It’s been two long years since I last visited my province up north.
Cabanatuan has always been a summer escape when I was a kid; swimming at the brook at the back of my grandma’s house, picking and eating mangoes and star apples, running around the rice fields, biking through the woods and swinging endlessly on the makeshift tire swing beneath the shade of our huge mango trees.
There was this one summer though that was forever etched on my mind. I’m not sure what the occasion was, but our grandma decided we should hike from Buliran to Obrero through the backfields. It took us half the day, passing streams, mini dams, dessert-like patches and a mighty river before reaching our aunt’s house at the other side of town.
Earlier today, I got a chance to visit Obrero again. After some chitchat with my relatives, I asked if the river that we crossed years back was still there. Well, it’s still there according to my cousin and we can even check it out if I want to.
Like our journey years back, we passed through rice fields, small brooks and sandy places before we got there. The only difference was this time it only took us ten minutes.
The river is indeed still there, it seemed calmer now however than when I first crossed it. It might be due to the fact that I hardly weigh anything back then, unlike now hehe. The bottom’s still gravelly and mini gravel islets seemed to have sprouted on its shallower areas.
We spent the afternoon waiting for the sun to color the sky. I wasn’t really betting on it due to heavy cloud cover. I was about to give up when the sun suddenly burst out of the horizon and gave out a surprising orange glow before retiring.
A yellow moon rose from the trees as twilight approached; as if it was telling us that time to go home.
I was initially hesitant on joining our drive back to Cabanatuan, looking for a more adventure-filled trip for the long holidays, now I’m glad I did.
Barangay Obrero, Cabanatuan City
GPS Coordinates: 15.524798,120.987834 | Click to view location on Google Maps