Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Life in our Town Tabuk

Photo courtesy of http://www.tabuk.gov.ph/

I've been staying in my hometown for months now since my husband left for Qatar.  It's the longest period I've stayed here so far since I graduated in high school and moved to Manila for my university years.  During university days, I usually come home during semestral breaks and when I was working in Manila, I do visit every once in a while, specially during Christmas and new year seasons.  I come home also when I feel like it specially if I want to get away from the stressful busy city life or from the nauseating pollution surrounding Manila and its annoying heavy traffic.  Who's not tired of the rat race?  I do some times specially when the race seems to be meaningless and depressingly stressful.  Doing the same routine over and over again each day often burns me out.  Life in our town is far more relaxed and simpler.   Everything seems to be in slow motion including time, allowing me to rest and breath and think clearly so I'd have the energy I could use when I go back to the grind again. 

Tabuk, now a city, is the capital of the province of Kalinga.  Our hometown is the melting pot of cultures.  There are the Kalingas who are the natives in this province and the migrants composing of Igorots, Ilocano, Isneg, Ibanag, Tagalogs, and people from Mindanao areas.  There are foreigners here too, caucasians, Chinese, and Indians.  Their are different religions here Christians and otherwise.  Their are the catholics who compose may be more than 50% of the population and the other 50% are either Anglicans, protestants, mormons, other Christian sects, and of course the muslims, not to mention the atheist, pagans, and agnostics.

In our home town, now a city, the rural ways is still apparent. Don't get me wrong, it's rural ambiance is what makes my hometown beautiful.   I always like to smell it's earth scented air specially when it rains but during summer time, the dusts make my nose itch.  Air pollution is not much as compared to Manila or it's nearby city Tuguegarao, I believe.  There are private cars here, though,  and the number is growing each day that is the reason why there are many gasoline stations sprouting around.  And there are tricycles, vans, and jeeps that serves as public utility vehicles.  But their number may not be enough to pollute the air as there are also trees around helping to keep the air fresh.  Electricity have reached most far-flung barrios but there are still those who prefer to light their home using traditional lampara.  TVs including smart TVs, refrigerators, electric fans, washing machines, etc. have been part of the household but there are still those who prefer to wash their dirty clothes in rivers or handwash them, there are also those who prefer to make itag, preserved salted meat, rather than freeze them in the fridge.  Landlines have been eradicated in my hometown, as most people of our town prefer to carry their own mobile phones, for convenience purposes.  Mobile loading stations have mushroomed around because of this.  Even households make mobile loading as their business.

Agriculture is the major industry in our town.  Hectares and hectares of rice fields and fishponds and animal farms surround Tabuk.  Their are also some stores, small and big and their are those in small carts or a 1m. by 2m. as long as there is a foot traffic, a store no matter how small can be found.  There are grocery stores here but they cannot be compared with those in Manila or in other cities since they are just big enough to carry basic supplies.  Years before only a few distributors come to my hometown with their trucks to deliver grocery stuff.  The very reason is that they are afraid to be robbed along their way here.  Road robbery is very common back then.  The assholes usually rob delivery trucks or cars of salesmen.  I guess things have already changed since I see large delivery trucks and salesmen and medical reps marching around town. Our town is improving.

Photo courtesy of http://www.tabuk.gov.ph/

Modernization fortunately has touched our hometown.   Major roads were cemented but may be 80%, specially those roads to the barrios, are still full of rough patches and pot holes.  I wonder where the budgets for those roads had gone?   Businesses specially resorts and hotels are currently booming AND big names like Mercury and Monterey have set their space in our place and more will come :-).

Politics? Still dirty.  The people running our hometown and the whole of our province are the usual old names.  There are new ones I've never heard of before but they are just the same unscrupulous and corrupt individuals and families.  What's new?  My hometown is still part of the Philippines and dishonesty, selfishness, and corruptness have become common attributes of most politicians.

That's our hometown, Tabuk. My husband and I were born here, and so are our siblings.  We grew up here. And we have known each other here.  BUT we hope we will not die here :-)  And like more than 50% of it's population, I am here only to visit and catch up with old friends.   I will be leaving again in a few weeks for better and greener opportunities overseas but we will always come back here for another vacation.  And while I am still here and before I leave to join my husband in the Middle East, we decided, actually, I decided, to feature dishes and delicacies cooked by folks living in our hometown.

Please check some of these recipes here :  Recipes from Tabuk, Kalinga

 © Fresha-licious (09October2012)

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