Hapid: Finding Candice...

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

Talking to Mang Maning and Joyce refreshed my memory of how we got there: Hapid was an alternate research site decided by folks in Philippine Christian University's College of Social Work when politics got in the way of a primary location.  That transpired in 1975 (a mere three years after then dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law) and would lead to a first group of students visiting Hapid—which included Joyce.  Five years later, a second batch was organized, this time I was part of it.  It was broadened to include, not only social work students, but also sociology and psychology students.  The stories revolved around connections and personalities that decided on things that eventually brought people together—the big picture so to speak.  Mang Maning and Sipin played host to some of the students and Joyce—as a student paved the way for the second batch.  Except for Sipin remembering that Candice followed me around not much was recounted on what actually happened on the ground.

I had to find Candice.

From her parents, I would learn that Candice is in Metro Manila and actually lived, worked, married and raised a family a rock throwing distance from where I lived, worked and all that.  And thanks to social media, I quickly found her.  We set up a meet, had coffee and well…did the photo recreation thingy…

But then there were the stories: it was hard to tell if this was a reunion between two college friends reminiscing about their school days, or two eight year olds …

In my own personal quest to connect to my past, finding Candice would open for her floodgates of recollections as we peered into photos from her own past.  Because of location, no one in Hapid really owned cameras even the “instamatic” variety of the 1960-70s.  For one brief moment in 1981, a guy comes in with over ten rolls of film to burn eventually making a time capsule of life in Hapid.  From Candice’s point of view, what I brought her was a treasure chest of her own memories.


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