Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BUGNAY HO!

Friday morning we packed our bags and climbed atop a Jeepney for an adventurous ride through the Filipino mountains. Our destination? ... BUGNAY! We planned to stay the weekend, check up on all the pregnant women in town and worship with the But-but tribe on Sunday morning. This picture is of me on top of the Jeepney at the beginning of the journey. At one point, there were 23 of us holding on to the rails and bouncing along the bumpy, muddy road. The views were spectacular! This was the main reason we wanted to be on top of the Jeep instead of inside. For more than 6 hours we feasted on the lush scenery and gawked at the rugged tropical beauty.

What a breath of fresh air from the fumed-filled city streets of Davao City. One mountain in particular stands out. It is called 'Sleeping Beauty'. Perhaps you can see her lying there, sleeping in the distance. Rice is the main crop of the Philippines, i would say. This is a rice paddy up close. It will be ready for harvest in July, I'm told. This is a picture of Belen (our lovely local guide and translator!) and me standing on the bridge leading to Bugnay. The bridge is made of metal and sits several hundred feet above one of the largest rivers in the north. That day, it was raging with brown muddy swells from the recent rain storms. In the distance, you can see some of the houses of the village. I am told there are about 1000 inhabitants in Bugnay. And Bugnay is just one of 5 towns, where the But-but live. I'm told the But-but tribe is one of the largest ethnic groups here in the north.