The Immigration: Chapter 2
Genaro, in his glowing face, was already in the boat that will move them to Davao. People in the Philippines, always dream of Mindanao as their land of promise. The vast land of Mindanao was mostly uninhabited, and people there who were born were called native. They have their belief also, and that their Gods were in the forms of an ugly sculpture, some look like an animal but mostly were just a creation of the mind, just to create a belief, and that it also gives them good guidelines to be good and righteous. And there was their own enclave of power, and in every village there is always someone who acted as their commanding guide.
“Genaro, are you sure we are going to leave this place?” Inquired Teresa, his lovely wife. “Love, there is no more way we can get away from this chaos, except this last card”. He answered
He brought out his wife, and three sons. Although he was not able to bring all his belongings, He was still very happy or in good mood to embrace his new life in an island away from his beloved home place. He knows that his long time cousin, was there waiting for him,
And this will be a new place, dreams, and lifestyle. He sworn not to take part anymore in politics, and that, his main concern now is to bring a decent destiny to his family. Sometime, he could not forego the gory image of his previous environment, because being spared by the onslaught would be for him very lucky. He knows, he loved that place, but he has nothing anymore to offer except his freedom and his tears rolled as it falls on his cheek.
Before sunrise, on the following day, the shadow of the vast land had now surface, even though in the sky floated clouds that foretell good life, a sign of warm welcome to them, and a fresh and healthy seeds that will grow on a fertile dream of a mind full of will and idealism.
Mario, the eldest, full of enthusiasm queried; “is that Mindanao, tay? “. He posed and pointed his finger, to the rays of the morning sun, capping the mountain tops. Mario, Efren, and Bayani were his three sons. And this adventure was dedicated to them, so that, whatever financial outcome he could have, he promised to give them the best in life and educations. “Yeah! But probably, that is Zamboanga”. And they were able to see, even on a distant away small scale fishermen sailing on a boat, and in the rails of the ship they can still see the healthy smile of welcome. Some showed their catch by raising it in glee, but in response, they showed also, in gesture, the sign of peace.
Closer to Davao, after Sarangani, a freak, strong, and gusty wind battered their boat for thirty minutes. Teresa, his wife regretted, telling Genaro, the reverted ominous wisdom of the travel. She said: “Genaro, whatever will happen to us, you will be blame. Look! What can you say now?” The ship was already see-sawing on big waves, and sometimes it looked like it would not surface anymore or get back to its normal pace. Beds were moving from one corner to the other, bags were thrown off and on, and some of the chickens were running up because the storage was open by its strength ups and down. Some were holding rosaries, and prayed. But for a while after, it just got back to its feet normally, and they saw again the sun, and it was already 2 o clock in the afternoon.
Before nightfall, the ship anchored in the pier of the City of Davao, and soon after, one smile from a man at the gang plank, showed right away a distinguishing look, and he recognized, that the person was his cousin, Tasyo.
He was very eager to see right away, and later, Tasyo, run up, and in the middle of the ladder, they hugged , even on the adverse, surprised look of the many, who showed some detestation. Then, they forwarded to their cabin, and started moving some of his belongings.
“My cousin, I am so very happy that you were able to arrive early. By tomorrow, the weather would be bad, and there is a forecast of a tropical storm”. Tasyo notified.
Tasyo was very much prepared, he brought with him his Ford fiera, because he knew that they needed it as they travel about 120 KM, up hill to the mountain of the Municipality of Kapalong, one of the biggest town of Davao del Norte. Some said that the place is considered the hotbed of the rebels, but for the people living there, they won’t say anything about that. Some of those who lived there sometimes did their life by gold panning but generally, agriculture. But they are very happy, because life, with fresh air around, is safe, pure and healthy.
They did not feel the life of City of Davao, because they just passed only.
And on the way, and as they negotiated a curve, climbing the mountain, a chopped of tree caused an obstruction, and they were forced to get down. A man just get down from their hiding, and with no hesitation, asked them; “Sirs, you’re new here? Please come down. Go with me to that area there.” With no show of suspicion, they just followed. “You are about to register. For your information, we don’t belong to your Government down there. Just remember, we are the government in the mountain. And we will be the one to protect you”. As usual Genaro responded with strong affirmation. They registered their name, and paid them. Tasyo, explain to them that it was a progressive tax. As a resident in the mountain, and just not to make any hustles, paying for them doesn’t have any meaning at all. Later, they were already in the vicinity of Tasyo’s haven.
After they have moved all their things, they ate their evening meals, and because they were tired, they asked to take a rest earlier. But some of their neighbor sends cereals, potatoes, yams just to help the host for the daily feeds of the new immigrants.
The following morning, Tasyo called his neighbors for a small welcome party, just to introduce his cousin. Villager came, and by pot luck, the crowd was formed, and they were very happy. Genaro and his family were readily accepted by the mountain folks. Songs, wine and dances, made the new family assimilated by the village.
Stories about destinies, adventures and heroism were unfolded by several folks. Some were full of encouragement, but, nonetheless, jokes loaded with truth prevails the occasion. Some narration was exaggerated, but just as the same the person is respected to what he believes is right.
And the “tigulang Pio” (village chairman) stood up for a few words. “Sa ngalan sa atong dapit akong guidawat ang maayong pag-abot sa atong igsoon guikan sa isla” (in the name of our place, I accepted and we welcome our new brother to be with us, since he is also from the island). And everybody stood up and embraced them. Genaro and Teresa cried. The people around him wanted to respond. When the people fully seated, Genaro stood up, and spoke. “ salamat sa inyong pagdawat kanako. Dili unta ko maabot dinhi kun wala pay dakung problema sa ato” (thank you for accepting me. If there was no problem at home I won’t be here).
Then there after, as the night went on and became so chilly, fortunately a few shower drops watered the green grasses, and so the people also went home one by one. Petroleum lights were now almost off, and unexpectedly, a group of men arrived. They were just there and asked food from Tasyo, for they were passersby. They never made any trouble, except food just for their travel, and one said.” Thank you sir, we are still going to cross to bukidnon”. Nobody in the village knew these four young guys, but as far as they were concerned that was usual.
Sooner, they found them, as they went on crossing the thick forest, and in Genaro’s mind, their faces made him remember in his hometown, were some of the night time people roamed around checking villagers about their inclinations. But he hopes nothing will happen in this place.
In the evening, when the environment of silence dominates, there were sounds of strange animals; some are in melody, but many are in screams that for the surprised immigrants it would make them so uneasy and distressed. And if you are not used to shadows, then, all of those which are around, are samples of ghosts, a figure so horrifying if you make an exaggerated descriptions.
“Thanks God we are here and I hope we will have new life full of vigor” Genaro quips.
In the morning, it was Sunday, and they have witnessed throng of people going to town, to hear mass, and also some went to buy home commodities that will last for two weeks. It will take 3 hours walking that is why some have horses, to shorten the time of the travel. You have to pass rivers, hills, and then the plain full of orchards, known to be owned by one of the cronies of the Dictator Marcos. If you happen to do wrong for them, they will shot you right away. Some said that the security guards were all member of the paramilitary unit.
But the most surprising, is that in this place at working days, people are in the field, or in their job working. No one is sitting in stores drinking, or just standing by. It is good sign and very encouraging so far. “I love this place” Genaro sighed in contentment…