We met this family in the mountainous area of Tamayong. We were passing by their home when a very hard rain caught us. The kind mother invited us to take a shelter inside their house. We took a nap for a little while but the rain lasted for several hours, giving us more time to bond with this family, especially the kids. I wanted to capture the innocence in the faces of these kids but Kevin just appeared quickly on the side. He’s not supposed to be in the picture but it made the shot more memorable.
We became friends with this family and gave them a visit every time we climb that mountain. After a while, they abandoned their home. Some sort of tribal war happened on their land. A year after that incident, we came back to that mountain and we met the kids on our way down. We visit them on their new home and it’s good to see them again, new place was really far though. 😉
After 2 days of spending time at Surigao Del Sur State University, Cantilan Campus our next destination is a six hours travel going to visit the town of Tagbina. We’re going to visit Royaks, my hubby’s friend who lived there. While waiting for our bus along the road, this kind of Habal-habal ride caught my attention because it’s not the usual Habal-habal ride I’ve seen. Boy it has a roof! Then I assessed that maybe the reason it’s modified like this because the town’s area is very open and very hot.
Habal-habal is a passenger motorcycle modified to carry more people. A more complex one can be loaded with 5 or more passengers including the humongous pack of supplies and other baggage. So, imagine a flowering motorcycle. That’s how it will look like. 😀 In far away provinces, rides like these are more suitable and convenient than passenger Jeep and tricycles for they will not going to make it through, passing a very steep, narrow, rocky and muddy terrain.
I have lots of memories riding this one. But my most unforgettable habal-habal experience was my first fall from it. Yes, I was thrown out from the motorcycle as we were approaching on a very steep and bumpy road. I was flying! 😀
At last, our bus came. We said our goodbyes to the Catilangnon and hopped on inside the bus. After a while, the bus stopped. We were wondering why it has stopped when there’s no incoming passenger. As we looked around, we found out that the driver bought something from the stall on the roadside. I peeked on the window and saw the man was selling bibingka freshly baked in a fire furnace.
Bibingka is a native Filipino rice cake traditionally made from galapong (glutinous or sticky rice). A piece of banana leaf is used to line the bottom of the cake, and baked with charcoals on top and underneath the cake. There are many varieties of special bibingka today. But I’d still prefer the native one.
My pards and I quickly jumped out of the bus too! I love native delicacies! 😛 Especially the ones made from the provinces because they tasted just the way it supposed to be. When we reached the stall the man said that it’s all sold out. Hearing that I felt disappointed because the bus will not going to wait for us. The man looked at me, and then tried to check the bibingka again.
We’re glad that it’s done already. Hmmm, it smells good. We ran back to our bus, holding the super hot, super full and fluffy rice cakes. 😀 It’s so hot that we couldn’t eat it right away. A moment later, a nearly broken bridge is in front of us. The center foundation is bending down and will soon to collapse. The driver instructed us to get off the bus for our safety. We walked along the bridge then the bus. I didn’t able to take a shot of the scene because I’m still holding bibingka in my hand and the camera was in my pack.
As we are traveling forward, I took some of these shots as I was looking from the window of the bus….
Jeepney is the most widely used means of transportation in the country. The design was modified depending on the route it will travel. Vehicles like these in the remote and mountainous areas were developed to last against rough roads. It has bigger size, bigger tires and more seating for endurance and convenience. Jeepney in the cities was smaller, colorful and trendy. “History tells that the first jeepney was made from the US military jeep. After the World War II, hundreds of leftover jeeps were left and sold by the Americans to the Filipinos. These were then modified to have more passenger seats, installed roofs for shade and beautify it with colors and stuffs.” Until now it keeps on evolving.
I was happy sharing and talking about my trip a while ago, but now it feels heavy in my heart. I felt sad for my country and the people. Realizing that until now, my country is still a poor country. As a regular citizen, I think I knew why my country is moving on so slow. I hope it crossed the minds of the politicians too and take a look at it. The people have to be creative and resourceful to endure and survive, making life easy no matter how hard it is, fighting and striving to live. What touches and amazes me the most is that despite all of these, the people still do manage to “live happily”. I’ve been to different places in Mindanao region and the one common character of all the people I’ve me ton the way is that they were all “happy folks”. So much for my sentimientos. I’m sorry to bore you into this. I didn’t mean to. Blame it to the modified vehicles. hehe 😛
We stopped for a while to give way for this giant machine loading this earth to the truck which is blocking the road.
Passing on the seaside. Made me gazed in appreciation every time I passed by the seaside or any bodies of water.
Happy workers, laughing around while doing their job. A lot of ongoing road construction along the way. Sign of progress. 😀
Rice fields were everywhere, here and there.
Man relaxing on a pile of coconut husks. He’s probably tired .
Surely does look like a gold-plated mountain side or a flaming mountain. Actually most of the mountain side here were reddish-brown in color but this one is the resulting color when it hit the ray of the sun.This time it’s sunset.
We stepped down the bus at the terminal of Barobo, a nearby town of Tagbina. From there, Royaks came to get us and off we go to his house at Tagbina. We arrived there late at night and had a good night sleep.
On my next post, we will visit another town again, to see how enchanting is “the enchanted river” ?.. I want to know if the pictures I’ve seen were really true. So stick with me. 😉 😉 😉