Skip to main content

Hapid 1981

Hapid, Ifugao - Part 1 [ Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 ]

On my way to graduating from Philippine Christian University, I had to do community work/research as part of an elective I took in my last term.  That brought me to a little barangay called Hapid (16.727253, 121.241320).  It is off the beaten path and does not even register on most maps, Google Maps broadly includes it as a part of a nearby barangay, “Nayon”.  Initially, it was a letdown since it was technically in the lowlands of what should be the “Mountain Provinces”, shattering my illusions of pine trees, fog, and cold weather.  As the research part began, it became “interesting” and took on a different meaning.

I was there for about a week in March of 1981 and would come back from that sojourn a different person.

Before Hapid, I was a war-freakish techno-geek who was preoccupied with technology especially in relation to warfare: aircraft was on top of that list.  Before Hapid, I was bent on a life outside my country which I felt was doomed by mediocrity and its hellish politics.  Before Hapid, I was just plain spoiled and selfish.

But even before my stay at Hapid was over, the silence and those moments staring in the moonless sky where you can see all the stars (no electricity there in '81) already awakened something in me and eventually alter the direction of my life.  I came back from that and into a journey that led me to the Christian ministry serving with the urban poor for twenty years.  And yeah, I never left the Philippines.  I am still a techno-geek preoccupied with airplanes but that evolved into a deeper understanding of history and the follies of humanity.

Thirty five years later, aging and once again faced with the mediocrity and hellish politics, I need a fresh perspective.  I need to go back.

Those dark patches on the mountain range were areas that were burned: they practiced kaingin (slash and burn) in that region.


Popular posts from this blog

What Ever Happened to Job’s Wife?

You know the story, a man named Job suffered traumatic losses where fortune, family and health were wiped out almost simultaneously as a result of some divine event—but I’m not about to discuss as who is responsible for the "what's" that happened and the “why’s” behind the morality of this story.

Job virtually was left alone save for four friends who initially consoled with him and later struggled with the moral issues that I do not intend to deal with as earlier mentioned. Instead, I want to raise the question of Job’s wife. In the midst of the calamity, loss and death, she somehow survives and stays around to annoy her husband.

“Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’” (Job 2:9-10a).

The only profile we have of her is Job’s reference to speaking as a “foolish” woman. His wife, at tha…

Agua Santa

(ALL PHOTOS: PENTAX K-7 + SMCP DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 AL WR)

Agua Santa is an old resort in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines before contemporary and trendy spas became chic.  Los Baños is located south of Metro Manila, the economic and political center of the Philippines.   It was discovered by a Spanish Franciscan Missionary Pedro Bautista in early 1590 and he found that the place had hot springs and understood that the water was medicinal.  Los Baños sits in the foothills of Mt. Makiling, a scenic and dormant volcano in Laguna.

Bath houses and the main pool now empty.

In 1603, the Franciscans built a Nipa Hut that served as a hospital dedicated to the Immaculate Concepcion with the name Nuestra Señora de Agua Santa.  Eventually, Pedro Bautista was sent to Japan as Ambassador of the King of Spain in 1597 and was martyred along with his companions for their faith in Nagasaki, Japan.  They were canonized as saints on June 8, 1862.

The main pool now decrepit and deteriorating in the elements.

Hapid 2016

Hapid, Ifugao - Part 3 [ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6]

To describe Hapid as being in the middle of nowhere may be an understatement: to go there you basically have to go north along the Pan-Philippine Highway (AH26) which veers toward the east side of Luzon, going through Nueva Ejica and Nueva Vizcaya.  Just before reaching the northern end of Nueva Vizcaya, you turn to what appears to be a secondary provincial road that goes to Ifugao; the road narrows a bit but traffic becomes way lighter as you realize that most of the traffic on the Pan-Philippine Highway is going further to Tuguegarao, Cagayan.  That “secondary” road ultimately takes you to Banaue, the tourist destination known for the Rice Terraces.  Other than that, everything is uneventful.  The last major urban area was back in Nueva Vizcaya (Solano) after which the vestiges of civilization (i.e., fastfoods) are gone.

Somewhere after Solano you pass a small town called Lamut and somewhere there you turn off into a…