Wednesday, July 16, 2008
when we arrived at the Planas drop point, i approached the aeta that went with us in the jeepney. i asked if it's possible for me to reach Pasbul village by walking, he said that it's far and that if i take a tricycle, it'll cost P200. i didn't enough time to travel that long because i was scheduled to be in Angeles Pampanga by 5:30pm.i mentioned to him that i need to visit an aeta village, then he suggested that i should instead visit their village, which was closer than Pasbul village which the town people recommended. so i agreed and joined him walking. he speaks Tagalog because of the frequent visit of people from the city. his name is Dencio. blessed enough to have met mang Dencio.after 15minutes we were now entering their village. he went to the school where he was helping the school's new cooking area. i thanked him as i decided to walk around the village and see the cottages around the clear grassy ground.houses were made up of nipa or what we call nipa huts. a basketball court was on one side of the ground and a small chapel on the opposite side. i saw some of them walking around and even asked this lady to smile as i take a shot of her. i continued walking and saw an abandoned cottage where a lady, a girl and a little kid were sitting. i approached them and asked if i can take a seat in the bench opposite to where they are sitting. started to interact with them. the lady's name is Del while the girl's name is Jessica. i asked where they were when Mt. Pinatubo erupted and manang Del shared her story of actually running away from their homes carrying her child after huge smoke came out of Mt. Pinatubo's peak. although there were already signs that the mountain was about to erupt, they didn't evacuate thinking of their crops and their house. but not when the mountain started to emit pyroclastic materials. they run as far as they can along with other aetas in their village. after hours of walking and running, they reached the plain area where other evacuees were already being treated by some volunteers. they were already near Bataan. they were able to escape Mt. Pinatubo's fiery destruction. now she has four children and has been in the village for years now after the eruption. the child below is manang Del's youngest son. the little kid sitting on the ground is Jessica's little brother,his name is James. Jessica's little brother. she was about to treat James' feet with a medicine because of the wounds on his feet. as his feet was dipped in a basin of medicine, he started crying. after sometime, talking to them. i asked where are the other people in their village. she said that the children are in school while the men are working. they were friendly. even had some time joking with them. bid goodbye as i started walking back to check out the school within the village. saw some kids along the road playing while others were carrying water to their houses. they walk around freely here. another woman passed and i asked her to smile for a shoot and gave me this pose and her best smile. i can see that they are happy here. they say that this place is very safe but it is still being discussed as to who really owns this land. i hope that this land will be given to them as they continue to recover from the effect of the eruption.