Sunday, July 19, 2009


At 6am on Monday morning we left Manila and drove north toward the Cordillera Mountains. We stopped three times throughout the 14 hour trip to eat and stretch our legs. It seemed as if we would never make it there. The farther we drove from the city, the worse the roads got, and the more beautiful the scenery, until it became dark. We had made it to Besao, but not yet to my barangay (neighborhood) of Kin-iway. I couldn’t see the mountains for it was pitch black, but the others assured me that they were there. We spent the night at the Besao Multi-Purpose Cooperative and drank coffee and shared stories with the women who greeted us upon our arrival. I woke up early in the morning to the sound of roosters crowing loudly, and that is when I knew, I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, as the saying goes. We took my bags from the car and walked up the road to my new house. This is the view from my back yard.The rain had just stopped, and the clouds began to lift. As they rose they revealed the beauty of the mountains and their terraced sides, used for planting rice.
-Melanie West Goes… Besao

1 comment:

  1. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Besao - Kin-iway and Banguitan - from 1985 - 1987. The nicest people. Really, they took care of me, and I am forever indebted.