I also had with me my rattan pasiking and, along with a small plastic bottle of water and my cellphone (that "mylab" insisted I should always carry), I put a small notebook and a ballpen in it so I could jot down some keywords to capture the fleeting thoughts that I knew would surely come as my head would be recharged and made alive by the views and the fresh and mentholated air in this part of Baguio City.
Well then, here are some of the photos and some of the thoughts that came out of that morning exercise:
|Sunflowers and pine trees at Amistad, Camp 7, Baguio City (Dec. 1, 2011 photo by charlz castro)|
|Wild sunflowers along Bued River. (Dec. 1, 2011 photo by charlz castro)|
|The most scenic part of Kennon Road. (Photo taken Dec. 1, 2011 by charlz castro)|
|One of the sentinels of Kennon Road. (Dec. 1, 2011 photo by charlz castro)|
BESIDE THE POLICE OUTPOST near the Kennon Road View Point, there's this monument ("inaugurated on July 4, 2005") featuring a bust of Lyman W. Kennon, and the first two paragraphs of the inscription beneath it reads this way:
This historic edifice is a labor of love dedicated to Col. Lyman W. Kennon of Rhode Island, United States of America, acclaimed "Builder of Kennon Road," one of the best and greatly admired mountain highways in the world today. It is a tribute to his exemplary leadership, engineering skills and knowledge and excellent understanding of human nature.
Likewise, the monument is a symbol commemorating the centennial anniversary observance of the Benguet Road (1905-2005), later renamed Kennon Road by the Philippine government, after its builder and to acknowledge with respect and gratitude the 4000 multinational work force composed by Americans, Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese, Canadians, Hawaiians, Mexicans, Indians, Hindus, Chileans, Peruvians, Spaniards, Italians, Russians, Germans, French, Portuguese, and Swedes, among others.
Wow! If the nationalities enumerated above were true, and even if they were not all in the plural form, Kennon Road must have indeed be a feat not only of road engineering but also of people management! Reading those lines, I wondered: If this mountain road was built by so large and varied multinational group, how come it has not been nominated as a UNESCO Heritage Site?
I also wondered: Aside from the Isinay-sculpted Lion Head whose chief artist Ansel Day-ag most probably hired trusted workers from Nueva Vizcaya, could it be possible that the Filipinos part of Kennon's road workers included Isinays?
And if there were Isinays among the road-builders of Kennon, which part of Isinay country did they come from? Was it Bambang, Aritao, Dupax, or the then said to also be Isinay country Kayapa? And if there were Isinays in Kennon in 1905, was it possible that they practiced such Isinay ways of catching river fish in the Bued River as pansipit, seyup, batong, lajma, and kunukun? And when they camped along the river, did they also resort to the relatively clean way of sourcing potable water by making tuvu' (bubon in Ilocano) on the teyantaj (riverbank) and used bayongbong (tubong in Ilocano; bamboo tube) to fetch or store water? During the freezing December to February months, did they also resort to tending bonfires for their aniru (keeping warm by the fireside), using as panggonot (kindling material) or even itungu (fuelwood) the seyong (pinewood) that used to freely abound in the area either as live trees or as driftwood? Did they volunteer to hunt laman (deer), bavuy si eyas (wild pig) or pani-i (fruit bat)using their improvised salejap (hunting trap)? And what did they do when they felt meyongngaw (homesick)? Were there Ibaloi/Ibaloy maidens around who they made arug (courtship) to?
|Sunflowers, snippet from TREES, and quinine tree. (Dec. 1, 2011 photo by charlz castro)|