29 August 2014

A tale of a whale and the east

I am now almost converted into a museum junkie but that is alright if all museums are as interesting as Subangan in Mati, Davao Oriental. Though Mati is now a city, I am still not used to calling it by its name alone because I feel adding the prefix "Davao Oriental" gives it that exotic feel. And honestly, to this day, the region is.

I have seen whales but never a dead one until I met Davor, the sperm whale which bones are displayed magnificently in the museum entry hall as if there were of a dinosaur though I have nothing from the natural sciences which would support my statement.

Other than the huge whale, the museum shows very impressive information about the Mandaya which are indigenous people of Davao Oriental. I have only wished before that more are known about them and that has finally came true. I have seen and heard a few of the natives when I was kid and even wished to have learned to speak their dialect though my ancestors are nowhere from this region.

I took photos of photos since it was a museum anyway and they have other exhibits too of the famous bonsai forest on Mount Hamiguitan which is now a World Heritage Site. For now I can only drool when I listen to my fiancé talk about it. When he talks, he seems to know it like the back of his hand.

There was an exhibit too of the forgotten typhoon Pablo that made landfall in Davao Oriental in 2012. When my friend talks about it, it sounded like the apocalypse. And probably for tiny islands, the damage is at a similar scale to last year's typhoon Yolanda. Recovery is painful but fruitful though I do not have direct information from the locals who have been directly affected by the devastation.

I guess I have so much love for Davao Oriental since my wallet has always been, for years, made from the Mandaya's handwoven cloth. This place where the sun rises, has always been rich in pristine beaches to green forests and even culture. I only wish for tourism to not erode its natural state.

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