Village Of My Youth

My Village And The Home I Used To Know

There one village that I will never forget. It is the village of my youth. I grew up in a place where a new day’s sunrise gives a refreshing renewal of a weary soul, of sunsets that makes you believe that love is real and hope, a constant gift as abundant as the tropical rain. It is a place of child-like innocence, of smiles so real it can make you cry, of generosity that goes beyond blood and tears, of faith that makes you leap and overcome all odds. A place where you can dream and know in your heart without question that they can come true.

For the first time in his life, my son felt the joys and adventures of the Islands. Every moment was an opportunity to discover his roots and what in means to be a part of a diverse and rich culture and of a family that supports each other in love, loyalty and generosity without bounds and limits.

This village is the province of Capiz. A part of Panay Island blessed with so many things as numerous as the sand by the sea where I used to play as a child. Today, we will revisit together the place I called home and will always call home. I can be anywhere in the world but a part of me will always stay in this Island. One day, when the tides are right and destiny allows it, even with my grey hair and frail old bones, I will walk its sands and wake-up with its sunrise day after day. I will laugh like crazy and shout at the top of my lungs, ” At last I’m home.”

My dad told me during my last visit, ” When you’re tired in your journey and you think it’s time to go back, our home will always be open to welcome you and your family anytime. The doors were never closed, it’s always been open, just waiting for you when you are ready.” I knew he meant every word with his heart. At first, I didn’t know what to say until I simply said, “One day dad, I will come back. Just give me time to settle things in America and finish what I need to do.” The rest of the words didn’t come out. I choked and was out of words. I just looked at him. He looked back. I knew he understood the words I never got to say.

Welcome To My Village Of  Youth

The sea of many stories. A lot were happy and full of amazing memories. A few, with pain, a reminder that life is not perfect, so are the people you think were your friends and family. In the end, the “real” ones stay and walks with you till the end.

“Bay-bay,” a local translation for beach. Bay-bay is a place where you can just be lost without worries.

The countryside that reminds me that life can be simple. That happiness is not measured by how much you have but on how much you loved. That treasures are not about having the most cars or jewelries but on how many families and friends who will share with you both the joys and hardships of life.

Life is slow and laid back. You get to enjoy many times of soul-searching for as long as you want.

The equivalent of Walgreens or mini-Walmart Store is the “Sari-Sari” store found in most rural areas.

A place where neighbors becomes a part of the family.

One means of bringing water from house to house.

The city of great times and festive events. The city though small, houses so many grand and exciting events. From Fiestas to major Holidays, the city becomes a vibrant center of fun that is hard to forget.

The main church and plaza overlooking the river with a bridge that connects to the main business street.

Children playing by the riverside.

Once a happy and full of life ancestral home now sits like a ghost house. So many generations of relatives once lived here including my dad and myself. Now the hallways echoes in deafening silence and at night the ghosts of the dead probably praying to be remembered. I passed by the house once. Sadly, as much as there were happy memories, the pain and heartaches were just as great and better left undisturbed. Yes, every old house in this town has their stories to tell that will put any soap opera to shame. Most of the time, families keep it to themselves but eventually, truth always come out with a vengeance.

The Plaza.

The Museum.

The church at night. Faith is what keeps everyone hopeful that better things are bound to happen.

The vibrant wet market. Nothing can be more exciting than visiting the local wet market. From clams, to prawns to Tuna and sharks, the wet market has it all. Just be ready to glide on water, dirt and slime. Tip? Wear a good pair of slippers and be cautious about slipping and sliding.

Locals take pride that the province is known as the “Seafood Capital” of the Philippines. I really don’t understand what the big fuss is all about. The sea owns its bounty. We should treat it with care and respect. Over harvesting is one big danger that haunts my village. Greed can turn over night a once abundant species to near extinction such as the delicious and treasured, “Diwal.” I would rather have my village named, “The Most Environmental Friendly” capital of the country. Something I could be proud of when I share it to others.

Seaweed Salad like no other.

Highlights and more. There are images that are hard to forget. Images that reminds you that people can be very creative and use their ingenuity in the most fascinating way.

Emergency Gas Station.

Air cooled meat shop.

The side street becomes an instant playground.

House with a view. Bamboo house on top of a river. The fence becomes a pond to trap fish for food.

Sunday Post: Village

Thanks for sharing your time discovering the many facets of the village of my youth. As you can see, the excitement and drama never ends. Can you blame me if I long to go back? Thanks to Jake o Jakesprinters for creating another inspiring theme for this week called “village.” What’s your village story? I bet it’s fun, exciting with so much to offer.

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in Culture, Events, family, Inspiration, Island Summer Of 2012, Life, Personal, photography, Travels, Weekly Sunday Post and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Village Of My Youth

  1. adinparadise says:

    Wonderful photos. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful home village, island traveller. I so enjoyed the tour and your descriptions too. Wishing you a great weekend. ;)

    • Thank you my friend. Somehow remembering and making a post my past and the home I used to know helps brings the 2 worlds of East and West, past and present closer. Somehow it helps in over coming the homesickness and longings. Best wishes to you and your family.

  2. restlessjo says:

    East, West- your home’s best! Hoping that you make it back someday. Thanks for your kind link.

    • Thank you. Yes, its East and West . Two places with their own unique, special and unforgettable attributes. Attributes that draws me into both. The final question, where to reside when I’m old and grey and simply ready to enjoy the daily sunrise without worries. Until that time comes, I can’t really give a 100% correct answer. Every year, our life’s plans changes and I don’t wish to hope and dream for something that might change. Take care.

  3. eof737 says:

    It is a beautiful place and reminds me of my father’s village. ;-)

    • Thanks Liz. The Village of our youth, we will never forget. It’s that part of us that won’t ever change, at least in our memories. The last time I went home, I tried to glue all the missing pieces. So much have changed and I looked for anything that’s familiar. Pretty much, I found them and I shared them in my post. One day, 10 years from now. This post and its images may all be that’s familiar. Except for my family and my parents house , everything around the village is evolving. It’s part of life and change I guess.

      • eof737 says:

        It sure is… and I love photography for the reasons you shared. The last time I visited my dad’s village, a lot had changed too and it made me sad for the days of childhood; running around and playing under the palm trees. I bet when I visit again it will be different… all concrete jungle. :-(

      • I agree, one day, it will be a concrete jungle and that is really sad. Progress seems good at first but when it’s to much, we loose Nature and all it’s bounty around us. I guess it’s all up to us to hold on to what’s left of our past and to make sure we become Earth’s protector. Thank you my friend…

      • eof737 says:

        Well said and beautifully too. Thank YOU! :-)

  4. scrapydo says:

    This is a real village, I love it. Thanks for sharing

  5. jakesprinter says:

    Your post represent the heart of our culture I really love it ,Bro Thanks for sharing :)

    • Thanks Jake. Your theme for the week awaken the “Filipino” spirit in me. A spirit that is passionate in all things , loves all that is part of his roots.

  6. auntyuta says:

    This is such a beautiful place. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • Thank you auntyuta. Just like your beautiful memories, going back, remembering the village that I grew up helps me appreciate the good things I had in my life. My childhood was a fun and beautiful one. I wish I had more pictures to celebrate those years so I can show it to my son.

  7. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    How nice of you to share your village, I love the photos, they do show what life is like in the village, and some very beautiful areas as well.

    • Thank you. I tried to capture the areas that was and will always be special to me. Change can bee seen everywhere but if we loose all that is familiar, might as well move on and leave the past. As for me, I’m not ready to leave that past yet. Perhaps I may never will or perhaps that past might one day be a part of my future. Nobody really knows what our future will be thus I tend not to plan for something that may or may not happen 10 years from now.

  8. Freedomborn says:

    Thank you dear friend, really beautiful images of real life and your heart focus… to be as Children in our heart Trusting and dependant on God our Heavenly Father, can we be any other way and still know His deep Love for us and to be able to share His Love with others.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • Thanks Anne. Sometimes I forget that God is the ultimate planner of our lives. I tend to focus in what I can do and not what he can do. My apologies. I’m grateful that friends and family like you reminds me of what is right and what track to follow. There was a part of my journey where I felt so close to God in all things. I wish to follow and feel that path and relationship once again. I miss that closeness with him up there. Perhaps, he is already drawing me in that I’m not just aware yet. Please keep spreading his light and love. God bless you and Ron always.

  9. It’s good to see that you *can* go home again. A beautiful place. And yes, not all friends are there for the long haul, but thankfully there are a few gems in the crowd.

    • And those gems are to keep and cherish forever! Thanks Eloise. I’m blessed to have that chance to go home. If I can do it every year, I would. There’s no substitute for physical presence . Technology helps but never the same than a real hug,a kiss or to be there in the moment.

  10. These shots are incredible. Your words add that much more feeling to the photos. Thanks for sharing your world.

    • Your welcome my friend. My world I share with all of you as much as you share your world with us. That’s the magic of these amazing blogger family. It makes the world smaller and less intimidating. Thank you and God bless you and your love ones.

  11. Thanks for sharing this. I haven’t been to Capiz. It’d be nice to visit your hometown. As always, beautiful post from you.

    • I hope you will Marryl and don’t my sisters Bakeshop. She makes the most divine desserts, coffee and the best burger I’ve tasted in a while. Details, I’ll just email to you if you decide to go there. If I gave out the name of her shop, kind of giveaway of my identity. I’m not ready yet to be that open for public plus I have to protect my son’s identity too. God bless you and your family.

  12. aRVee says:

    This is so inspiring bro. I miss this kind of neighborhood which I used to have when I was still a child, and come to think of it, I’m still living in the same neighborhood but the sceneries are no longer there. The trees, the corn fields, the banana plantation are almost gone, giving rise to factories, houses, and warehouses! This is so home to me which I have been missing a lot.

    This is one of my favorite post of yours, so reminiscent of my childhood days. Thanks for sharing!

    Have a great life there in the US my friend. You might miss home but glad you have your son and your wife to care for you and vice versa…

    Stay blessed! :)

    • Thanks Bro. I can so totally relate when your wrote, “I’m still living in the same neighborhood but the sceneries are no longer there. The trees, the corn fields, the banana plantation are almost gone, giving rise to factories, houses, and warehouses!” The first few days of my visit were spent on reuniting with family and remembering of what’s left of the physical part/structures of my memory. I still found a few. 10-20 years from now, I’m no longer sure if they would still be there. Kind of scares me but I guess this is part of life. A life that changes everyday. God bless you my friend and your family.

      • aRVee says:

        Yeah, I agree the only constant in life is change and when that happens, these images will soon be replaced by different images on this same location. If change is for the better, it’s good but if it’s detrimental to the people on the neighborhood, then I’m sure there’ll be protests…. hopefully our fellowmen will learn to protect and preserve the wonders of nature and minimize the cutting of trees, etc…

        While on this subject, I really love the way Ayala Land develops properties, they care for mother earth and that is very admirable… :)

  13. cocomino says:

    It’s a nostalgic place, I think. In the old days, there are many places like this in Japan.

    • Thanks Bro. I guess it’s a global phenomena. Change can’t be stop. I just wish it doesn’t have to happen that fast. I don’t want to one day show my son the places of his roots in pictures cause they are no longer there as “real and concrete” objects.

  14. Colline says:

    What a wonderful place to have grown up in.

    • Thanks Colline. I think a lot of us kept our childhood in a magical bottle set aside in our memory. These happy memories keeps us hopeful for the present and future.

  15. starlight says:

    reminds me of my childhood hometown, have lots of memories growing up in the rural .. wonderful post my friend.. have a lovely weekend :)

  16. Angeline M says:

    Beautiful photos and words. It seems like you are passing on to your son what your father passed on to you….love.

    • Thanks Angeline. I guess I am. Love is something that is worth any physical treasure in this world. Love keeps us hopeful. It helps us feel that we belong and that we have someone to share our lives with. It’s a gift from God that makes us realize that we are indeed his children. Love is something we can take with us wherever we go, may it be the exotic East or the vibrant West…anywhere where fate will take us.

  17. Wow! Parang sa amin lang! :)

    • “Tama kaibigan!” Cherish as much of what you have now. Love as much. Explore and find adventures as much. Keeps every smile and laughter. Enjoy as much nature around you. Enjoy your youth and celebrate it everyday. I think I did all these when I was younger but knowing what I know now, I wish I did more…Thanks and best wishes to you and your family.

  18. Shalvika P says:

    Beautiful! Absolutely amazing! Especially the bamboo houses. Love them. And envy you for having lived in such a beautiful place :D

    • Thanks my friend. I just saw the bits and details of the last photo, the one by the river. The house even have lamps on top of the balcony. I wish I stopped the car and got the courage to ask the owner if I can watch the view from the balcony. I bet it would be cool to see a sunset or sunrise from that angle. Oh, well I have next year to go back…hopefully!

  19. Thank you for taking us on a journey through your home village. Beautiful vibrant photos filled with so much love and family ties.

    • Thanks. In the end, it’s love and family that stays and would remain familiar. I just wish change is slower, giving us enough time to enjoy the past and the present. Have a blessed day.

  20. Madhu says:

    Thanks for the tour of your beautiful village! It brought back memories of our fast vanishing villages here in India.

    • Thanks Madhu. I guess it’s all over the world. Planet Earth is getting old and changing so fast. I wish it can slow down. I wish we can all slow it down. I would love to see your village as well…have a wonderful weekend.

  21. Paula says:

    Once again I enjoyed your outstanding photos and your walk down the memory lane … the pic of your boy on the wooden bridge is priceless IT :) I am happy for you!

    • Thank Paula. My son made so much discoveries during his last visit. He’s at that age where everything is all about “adventure.” He looks like the little Indiana Jones. He looked so thrilled discovering farm animals, adorable dogs, play with his cousins, beautiful beaches, delicious foods…I’m so lucky to share his adventure every minute of every day. Take care…

  22. Sabina Brave says:

    I like the most 1st picture, and what’s written under: “what it means to be a part of a diverse and rich culture and of a family that supports each other in love, loyalty and generosity without bounds and limits.” It’s great to have it all :)

  23. Thanks Sabina. Realizing now the value of family, I felt like I’m the richest guy out there. A family’s love for each other is their greatest treasure that no one can ever take. May we always remember that. When life’s trials knocks, love and family will give us the courage to overcome them.

  24. Cathy G says:

    Thank-you for sharing your history and your culture with us. It’s wonderful to know that “you can always go home.” …and yes, sometimes all we have of our ancestors are the memories or them. Still, the stories that we share with others will help others understand their importance in our lives. Bless you.

    • Thanks Cathy. You are so right, “the stories that we share with others will help others understand their importance in our lives.” We should always celebtrate the joys of the past, of families that made us who we are now, of a culture that enriched our lives. The past holds the key of today.

  25. MikeP says:

    Thanks so much for this heartfelt tour. I could feel the love and sad times in your writing voice… very moving. Mine would be a different story but not unfamiliar to those I grew up with as there’s is the same just change the place of birth to France..my wife…a Naval Sub Base in north Germany, Keil…me… to thousands of other places around the world including the Philippines. But as you can see we do not call them home. Many of us travel back to our parents birth place once they retire from the service and call that home. I was lucky that my father and mother decided (both were in the Navy) to retire and stay in the same place I grew up last. Very unusual for the many military families around me. So my village story would begin and end here… where I decided to come back and live and work…. and raise my family. I feel your tug for home when I travel… I can go to the most beautiful place but the day before my journey ends I call my kids and mother and she says the same thing each and every time… “It will be good to be home again” and to this day she is right.

    • Thanks for sharing your heart on this one. I appreciate the story you shared. Your parents and your wife and their journey with their family in relation to their work , a work that made all of us enjoy the freedom and safety we cherish everyday, inspired me today in so many ways. This is one priceless quote, ” I can go to the most beautiful place but the day before my journey ends I call my kids and mother and she says the same thing each and every time… “It will be good to be home again” and to this day she is right. I would like to think that one day, I too will go back where my parents are or that of my wife but for now home is where my wife and son is. Every year, things can happen that will change our geographical address, may it be because work, family reasons, or an opportunity that we can’t refuse. Wherever it is , I hope it will be the home will always yearn for. All blessings to you and your family.

  26. Sony Fugaban says:

    THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME, BRO.

  27. Great photos and great stories. As one traveler to another your story and photos stirred up a lot of memories. Some day …

    • Thank you. One thing I enjoy everytime I make a post about the places I’d been is that I get to relive the beautiful moments in my head. It is really true when they say,”there is no place like home, ” atleast for me.

  28. Isn’t it amazing that even how far we have wandered and wherever we have settled now, we always call the “village of our youth” our home.

    • That I agree 100%. Every now and then I meet a few that seemed to have forgotten where they came from or hear only negative complaints. I’ve been to both the poor and rich parts of the Philippines and in both, there is always something beautiful. As for politics, oh well, lets just pray for a miracle!Thanks Bro.

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  31. I particularly love the captioning on img8303 that reads:
    “Now the hallways echoes in deafening silence and at night the ghosts of the dead probably praying to be remembered. I passed by the house once. Sadly, as much as there were happy memories, the pain and heartaches were just as great and better left undisturbed”
    I don’t think I’ll ever look at city-block again without hearing those words in my mind..
    Thank you!

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