Hapid: The Mountain is on Fire

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

So what is it about Hapid that was life-changing?  Nothing.  Precisely that—nothing.  As the techno-geek that I am, my world in 1981 has become noisier.  In 1979 the Sony Walkman was marketed and life has not been quiet ever since for everyone.  Although I would not own one until after college, with all the stereo components we were beginning to twiddle both in the household and in the cars, life was already noisy.  Hapid did not have electricity in 1981 and things shut down after dark.  And it was too far for television or the FM stations that I preferred listening too.  And an insomniac, I tended to stay awake up to close to midnight long after the whole village has gone to sleep.  Too afraid to venture out in the dark, it was my mind that went all over the place.  Then there was a night where the night sky was lit up because of kaingin (slash and burn).  I looked out the window in awe.  I think I can hear Him.

I am beginning to think that boredom is actually built into our psyche to cause us to long for, dream of, wish and even demand.  Wait…I just restated Matthew 6’s “ask, seek and knock”.  That is it.  If feels like as if God designed us to be bored to give us the "space" to long and look for Him or something beyond ourselves.  But then there is this almost diabolical conspiracy of sorts to keep us from being bored (“kill the boredom” –said one advertisement).  So with mobile phone now "smarter" than people you wonder if God has space in our modern lives.

One of our assignments were to interview a group of households outside Hapid.  I was told to run over to the clinic (the small "house" next to the church) to copy a hand drawn map on cartolina so we would have a guide to where we were going...

I can still redraw it as it is scarred...I mean...etched into my memory.  The houses we were to go to were on the upper left of the map: a house near the bend of the road and three houses further away.  It was obvious that it was not drawn to scale but we were surprised how "bad" it was.  This is how it actually looks like as seen in Google Maps:

Yes...we had to wade across a river and climb up a cliff of sorts (you can tell by the dark green immediately above the arrow "we crossed the river here")...but the view was great (that was where half the ten rolls of film were used).

(Note: I should acknowledge that photos were I am in were taken by Dr. Richard Schwenk, our Social Research professor in Philippine Christian University. I would often hand him my Pentax K2 so I can be in the photograph).