Earlier during the day, I commented on The Mostly Confused Teenager’s blog post about her home. Now, she’s asking me to tell her about the neighborhood where I grew up since it kind of slipped on me that the same as her place my hometown is somewhat historical. Then I realized that I made mention in my previous entries that I actually came from a place that is six to eight hours away from where I am staying right now (it depends on the traffic as well as the speed that the driver is willing to take). Although I have spoken about my hometown several times I never really pinned its location nor did I ever describe it. Due to the polite request of my new friend, the Confused Teen, I will write about my home for the first time.
Relative to my location, the little piece of soil I call home is 230 kilometers far and is found somewhere north. It is surrounded by this well known mountain range that runs like a snake coiled around a piece of solid matter with no clear form.
On the eastern side of my town, the ocean cradles it with lukewarm water and greenish gray sand. Since I practically grew up near the bay I have seen the color gradient of the sky slowly change every morning as the sun peeks its head and reveals itself to the world. As such, I learn to appreciate the beauty of mornings and the ray of light that it brings as the sun wakes up from its slumber.
Not only did I grew fond listening to the music that resonates in every splash of water as the waves fold down and marry itself with the shore, I also learned to dance with it. Seeing many of my town’s folks grooving with the wave I had no choice but to respond to the call to join them ride the sometimes scary water. Thus, I learned to surf.
Aside from having really picturesque scenery, my hometown also boasts a pretty good share of history written all over its people and its soil. History books might have some things to say about my little home, but the only true remnants of the past can be read and seen in the imprint that it left in each individual that live in there. The real tale is engraved in us, the town folks, which the whole history can never really capture.
My place is far from the city and was first established as a settlement by some Spanish friars who arrived there. Like any other Spanish colony, the Spaniards built infrastructures and developed the place. However, sometime in 1735 a huge tidal wave devastated the town (this story had been handed down from generation to generation and is probable) which wrecked the whole place. Hence, the families that survived had to move farther from the sea.
During the latter part of Spanish conquest in my country, the Spanish soldiers used the Church that was built with egg and lime as their barracks. It has the best line of defense against the revolutionaries and the walls are pretty thick which makes it impenetrable. The church became the last Spanish garrison in this country which sheltered the remaining 54 soldiers from the platoon. Over the years, it became the safe haven and refuge at times of natural disasters. [The church stood the test of time and it remains to be one of the oldest infrastructures built in this country].
When independence was declared the Americans came to the place. Around the 1900s they were practically rebuilding the place and teaching the people their own culture. [In some old photo album I excavated yellowing photographs of nameless faces of females wearing dresses and males in suit and tie attending events held in my great grandparents’ house as well as in other functions in other places with them during the time far from mine].
One of the presidents of this republic with a face printed in the money that I use every day came from my little town. It is hard to believe that the place which is really unheard of produced such a man and his philanthropist wife.
In the Second World War the place suffered so much pain and bloodshed. The primary school where I graduated from witnessed the misery of my town folks back then. [Rumors circulate that my elementary school had been haunted ever since. Well, I never experienced anything eerie when I was a student there but I do believe that the main building that was erected there long before World War II saw unimaginable agony and deaths.]
Years after the war, my little hometown was able to recuperate. The wounds that had been cut slowly healed, yet the memory remained– a story that is to be passed on to the future.
Few know that my humble hometown made it possible for one of the well acclaimed films of the famous director and producer Francis Ford Coppola have one of the best battle shots in action movie history. Every time I pass by the area where that movie was filmed I cannot help but smile as to how great Coppola made use of that place and transformed it into a battlefield that makes some people delusional, believing the movie was staged in the real setting of the real story.
I just wrote down all that I can say about my hometown. In the end I’m not really able to say everything that can be said about it. Well, this is the chronicle of my humble place where my heart remains, and will always be.
I hope I made it clear, I’m from Middle-Earth.