The year was 2012. I was fresh out of high school and had just entered the University of the Philippines Cebu. The last time I went to Leyte was five years ago (the base year is 2012) when my mother, aunt, and I along with four other Filipinos and one Japanese were stranded until past midnight at Limon on our way to Ormoc from Tanauan.
My final project in History 1 was about the Archdiocese of Palo. I cannot remember the instructions my professor gave, but it was along the lines of researching the history of our family’s hometowns. My mother’s side of the family has roots from different parts of Leyte: Palo, Tacloban, and Tanauan (among others). Since my maternal grandmother came from Palo, I decided to focus on that area and talk about the seat of Roman Catholicism in Leyte armed with my handy digital camera, my film camera, and an overnight duffel bag stuffed to bursting.
I’d type my findings here, but there’s a better alternative, and that would be you checking out my 2012 self’s video-making skills *cue wince*. I spent 72 hours working on it with Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe After Effects, Audacity, and Windows Movie Maker. Until now I still wonder how I survived that ordeal.
I’ve taken a lot of trips in the past, but this one’s worth mentioning because that was the first time I rode a plane alone. My thoughts upon landing were pretty cliche, but after I breathed in a lungful of fresh Leyte air, I thought, “The air might be different, but one thing’s for sure – we’re all still under the same sky.”
Thank you to my aunts, uncles, great-aunt, great-uncle, and Fr. John Paul Pedrera for the success of this trip. This marked the beginning of my first “hell week” in UP, and now I’m at the brink of my last.