verb [ T ]

/ˌriːˈkæl.ɪ.breɪt/ /ˌriːˈkæl.ə.breɪt/

  1. to make small changes to an instrument so that it measures accurately .
  2. to change the way you do or think about something.

I’ve been racking my brain on how to write my next post.  I had wanted to recount to you on what happened to my trip to Bulalacao where I was to begin the physical search.  I’ve started, edited and deleted many drafts but still couldn’t find the right cadence.  I even gave myself a few days to just do nothing but catch up on my hulu, cw and netflix shows.  Yes, you got it, binge watching!  That however I have to point out is no small feat given the slow internet connection we have here, the bandwidth is just crazy!

At first I was going to do a play by play of what we’ve done every single day but that came out hollow and didn’t give focus on the vibe of the trip.  It turned out that it was a report with no true substance of what it felt like for me each day.  I have put an accounting of our activities at the end anyway so you can get a snapshot of the trip.

I picked the word recalibrate because “my instrument” which are my thoughts and feelings needs to be measured accurately (as best as one can measure something intangible as thoughts and feelings).  I also need to change the way I thought about that experience.  I have come to the conclusion that I will focus on how I internalized the experience.  I will have a separate blog to talk about the places we’ve visited to give credence to how beautiful each of these places are.  With that said, I ask that you please be patient with me as it will take me a little time to write the succeeding posts but I will tell you what I have generally felt during the trip to Mindoro and Antique.

The trip was mostly focused on talking to people.  I’ve told you in one of my posts, that I have come to realize that I have a failure to communicate with my own people, that I had to re-learn how to be a Filipino again.  And this trip helped me do that.  As most of you know, I pretty much keep my own worries to myself except maybe with Henry.   I have found that I just have to say what we wanted to accomplish and not have to keep our guards up too much.  I wasn’t sure who we could really trust but I have found that the city (Metro Manila) has a different vibe than the provinces.  I have found people to be really genuine and very willing to help.  We’ve talked to a lot of people who has been kind enough to help us with our plight.

There was a lot of emotion inside me as we talked to people who had mentioned that my sister’s face looked familiar that my eyes often welled in tears but I fought hard for it not to drop.  So needless to say, I felt like I was a geyser that was about to burst but luckily I was able to keep it down.   I was elated to hear that there is a possibility she is there somewhere.  I was overwhelmed not only with that feeling but also with the gratefulness towards all the people that talked to us, those that offered help and even to those that just gave a sympathetic ear.  It also delighted me to see my mom light up with that renewed hope inside of her.  She was shining to bright it almost blinded you to look at her.  Her aura was just emanating incredibly bright.  How can you not be overwhelmed with that?

 This trip also taught me a little patience since I had to allow things to just unfold on their own and let it take it’s own course.  I’ve learned that subtle art of careful conversation.  It felt awkward at first I spoke but I found the words flowed easily with each person we spoke with.  Of course, I’ve had a partner in crime to help me through this too.  My cousin Queenie who I would be forever grateful to for joining me in this quest.

You may ask, did we find my sister during this trip?  You probably would have guessed that we did not even though we had a lot of hopeful leads.  However, as I mentioned in a post before, that the purpose of this trip was to establish some contacts that we can follow up with and we were able to do just that and perhaps have gained new friends along the way.  If I can sum up our trip into a sentence, I would say that our trip was full of blessings.  All our interactions were easy.  We didn’t run into too much resistance and one thing led to another and with people extending kindness towards us.  That is a very rare thing these days and I was fortunate to have experienced that.

We do have a few leads and follow through that needs to happen and they will all in good time.   Here is a little snapshot of what and where we were each day of the trip:

Date Description
23 Mar – Arrived in San Jose, Mindoro airport.

– Met up with a family that Queenie stayed with when she lived in Mindoro.

– Took public van ride to Bulalacao

– Met with Maam Ching Jano at Municipal office of Bulalacao. She is with sitting planning and also has a resort. (she offered price break on one of our cottages in South Drive Resort).

24 Mar – Met with Emma More (a daughter of one of my mom’s friend’s friend).

– Spoke with Barangay captains in Balatasan and Maujao.

– Went to the hospital.  Explored the town center.  Spoke that night with the town mayor.

25 Mar – Travelled back to San Jose and stayed at Prince Transient Hotel.

– Went to the market and cooked our own dinner at the community kitchen at the hotel

26 Mar – My sister’s birthday.

– Went with Nanay Rica to Sablayan to see a seer who gave us info that my sister is in an island called Batbatan.

– Made arrangements to catch a 3 hour FastCat Catamaran to Caticlan @ 10 pm.

27 Mar – We missed our flight back to Manila (due to this new info).

– We arrived in Caticlan to catch a 2 hour bus ride to Culasi.

– Checked in to Anna-Sophie Hostel and took a few hours rest.  Thelma & Romy Palacios (owners of the hostel) offered their boat to give us a 1 ½ hour ride to Batbatan island (they gave us a price break too).

– Spoke to a few people in Batbatan and to 3 council members of the different Barangays.  They gave us a lead to a person who might possibly be my sister but that she now lives in Manila.

28 Mar – Was able to arrange a flight for 7:30 pm from Kalibo back to Manila.  The Palacios offered to drive us to Kalibo (a 2 hour ride) and just help the pay for gas since they were picking up one of their children.

– This is where we parted ways with Queenie. She and Kaira took the bus back to their home in Iloilo. Which is about a 3 ½ hour ride. She texted me later and told me that they were home and we were still on the road just making our way from Manila airport back to our home in Quezon City.



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