Saturday, June 22, 2013

Calaca, Batangas: Priceless Memories of Our Province

Wazzup Pilipinas!

What about summer? Summer, is the much-awaited season of every student. It is our time to unwind, relax, and chill-out and our break from doing sundry school assignments, exams, and projects. This is the same reason why we aim to make the most out of this season. But in what way can we best spend our time during summer? My previous April-May has again proven that it is always best to spend vacation time with the people closest to your heart.

During my summer days, I was forced by my mom to go to my province at Calaca, Batangas to visit our relatives and to join in the celebration of the town's festival. We usually go there at least two (2) times a year. In all honesty, I would normally want to just stay home in Pasig City than to go to our provincial rest house maybe because of my flashiness/vanity.

But our recent trip to Batangas knocked all my reservations and hesitations out. For one, I got the chance to breathe in the cool and fresh air as we viewed the infamously beautiful Taal Volcano. Taal Volcano is known for being the second most active volcano in the Philippines. Along our way to our province, we managed to see the breathtaking scenic spot as we passed on the zigzag road of Tagaytay (sometimes called as Bitukang Manok).

Another first experience in my list during this trip was when I was able to enjoy the aroma and taste the very distinct Kapeng Barako. Batangas is also known for its coffee called as Kapeng Barako that is sweetened with honey or brown sugar. Those were only two items but I already felt solved. So, I am expecting that I am ready to face my flashiness as soon as we get there.

 We arrived in Batangas safely. I was surprised with the much welcoming expressions of my relatives and town neighbors when we reached our rest house. Everybody seems to be happy; they’d welcome us with their hospitality and warmth of love. And I was able to feel accepted. Usually, when we go in our house at Calaca we always don’t let the day pass by that we weren’t able to go to church. So, as soon as we reached our house we went to the church and visit my grandmother’s tomb. 

Calaca has enjoyed social, political and cultural milestones while achieving unprecedented economic gains. According to my research, the Town of Calaca was officially established on May 10, 1835. Before its conversion into a municipality, Calaca was a barrio of Balayan situated on the left bank of the Bolbok River. Calaca got its name when Spaniards asking for the name of the area from a group of native people who were building a Nipa hut misunderstood and told the Spaniards what they were doing instead.

Because the natives cannot understand the Spaniards, the natives assumed that the Spaniards asked about what there were doing. So they answered, "Kalaka", because they were installing the roof made out of "kalaka". Laka is a bamboo splitted into two. The halves laid upside down cover the edges of the halves, which lay under the inner parts, which face each other.

As we visited the church and cemetery, we decided to go home in our rest house and took a break before we went and ate in different houses. When everybody was busy cooking, I played and bonded with my cousins that I seldom see. And for the first time, I felt like I was a carefree kid again. I played with Ken, Koko, Ana, Marga, and etc. I wasn’t able to get all their names but I can say that all of those kids felt the same level of happiness; they turned my stay in Batangas as some vacation that I couldn’t forget for the rest of my life.

At the festival day proper, we visited different houses in our neighborhood and ate different sumptuous local delicacies. We also watched the Santacruzan parade and pageant during the last day of Flores de Mayo. Everyone looked grand and gorgeous in their long gowns and I thought that anyone of those candidates deserved to win the pageant. Together with my cousins, we also enjoyed playing games that were only conducted when it is Calaca's fiesta. 

Our trip has been exhausting, but during this vacation I learned a lot of lessons. I was so grateful seeing those kids again; they taught me to be a more sincere person and not to hide the true feelings within myself as well as they do. It also came into my realization that having fun and making the most out of my summer leisure time need not to be expensive. Simple joys can convert any dull time to a great escapade.

This is how I spend my summer; not really extravagant but rich in lessons and love. How about yours?

Contributed by Leira Grace Tolentino

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I enjoyed reading you're article. The title caught my attention because we have the same province. Summer is the time to unwind, relax, and rest from a stressful school year. And I agree with you that it would be better if we will spend it with the ones we love in the places we love. Nice article. Can't wait to read the next one. :)

  3. Yeah your right! I think the best place to enjoy our vacation is in our provinces, why? Because normally our relatives site here and we love to be with them.

    The construction of your article is well done. I think it just need little corrections. Thanks.


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