Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Reminiscing Mindoro

It was this season five years ago when I went to Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro. I can’t believe that it has been that long. I miss that place. If not for my old blog, which I have thought of visiting recently, I wouldn’t remember what that place is like. Here’s what I wrote in my old blog five years ago:

“I’ll be leaving tomorrow to spend Holy Week in Mindoro, the land of the New People’s Army and my father’s hometown. I will be the one to accompany my father for other members of my family will still be busy with their work this season.
There’s nothing much to do there, especially during this season when having fun off limits, so I’ll be embracing boredom. I can, however, enjoy the sea (never mind if the beach is not white sand), which is just literally at the back of, a few steps away from, our ancestral house, where my father and I will be staying.
I really love it there because all the people are generous and hospitable, especially when it comes to food. So basically I’ll just fatten myself up and get tanned in Mindoro. And of course, I’ll observe the moment when Jesus died to save us from all our sins.”


A week later, I posted another blog entry, saying that I was wrong about “embracing boredom,” which I wrote in my prior entry. I was right though about fattening up because I gained five pounds while I was there (and I got a nice tan, too). I included in my entry these photos of the what I saw there:

Oriental Mindoro, View from the Mountain Top
(More photos after the jump.)

Old School Penitensya and Moriones on Good Friday

I caught two starfish while swimming in the sea. I was thinking of drying them up and bringing them to Manila, but aside from them being smelly, I remembered Spongebob and Patrick singing the "Goofy-goofball" song from their movie, so I let them go.

Buctot Beach
This magnificent beach (30 minutes away from our place) is like Puerto Galera and Boracay minus the crowd. I went with some relatives, and we had to go up the mountain and down again to go to reach this majestic place. It's yet to be fully developed; there is no electricity or tap water. We had to wait until we get home to cleanse, but it's all worth it.

Jopay, Age 6
I told my father that I want to see Mangyan in their native clothing for I have not seen one. All the Mangyan in town I saw were dressed like common people. My father had to ask this little Mangyan girl's mother to dress her up like this just for me to see.

A Mangyan
I also went up the mountains not to join any subversive groups but to see real Mangyan-looking Mangyan in their homes. Here is one. He's not camera-shy at all.

A Mangyan's Home

Sunset at the Pier

I wish I could go back there. I want to see how much the place has changed, if it did change. I also want to know if Buctot is still as pristine as it was five years ago. I still don’t hear much about it in the news or anywhere, so I hope it’s still Mindoro’s best kept secret. 

Another thing I want to do, which I wish I had done when I was there last time, is have my photo taken on the streets named after our family (with the street signs visible, of course). You see, not one but two streets go by our surname, and ours is not a common surname, so I’m pretty sure that they are named after us (one actually leads to our rice field). 

Also, I wonder what has become of Jopay, the little Mangyan girl in the photo, whose mother is probably a fan of the Sexbomb Girls and the now defunct Daisy Siete? I better save up to find out. I hope to see you soon, Mindoro!

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