never eat seafood when you're not sure where they came from.

We were eight in the group and there were four students who came from the elite school.
We were disappointed to know that we were not staying in the barrio; instead we were housed in a forester's house cum seed storage.
Well, it is a  two- storey structure with two big rooms at the second floor and a balcony where most of the cashew seeds for planting were stocked .
Downstairs, there was a kitchen, a dining room and a store room where farm implements were kept for ready use. The forester never stayed there. So there was no power, no water and no electric fan. Whoa.
We did the cooking outside using firewood. Muntik nang maubos yong isang puno sa forest para panggatong. Kaialangan talaga ang reforestration.
The project had funding and the youth leaders took advantage of our immersion ek-ek project before we  graduated. Two birds with one stone. The stone was as big as a basketball. toinkkk  Yon pala all expenses paid kami pati pagkain at pamasahe as long as we met the required hours. We were supposed to be staying in families in the lowlands.( That was how they called the barrio).  But we were quartered  in that God forsaken place because a member of the group accidentally heard that the male and female members of the other group were not there to plant seeds but to solve an unwanted pregnancy problem. O dava, intriga at kahindik-hindik.
On our arrival to the site, we were welcomed by a long yellow snaaaaake which we found wrapped around a huge  timber that served as a bridge. I almost summon my superhero power to grow a pair wings so I can go back to the civilization. Ngiiii.

The forester came to our rescue. He assured us that it was not the kind of snake that was poisonous. Mahilig lang pumulupot. Ngiii ulit.
The mayor sent us the groceries and  dry fish for our consumption until next marketing day.Every day, the forester would bring us fresh fish and vegetables. We ordered emergency kit too with aspirin, imodium, itch cream and bandages.Kulang na lang, ipadala namin yong pharmacist.

Early morning, with hats and  walking sticks made from tiny branches of a tree, we went to the place assigned to us to plant the seeds. The walking stick helped in making hawi of the talahib, make palo of snake and other forest animals that came to our way. It also served as cane to negotiate the high places where I was tempted to sing the The Sound of Music  upon seeing the beauty below. I forgot my phobia--fear of heights.
The straw hats did not only protect us fro the heat of the sun, We also used them in gathering wild fruits , like mango (wild fruits daw oh) black berries and guava. 

We added more imodium to our requests for medicines and emergency kits.

Read more here.


No comments: