Independence Day

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By Linda Grace Cariño

Baguio Stories

Friday, June 13, 2014


INDEPENDENCE Day this year finds this column in historic Cavite.

Driving in, the first thing I notice is that double flags hang from the light posts, proudly waving a reminder to all who pass through its streets, of revolutionary days that were especially marked on June 12, 1898. More specifically, General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed independence from Spain from a balcony n Kawit, Cavite.

The next thing I notice is that many place names are so native, if you will: Bacoor, Anabu, Imus, Bayan Luma. The last, I love: Bayan Luma, old country, or the old place. Though I am stationed in Dasmarinas, which does not sound native at all.

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In college in the 70s, I was roommates with two girls from Bulacan and one girl from Cavite. One weekend, one of the Bulacan girls and I went home with our roommate from Cavite. I remember taking that coastal road and driving through rural landscapes and then into a quiet, provincial town. Our Cavite friend lived on a farm. Some 40 years later, my senses search for such landscapes and quiet, and do not find them.

I especially remember hearing an evening mass that weekend Sunday, and while I see a church or two around, I cannot place them. I see no rural fields nor farms, just residential subdivisions. So go many of the country’s once rural areas.

As this column goes to bed, we head up back home to Baguio, leaving the Aguinaldo highway, to travel through an NLEX, an SCTEX, a TPLEX, and then climb up the Benguet mountains. I am really thankful for all these expressways that make the journey speedy and convenient these days. As we leave Cavite, it is not lost upon me that I travel from one historic spot to another, from the province where Philippine independence was formally declared, to the province Aguinaldo later ran to, that had stayed free through all the hundreds of years of Spanish control. Whattatrip.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 14, 2014.

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