Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lost in paradise...

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I LOVE NATURE.When I was a child, our parents would take us trekking in the mountains of Canlaon during the summer breaks. If we were blessed, we would find ourselves in the forests of South Cotabato with the tribal T'Bolis or Manobos. On ordinary weekends, we would be in our good old "pantalan" in my hometown Guihulngan in Negros, diving with our cousins like crazy from the top of the wharf until we could dive no more.

I have always been a sea-person, not just a beach-bum, because I love the deep blue sea as well. After graduating at Silliman, I worked for almost a year running a small resort about 30-minutes drive from Dumaguete. It didn't feel like work at all, being in the beach all day long, taking good care of our guests who were mostly foreigners but of course, at the same time making sure we were in the best business shape.

If I didn't become a journalist, I'd probably still been running a resort hotel or maybe own a travel agency and bring tourists all over the country. I love the Philippines. We were blessed our father worked with Panamin, the agency which took care of indigenous peoples during the Marcos years. His work took us to different places all over the Philippines. Maybe it was because of those trips in tribal communities that my whole family became so in-love with nature. It is a legacy, if you can call it that, I wanna pass on to my kids as well.

So when I "discovered" Santa Ana, Cagayan late last year, I swear to bring my whole family there. Places like these are the country's best kept secrets that have to be spred. I have become an "adopted daughter" of Santa Ana as declared by my good friend Pinky (the charming and vibrant wife of Mayor Vic Rodriguez). And so I will live up to being a dutiful daughter, bringing whoever is willing to this paradise called Santa Ana.

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