Bukidnon Is In The Heart by Anijun Mudan-udan

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monasterychapel(Originally posted in Bukidnon Bloggers Network ) – Carlos Bulosan should forgive me (for taking a clue from his America is in the Heart). I just can’t resist using this phrase to show how Bukidnon’s beauty has intoxicated and fascinated me after all these years of wandering.

I have already reached the lure of Cordillera, the charm of Mayon and the mystery of Sierra Madre but Kitanglad’s grandeur still towers above them all.

For who can forget the cloudless mornings when you wake up to the pristine image of Kitanglad calm and peaceful in the morning sun? For who can forget the misty afternoons when you imagine that encantadas are descending on the rainbow from their sojourn in the skies?

I’ve been to countless rivers but no river could replace the throne of Tagoloan in my heart. NOr could any river rival Amusig in my musings. And what river can compete with the freshness of Kulaman? Or with the coolness of Nasuli? Or the ever wonderful Atugan?

In my mind, Bukidnon is an eternal place of wild guavas we used to pick during its season. During summer it’s a place where I’ve spent my childhood chasing piyugo in the newly plowed cornfields in Lantapan. It is also during summer that the Katii and the Barobo trees offer their delicious nuts. Summer in my mind is already a picture of the clear Kulaman river where one can see the colorful tambilolo, anga and and pait .

During the rainy season it’s the perpetual image of fishermen peddling casili, karpa and balanak they’ve caught in their fish traps. Or the men bringing pails full of mushrooms. And of course the non-stop brewing of coffee in the old overused teapot blackened by soot and charcoal.

These are just some of those things that seem to have acquired a life of their own in one’s imaginings. Especially when one remembers that during those years in elementary school the most beautiful girl smiled and made a promise. Or during the highschool years when one discovers that the new most beautiful girl in the world is stealing some glances when one’s not looking.

SO how can you forget the things that are already weaved in the fabric of your being?

And there’s more to that than just memories of a wandering nomad. For I’m a descendant of the people who called Bukidnon their home since time immemorial. A Higaonon whose roots have long straddled the fertile plateau. Ah! Only another lumad could shout with me that all the lands belonging to Talugan ta Tagoloan is my flesh, my bones, my rightful heritage! But everyone who has ever been there would surely be ensnared in some sort of magic that would last for a lifetime. And everyone who’s ever been to Bukidnon could only shout “I’ve been there” because words are not enough to describe the paradise that fills the soul with wonders.

Anijun Mudan-udan
Los BaƱos, Laguna

(NOTE: The author is a member of the BUKIDNON BLOGGERS NETWORK. He resides in Laguna but often visits his farm in Bukidnon. He likes writing and hopes to launch his first novel “Batbat hi Udan” this coming Feb 2009. The setting of the novel is the Province of Bukidnon. For those with Friendster accounts, you may add him by using his email address anijunmudanudan[AT]yahoo[DOT]com [please replace at with @ and dot with .]

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