Far From the Madding Crowd
It's been an interesting journey today.The quest for Shangrila has ended metaphorically.Between the daunting task of renovating my mother's apartments, gutted out and looked like both Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic bombs dropped,( I am serious) having to deal with carpenters,electricians , household help,endless trips to Wilcon Building Supplies and home furnishings place (our local Home Depot and Lowe's) ,shopping for appliances,furniture and decor for the apartments ,I suddenly felt like I was thrust to an unknown and uncharted territory. Seriously, who would ever thought I 'd be doing this in my lifetime?On top of that , getting sick of food poisoning both me and my 92 year old mother and rushed to the hospital, I needed to get away and disappear.A person can only take so much .I had to get out of dodge! Rounded up my cousin Rose ,my regular driver when I am home Manong Addu who had been a part of the family for gazillion years ,LOL! and my niece Ruby who doubles as my super woman assistant ( thank God for her , she is an administrative and liaison whiz,couldn't have done it without her) took off to the north and landed in a Capuchin Monastery and the Town of Dumalneg to get a breath of fresh air and regain my sanity.Stopped to lunch at a seacoast restaurant.The Capuchin Monastery is something else. Up in the mountain highlands overlooking the China Sea.Hiked to the meditation huts of the brothers .It was peace and tranquility in its purest form. I didn't want to leave. I could have been stuck there forever.Visited Dumalneg - town so remote in the highlands where time seemed to have stopped. Indigenous people live there .It was cold and windy there because of the high altitude. I was wearing a winter jacket.Wearing a winter jacket in the Philippines? You got to be kidding!!Makes me look like a wimp but sure, I needed it. Dumalneg is a town out of this world with a population of 3000 of purely indigenous people.My first time to see live (not mummified,LOL) indigenous people.The IP's i.e. indigenous people as they are fondly called are extremely resourceful and they depend mainly on the bounty of the mountain for their livelihood and existence as they have done thousands of years ago.They have developed a wine from the mountain blueberries and made a rare variety of orange colored ginger combined with turmeric to make a sweet wine concoction.I think there is a lot to learn from older civilizations .This is probably one of them .Very interesting fact is that I met an all American Baptist missionary pastor from Hartford Connecticut -the insurance capital of world who left his job in Wall Street and chose to live and work with the indigenous people of Dumalneg. He speaks totally fluent Ilocano and Tagalog that put me to shame speaking my own dialect.What a contrast of lifestyle that is .Well now , I have just enhanced my resume and and elevated myself to my only claim to fame : meeting real indigenous people with an All american Boy living with them.That in itself can land me on the cover of National Geographic.I guess I can justify that through my discovery of an anthropological gem - the indigenous people who were discovered by me by default and not through a fact finding mission Hahaha! LORD HAVE MERCY! DREAM ON MA CHERIE.