One of the trails in Kawa-Kawa Hill in Ligao City, Albay, Philippines
Whenever I get home to Bicol, our family visits the Kawa-Kawa Hill, a tourist spot in a nearby town famous for its cauldron-shaped hilltop and Stations of the Cross with larger than life statues. The Stations are placed in a way where devotees should hike uphill and around the hilltop to get to the first Stations and trek the way down to the last Stations. The slopes can be really steep at some spots so both the ways up and down are a struggle. The photo above is one of the pictures I took during our last visit there.
This week’s photo challenge is about descent which reminded me of our journeys in Kawa-Kawa Hill.
The Typhoon Haiyan left massive wreckage and high death toll in the Visayan Region of the Philippines. Without any food to eat, people are forced to do shameful things to survive – stealing food from the local grocery stores and ransacking damaged homes to see if there are spare supplies left by those who were killed by the huge waves and drastic winds. The typhoon indeed stripped our people in the Central Philippines of their dignity.
|Survivors of typhoon Haiyan ransacking local merchandise stores for food and other necessities.
Photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer
True, businesses are gone because of the widespread looting in the provinces affected by the storm but we cannot blame these hungry mouths for making way to feed themselves and their families.
It was a heart-breaking situation. If only I have the money to help, I definitely will donate. I am very fortunate for not being one of these people. I feel so sorry for them. I wish there is some other way to help my poor kababayans.
let me share to you the moments that I consider the most horrifying night of my life. I am not really the frightful type of girl and my stories below will not make you afraid at all but I’m telling them anyway.
Back in high school, I was selected to represent our school in the National Leadership Training in Teachers’ Camp, Baguio City. Of course, I was thrilled to be a part of a nationwide event for schools. I was excited to learn how the government works, meet new friends from different parts of the Philippines, and travel around Baguio City, which is the farthest place I have gone to as of today. The event was scheduled to last for four days and we (I and other representatives from the Bicol Region) went to the venue a day before the training started.
Since we were too early for the event, we spent the day touring around the city. The training started the next day and the schedules for each of the next four days are the same – a three-hour seminar in the morning, group activity in the afternoon, and a wrap-up seminar in the evening.
The group activity in the afternoon of the second day ended when it was already dark, around 6:30 PM. When I got back to the dormitory, my phone rang. I went out of the room so I won’t disturb my roommates and answered the phone in the terrace-like hallway. It was my aunt calling me. We were talking about something I can’t anymore remember when she suddenly asked “Is there a dog near you?”. To which I answered, “What? There’s no dog in here.” And my aunt said “There is. It’s howling and it’s so loud I think it’s just beside you.” I got goose bumps and said, “Tita, I swear there is no dog in here and I am alone in the hallway.” And my aunt told me to get just get inside and not to go anywhere without any companion.
|Photo from abuenaobra.wordpress.com
After dinner that same night, we took a nap before getting ready for the evening activity. I overslept and when I woke up, my roommates were all set to proceed to the activity venue. I told them to go ahead and I’ll just catch up. Everyone was gone and I was putting on my pants when there was a tapping on the door. I ignored it and it became a knock, getting louder and insistent. I yelled, thinking that it was one of my roommates, “Wait up! I’ll be there! I’m just putting on my pants!”. The knocking stopped. I was on my way to the door to open it when there came another loud knocking and then it became banging. I opened the door in the middle of the banging. To my horror, no one is outside. Just the long stretch of hallway in front of me. I quickly closed the door and ran down the hallway, out of the dormitory, to the next building where the activity is to be done. I was still catching my breath when I arrived. I got so terrified I promised myself not to get left behind alone again.
In the morning, I asked the janitor if there are ghosts in the place. He told me “Oh, haven’t you heard? This place is one of the most haunted places in the country. Actually, I already got used to toilets flushing by themselves, doors opening and closing even when there is no wind, sounds of footsteps at midnight and all sorts scary things.”