|Photo courtesy of Ms. Elizabeth Adlaon-Dolotina|
When a childhood friend shoot this picture of our land, I feel lonely while reminiscing of home. Home is where my heart is. Forever. Where is home? It's in Batuan, Bohol.
I did not have a good life when I was in Batuan.
With my mother, I woke up early mornings to go to our neighbor's farm to harvest their corn, rice or sorghum in exchange for twenty percent of what we have gathered. I slept late nights because we were tasked to tend our gardens or ricefields, making sure there was enough water so we can eat better.
I have worked in farms, there was no child abuse law in my time. Kids, like adults, HAVE TO WORK with the family so we all can eat.
I've walked long distance to fetch water. I walked with sole-less slippers to school. In my time, we walk. I've walked from Dagohoy, Bohol to Batuan. That's about 24 kilometers of walking.
I've stayed with my foster grandparents in the forests of Cantigdas with only monkeys as playmates and fireflies as guiding lights when I went home.
But I have never regretted I had this kind of young life. My life experience taught me to be myself. To look back to where I have grown my roots. To be me.
We will never forget home.