ILOCOS PT 1: In a recent assignment in Ilocos Norte, I learned about the extent of the Ilokano's admiration for the Marcoses and how their surname goes hand in hand with the President's. Over the course of four days, we have seen and heard testimonies of it. A hotel that sells shirts bearing Marcos' face in its lobby. The real Makoy, the ink reads. Endless stories about the good they have done for the province - in vans and buses, restaurants, hotels, beaches, and nearly every spot we have been. Our storytellers were educated, decent and kind people, most of them business owners and grandmothers from the middle class segment. We've been told about warm dinners that have been had personally with Imee and her kids. A wedding that happened at Paoay Church a week prior that saw Imee's son, Michael Ferdinand, and the daughter of their political rivals wed, with most of the Ilokano people in attendance -- and our President, too. There was also the grandiose wedding of Irene in Sarrat that required the streets to be lined with bougainvillea - Imelda's favorite, we were told - from the late dictator's ancestral home up to the local church. Another story is about the Virgen La Milagrosa Church in Badoc, which was purportedly Imee's initiative, and other impressive structures in Ilocos that came with the Marcoses' rule. While looking at the distant Bangui Windmills, someone in the group shared, Before any of the other windmills were erected, Bongbong built these windmills for Ilocos. These stories were told gleefully and proudly. Apparently the Ilokano - at least those we traveled with - recognize the fact that Ferdinand Marcos was a dictator, but they are helplessly in love with his daughter, the governor, who is as genuine as anyone can get. She religiously attends and supports gay pageants, they said, and initiated protocols that created peace among the locals of Paoay and La Paz in a time that they were warring for tourists visiting their contiguous sand dunes. In these conversations, however, there was no mention about Marcoses' ill-gotten wealth and the President's offer that they will return the Php200 billion they stole in exchange for immunity.
Mountains are love.
Lia, Even when you've aged, never grow old. Grow in wisdom and courage, but keep a youthful, happy spirit. XOXO, Your old mother
One of the perks of old age-induced super early body clock.
Aba, dapat in din ang mga Titas of Manila. Hindi po tayo magpapahuli sa millenials. Char! (10-second timer X love handles)
You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. - Jon Zabat-Kinn
What I wouldn't give for beautiful and serene morning in the mountains.