Monday, June 02, 2003

Notes from Monday, May 12, 2003

6am leave Tia's Resort for Tarzan's Nest. It's early. The gate is still locked. I wait a few moments before Ros hears my luggage shuffling on the gravel. Maria Morales is still here. She's leaving on the 9a ferry. The three of us have breakfast together.

Maria is better known as Jinky, but prefers Maria now, or Lila, as her grand daughter calls her. She asks me what it is like grow up in America, wonders how her own granddaughter in Michigan will fair. We talk about the difficulties of raising families in the U.S. To go from extensive families, yayas in the Philippines, to day care and dual income commuting parents, is hard. Certainly, it takes a village to raise a child, because a child will take advantage of two worn out parents. Yet, you need money and you can't get it in the Philippines, so you have to move. But what are the costs that can't be measured by money.

9am. Maria heads out. I speak with Ros about the Kali class and how she came about being a manager of a resort. It's a long story, but in the end Ben, this Swiss guy and original Tarzan, worked out a deal with the Enigmata Creative Circle Collective. They want it to become a resort as well as an artist's retreat. Ben is the one who built the place and added alot of its artistic whimsy. Ros came to Camiguin after wearing herself out on NGO work.

I am reminded of something a friend told me once, "Prosperity isn't about the amount of money you have, it's about living the life you want."

11am Ros and I head to market and buy some food for lunch. I love open air markets. Such great food! Fresh grilled fish, fruits, vegetables. She buys these dark plums that look like the size of large olives. They stain your lips purple and make your mouth pucker. They're native to Camiguin and hard to find nowadays. We race through the turo-turo places and pick up some rice, monggo, and kilawin (raw fish with onions, vinegar). Next, she asks one a motor(bike) or habal-habal driver if he can take us to Saai Cold Springs. The first guy can't, but a second guy knows the way.

The path to Saai takes us down narrower and narrower paths from concrete to gravel roads down to a narrow hiking path. We pass go up and over a hill and then pass through a forrested green valley. Ros tells me this driver is very good. He's able to take us all the way down. The last time she did this, they had to talk half way.

Saai is not as developed as Ardent, well I don't know what is more developed than Ardent except for maybe Sto. Nino cold springs with it's cottages for rent. Saaii is just a rectangular stone pool that a cold spring pours into shaded by a few trees, with a handful of picnic tables for people to use. There is no entrance fee. But there is a vendor who has brought soda and chips for sale. We hold up a malong for each other as an improvised dressing room. There are several kids there in shorts, tshirts, or nothing at all, enjoying their summer vacation running and diving in. The water here is cool, but not frigid. Actually, I don't know what can be colder than the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco in the summer. Feels good to jump in after the bumpy ride over. There are numerous tiny fresh water fish living in the pool, the same I will find in all the fresh cold springs here. If you stay still, they nibble at your toes.

Again, I am awed by Camiguin's beauty. Here deep in this valley, a cold spring to refresh oneself. After a brief dip, we eat our lunch kamayan style. We jump back on the motor back into town. My first class starts at 2p today. Supposed to meet the mayor and vice mayor and listen to speeches. I'm actually a bit nervous. On the ride back I think about where to begin.

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