Happy All Souls Day!
This morning went down much like any other, though I was packing to come to Patag with Shine ready for her baptism tomorrow. I was am very excited, though gutted I missed Emma n Jo's visit to Joyland. Haven't seen them in a very long time (Emma more than Jo) and would have like to have seen them.
We got a ride into Silay with Mamzet and Pastor, then went to the supermarket and dry market to get some food to take to Patag, as apparently you can't buy much food up the mountain, only local vegetables and drinks. Shine spoke to the bus driver and reserved our seats at the front so we could see everything. We also went to to Shines mum's house where her brother and sister were (mostly all adults), walking through a street much like Payatas, but without the smell of the dump. The electricity wiring was so ridiculously dangerous here I took a photo. Once we had got all the food we wanted we went back to the jeepney stop, and hot and sweaty I bought a ice cool coke for 10php. Then I bought another!
Finally we set off, back through Silay and down the road that leads to Joyland, but just at the corner where you turn left for Joyland we turned right, and headed straight towards the mountains. The road was terrible most of the way, an sometimes we veered so close to the sugar came I was fearful of us getting stuck in it. Every now and again a 50ft stretch of good road provided a welcome rest bite from the bumpy jerky rattling of the bus.
As we travelled further up the mountain the road got steeper and 'villages' further apart, though fields and harvesters were plenty. The view was spectacular, being able to see all across the Negros plain to the sea, where Dacutan lay and beyond. The air became cooler and cleaner, though the dust from the bus trailed behind us. Every time we stopped to pick up passengers (or furniture) or drop off passengers (and furniture) the locals stared in my direction, an local children waved or looked nervously at their parents. I smiled, excited for the adventure that lay before me.
When we arrived at Patag we came to Shines friend Mary Jane who we were staying with. Her mother, brother and sister also live here, but they cannot speak English, so I just smile at them. After eating my bread I bought in the market and handed over the chicken and other stuff we bought to MJ we decided to take a walk up to the pool just further up the mountain. It was about a 10 min walk, but I was hot and worn out by the time we got there. My back and leg pain has also returned which made it rather painful, but having not brought my medicine I just had to grin and bear it.
When we got to the top we walked past the swimming pool to the Japenese shrine, set up in memory of the Japenese, Filipino and American soldiers who died in the Second World War. The view from here was amazing. Back up at the swimming pool, I welcomed a swim in the warm water to cool myself, and having changed into my swimming costume before we left, spent 15 mins in the pool. Then we walked back down the mountain, dripping all the way, but enjoying the company as Shine started to teach me the National anthem.
Many of the locals that we passed came out to look at this strange white girl walking through around far from the nearest tourist spot. They were friendly enough, and I smiled at those who plucked up the courage to say hello.
Back at MJ's she cooked us Fried Chicken and rice, which was amazing, and then we set out again for the youth meeting which was at the church - the opposite direction to the pool: down and up the hill, about 15mins away. It was dark already by the time we left and there was a thick blanket of stars in the sky. When we got to the church the youth were gathered outside, about 10 of them. Many had been swimming during the day and were tired. Shine led the meeting with a short message in Illongo from James about fighting with our brothers and sisters, then we prayed and some of the youth left. During this time I was occupied by the many bugs, insects and spiders that were roaming the space around me...
Reylee (a scholar from Joraben) lives up here and his Dad is the Pastor of the church. His Mum is very friendly, Jubilee, and came and spoke to me in what she calls 'Tomato English' because its 'squashed'. Lol. We chatted for about half an hour and then left because it was getting late and we were all very tired. Back at MJ's house I. Went straight to bed and slept until morning, getting only 1 mosquito bite.