If I sometimes neglect this blog, don’t fret. That means I am preoccupied with something more noble, which is writing the “definitive” history of the birthplace of my father, the town of Tudela. The time consumed by this endeavor is no joke, so I have to be away from this blog from time to time.
I have traveled far back into the past, in a place I didn’t trudge on even when I was still a student. Now I am more proud of our heritage because I understand better. The archipelago was not a primitive place when Ferdinand Magellan and Antonio Pigafetta set foot on our soil. The islands were home to thriving villages.
And the Camotes group of islands, composed of Poro, Ponson and Pacijan, was not just rocky and uninhabited. The old settlements in Poro island were those in Maktang in what is now Poro town and Tag-anito in what is now Tudela town.
An interesting point is the fact that much of the practices Filipinos have now have not changed much through the years. Even centuries of Spanish rule failed to make a dent on these practices described in detail by Spanish chroniclers. These have not been discussed at length in our schools, though.
I have seen with my own eyes some of the artifacts dug up by pot hunters in Maktang and was amazed at the find: Chinese porcelain ware, tooth dotted with gold, jewelry, etc. This just shows how extensive the contact of our ancestors had been with Chinese and Muslim traders.
In my research, I came into some of the works of Roel Orillo of Barangay Puertobello in Tudela town (he is now residing in Manila). Orillo tried to come up with a narrative of how the town came into being. He based his writings on translations of records at the National Archives written in Spanish.
This is an exciting, though taxing, work, that is why I am obsessed.