Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My Little Baguio Trip

The sun was hiding behind the gray clouds when we arrive in an elementary school in Little Baguio, a small town in Malita Davao del Sur. The cool breeze touches my face as we walk towards the principal’s office. There, we geared up for a 2-hour hike to reach a day care center where the young B’laans was being taught how to read and write. We also had a quick breakfast with some of the teachers and the principal. I managed to treat myself with a glass of cola and a slice of Maja Blanca early that morning (Doc? Is my body too acidic?). And so, armed with a pair of boots (I took the blue one) and a camera, we went off to the green and wide rice fields of Little Baguio.

We were just 20 meters away from the school when I realized I did the right decision take the pair of boots the principal offered to me before we left the school. The mud on the path was getting thicker as we go along. I almost fell into it when I accidentally stepped into a knee-deep mud! Thanks to sir Raymond’s blue boots my pants were not soaked into the thick mud and I got away from being scolded by my grandmother for being careless about my clothes (She usually wash my clothes for me! Hihihihi! Thanks lola! I love you so much!).

I can hear the sound of an Agong (a musical instrument used by the natives) just before we reach the area where the small center was built. I was told that the Agong is being played to welcome the visitors and guests of the B’laan tribe.

“Fye Flafus!” (Good Morning!) The native B’laans courteously greeted our group as we arrive in the small space where the learning center stood, and surrounded by colorful little flowers planted by the natives themselves.

The muddy and exhausting 3 km. hike was all worth it. There they were, seated in their little wooden chairs… the young B’laans listening attentively to their teacher… eager to learn… willing to take the long and muddy journey from their home to the learning center everyday.

It was an unforgettable experience to meet them! I hope I could visit them again in future. And when that time comes, I hope that they’re in their togas. Ready to receive their diplomas…