Summer is ending and after months of scourging heat, I’m really looking forward to the rainy season. But before I say au revoir to the Sun King, just a quick reminisce of this summer.
Escaping the city’s heat, most of my free days were spent at our favourite hang-out place– Bahay ni Lola in Mabini, Batangas. It became my second home and workplace also. Days were spent writing technical papers and grant proposals, reading books, sleeping on lazy afternoons, accommodating guests, and/or swimming with Sheldon.
Work also gave opportunities to explore new places.
First, a visit to Barangay Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal. This community and the adjacent indigenous peoples (IP) communities will be submerged underwater if the controversial Laiban Dam pushes thru.
Assisting the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance, we also conducted an IP Summit for the Rehabilitation of the Kaliwa-Kanan and Agos River Watersheds which was held in Infanta, Quezon.
The summit gathered almost 100 Dumagat tribal leaders from Quezon, Rizal, Laguna and Bulacan.
Another work brought me to the mountainous region of the country- the Cordillera. We visited the small scale mining communities in Barangay Virac of Itogon, Benguet - the site of the first commercial mining firm in the country.
We interviewed small scale miners and documented their operations.
Aside from meeting new folks, also favourite part of these trips were enjoying native cuisines- tapang kalabaw with sinantol and lambanog (Quezon) and pinikpikan with etag (Benguet), yumyum.
Also highlights of this summer: spending lazy afternoons at UP Diliman and taking photographs of trees and shrubs in bloom;
birdwatching in La Mesa Ecopark, and a recreational climb with friends at Mt. Gulugod-baboy, the highest peak of Mabini.