A Village by the River

A friend sent me these photos of a village in Holland. The title of the forwarded e-mail was “No need of seatbelts”.

Viewing the photos brought me back to my community organizing work at the foot of Mt. Banahaw in Quezon Province in Luzon, Philippines. There was a lagoon in the village where I stayed as I became a part of the growing number of people calling for a stop to the construction of a six-lane highway supposed to traverse Mt. Banahaw as it heads to Metro Manila.

While by the lagoon every evening I had the rare chance of watching the fireflies and their reflections on the lagoon. Here was a poem I wrote while at the foot of the mountain:

Photos of the Village by the River

With the photos of this village by the river I cannot but build the connection between Mt. Banahaw and this village which, according to my friend, is a village in Holland. I couldn’t believe that a place as pristine and beautiful as this still exist. I thought I would only be able to see a river where I could scoop a drink after a long walk only at the foot of Mt. Banahaw.