Sunday, September 14, 2008
andoy: ang astig at pinakabatang tourist guide ng callao caves
(Trip na Trip features andoy)
a few minutes after jake and i arrived in tuguegarao for a speaking engagement, sinabi sa amin nung organizers ng event na they're bringing us to callao caves. i didn't even have the slightest idea that it's one of the famous tourist destination pala. but nung sinabi nilang they're bringing there, i knew i was in for a treat. i can sense their pride sa caves na yun so i figured it must really be awesome to explore.
we traveled for almost 30 minutes to the town where the callao eco park is located. i was excited kahit na i wasn't exactly dressed for a trek. it's one of the rare times that i went out of town without bringing my rubber shoes. eh malay ko ba namang pupunta pala kami sa isang famous na cave? kaya nga ang nasabi ko na lang sa sarili ko eh good luck sa mary janes ko dahil masira na ang dapat masira, sasama at sasama pa rin ako.
buti na lang nga at pumunta kami kasi the place is simply wonderful. serendipity na masasabi yung mga pangyayari sa trip namin na to. pero higit pa sa sobrang gandang caves na nakita ko, ang masasabi kong napaka-interesting at inspiring na nangyari eh nung nakilala ko si andoy.
andoy is a grade 6 student who is also said to be the "youngest cagayan tourist guide". it was a shame hindi ko na-video nung nagsimula na syang magsalita. this was just before we began to climb the stairs going to the caves. pano ba naman, he totally captured all our attention that it was already too late when i realized hindi ko pala siya kinukuhanan.
he delivered his spiel kasi in flawless english, with a matching tone na sounded to me as confident, naughty, and generally happy sa pagiging guide nya. at it seemed na pumunta siya talaga dun at yung isang 16-year old guide (na kagaya rin nyang magaling mag-english) para mag-guide sa amin.
the trip to the caves was doubly fun because of them. there was never a dull moment. naisip ko nga, i would have enjoyed staying there longer. and to explore all the caves with these two tourist guides that made me feel so light and happy.
sumabay si andoy at yung isa pang guide sa amin pabalik ng tuguegarao. while in the van, tuloy-tuloy lang yung usapan. feeling nga namin matagal na kaming magkakakilala. mga bibong bata kasi sila andoy. kwento pa nya, gusto nya maging lawyer paglaki nya. then he corrected himself, tourism daw muna pala kukunin nya then tsaka siya magla-law. and when he said that, i knew that someday he'd be one. he said it in such a matter-of-fact tone that i believed him.
sabi ni andoy may offer sa kanya na sa ateneo de manila sya pag-aaralin. he said that he told those who offered him that na pag-high school and college na lang daw nya. i hope that happens nga, because andoy really has a lot of potential that i'm sure a good education can further draw out from him.
nakakatuwa na hanggang ngayon naaalala ko pa rin yung mga antics ni andoy kahapon. i can't help but think that treasures really abound. and that most times, nakikita sila sa mga hindi inaasahang lugar at pagkakataon.