Adventure in The Philippines: Beautiful Philippines
“Ang bayan kong Pilipinas, lupain ng ginto’t bulaklak...” (“My country, the Philippines, land of gold and flowers”)
Hundreds stood arm in arm, singing these words to a soulful melody. It made for a beautiful song, made sweeter by the passion with which it was sung.
A floral fragrance permeated the air, being pushed around by a gentle breeze. Hari closed his eyes and took a long, deep breath. He smiled to himself, it reminded him of his home in India.
“What is that beautiful smell?” asked Mira.
“Jasmine flowers” replied Hari, still smiling. He bent down and picked one of the flowers off the small tree. “Here, smell it” he said as the travellers all took a whiff of the beautiful perfume.
Mira opened her bag and took out her Anulap. It read:
‘Manila, Philippines, May 26, 1978’
“Where is the Philippines exactly?” Hari asked Mira.
Teyus interjected, “It’s a country of many islands that lies in the eastern part of the South China Sea, between Taiwan and Malaysia”.
Mira looked away from the group. She wondered what these people were doing singing in the park. Just then, a young boy pushed through the crowd towards them. He looked no more than 12 himself.
“Diba, where you coming from?” he asked. (Diba is just a fancy way in the Philippines of saying “Right?” or “Isn’t it”)
Mira spoke in the same manner as their new friend, half in Tagalog (the national language of Philippines) and half in English. She soon learned that the boy was named Nonoy and his mother was working far away in a different country. Nonoy was naturally amazed by Luctus velo since he had never seen a tandem bike before. He explained to Mira that they were standing in the first music festival ever being held in Manila. Filipinos (that’s what people from the Philippines are called) love to sing, so the city sponsored the sprawling festival. Everyone from around the country made their way to Manila to hear the beautiful singers.