My visit to my hometown in Bicol Region this summer gives a glimpse to the old friends and playmates during my childhood years.Some of them have a family of their own,others made achievements here and abroad.We reminisced the past,talked of the present and dreamed of the future along with a bunch of alcohol to be able to stay awake until the wee hours of the morning.
I may sound like I have not returned for years huh! but two years had passed since my last visit is quite a long time gone for me. Nothing is new nothing has change except the people that live here.Many have been migrated and worked to other countries. New life had emerge that adds to the growing population of the city. The thoroughfares made a lot of improvement, city scapes start to grow and extends to the nearby barangays and tourist spots have something to tell.
I have not waited so long. So, the following day, with my younger brother, we drove to my father's motorbike and visited some barangay and nearby towns to stroll. He toured me to some of the places where they usually visited. We went to Baao, the hometown of my mother and visited my relatives. As we go downtown, the old church of St. Bartolome has a new finished and got a few shots for a souvenir.
We decided to go on the diversion road to Nabua afterwards. From there, I see the long stretch of bounty green rice fields with farmers as they lined side by side flowing their precious land. It was like a relief to my eyes with these new scenes that i see more than the usual traffic of EDSA i witness everyday. The vast land that surrounds the hills of the town of Nabua and Baao are their town's precious jewel. Unlike the vast land of Makati and Quezon City that are just converted into malls and golf courses are only productive to a few. Needless to say that these young men and women who are hanging at the middle of the scourging heat of the sun are the food source of this town.
Then, we reach the old church of Nabua. It is considered as one of the oldest churches in Bicol because of its old baroque structure that remains until this very day. Stories from old folks say that this is one of the Japanese headquarters when they occupied this town. Many Filipino guerillas happened to be hanged and bayoneted in this area.
As we proceed going to Iriga City, the long road of National highway gives a dramatic backdrop of Mt. Sumagang (Mt. Iriga). You can easily see the volcanic landscape of it from afar plus its clear blue sky which is very visible during summer.
We immediately detour for a highway exit when a one bystander told us that there is a "parak" or police ahead of us. The Iriga Police are on patrol at that very hour and they were apprehended for their colorum vehicles including those who have no license. I have lost mine for over 5 years already and never secured one since I am not driving in Manila.
It was a blessing in disguise because if not with this police on patrol I would not have the opportunity to take a look of the majestic view of Mt. Iriga. It is considered as one of the highlights when you visit this city. The clear blue sky with great contrast of green lush fields is worth for a postcards.
Of course, my lens never missed that. I even take shots while aboard the motorbike. We drove to a barangay shortcuts to miss the city proper. On this streets, you can see the usual barangay setting, kids playing, oldfolks on their "nganga" (betelnut), pandesal vendor on his bike and young men playing volleyball on rough roads.
We reached Barangay San Jose and at the middle of the fields we saw a newly reclaimed driveway. We try to find out where it is going until we saw a group of teens on a tricycle going to that way and soon we follow. As we reach the entrance of the field and as swayed by the banana leaves a beautiful view of Mt. Iriga captured my inner soul. For more than two decades, i have never seen her beauty and prestige... really, its so majestic.
And there the much awaited end of the road...is a cold spring resort at the middle of the rice fields. According to the caretaker, it was built by one of the influential political families of the city. I must congratulate him for this wonderful project. It is still on its development and the entrance is still affordable to the public. I just hope that when I returned to this place and bring my family, I can still enjoy the precious water as much as others have enjoyed it.