Reunion is mother’s happiest moment
Lourdes Alento is an Itbayanon, living on a remote island inhabited by only 700 hundred families, isolated from the rest of the province of Batanes. It is one of the most peaceful places in the country. It doesn’t have any beach, but is surrounded by towering cliffs. Because of this geographical peculiarity, a distinct cultural identity has been passed from generation to generation.
Lourdes and her husband, together with their 17 children, till fertile land planting yams, sweet potatoes, garlic, and red and white onions. It was through her daughter, Marciana, that I learned about her industrious mother.
Marciana helped her mother in the planting and trading of their produce, which enabled them to send most of the children to school—like Fely, now a physical therapist in Brunei; Clifford, 26, an electrical engineer, and Marlyn, who is reviewing for the nursing board exams.
They recently had a reunion in Itbayat, and I took photographs of all the children and the children’s children.
They chartered a plane that took only eight minutes to travel from Basco to Itbayat, versus a boat ride of three and a half hours. They stayed with their mother for only three hours, as the plane had to be back by 3 p.m. But, the children brought their mother with them to stay in Basco, the most progressive of the three Batanes islands.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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