To the simple and hardworking folk of the soil, Maytime is respite from the long, backbreaking task of plowing, harrowing, transplanting the seedlings, readying the paddies and dikes and sowing of the seeds of sustenance.
In between the planting and the loving care given to the young green stalks so they may in their season bear fruit, the tillers go out to the sea in their bancas to collect their share of the sea. For when they go back to the fields, there will be few moments for merrymaking.
Except perhaps for an occasional baptism party, wedding or fiesta, life for the people of my hometown, especially the barriofolk, is a recurring pattern, like the passing of the seasons – one of waiting between the planting and the harvest, and then of preparing again the rich soil for the new seedlings, and soon enough the harvesting. Then it starts all over once more. But before it does, we have May, the month of flowers, of fragrance, beauty, love, courtship and prayers.
To her native sons and daughters, Calabanga is a beautiful town even if it seems slow in making progress. Many of its sons and daughters have left her to find their fortunes elsewhere or their particular place in the sun, but it is not a final breakaway.
For, at least once in a year, they go home again, or if they are exiled in distant lands, call to mind Calabanga of blue mountain and sea, of long stretches of sand, unpolluted clear rivers, of green rice paddies and swamplands, of tall slender coconut trees and beautiful flowers.
They remember the simplicity of the townsfolk, their songs, sometimes sad and brooding, sometimes happy and warm.
Come September, and every September of the years to come, I will remember Calabanga, the town fiesta, and the fragrant flowers, the innocent joy and the simple life, and the abiding faith, faith in God and in the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Watch out for the two-part video documentary about Amang Hinulid coming out soon on Cbanga360.net