Palaui, Cagayan, PH: Rediscover Your Inner Child



Through the difficulties of life, most of us lose our inner child.

We are forced to grow up, letting go of our childish qualities, specifically the quality of caring for anything under the sun. Consequently we develop the habit of rationalizing everything in an attempt to escape from being emotionally affected.

“The children are the true heirs to the Kingdom of God.”- around 27-29 A.D.

But when we are about to think that everything has become smooth and sweet, the feeling of emptiness and loneliness makes us realize that we are living a monochromatic life. We recognize that life started being boring, once we decided to part from the emotions which act as the vibrant crayons coloring our book of life.

The moment we stopped caring is the moment we stopped living. Once we stopped being a child we stopped having fun.

Then we ask the question: “What the hell happened to me?”

With all possible efforts we try to be kids again. Sadly most of us just give up after realizing how  difficult it is to rediscover our inner child.  Again we resort to the habit of rationalizing, convincing ourselves that we are too old to be kids anyways.

So what can I suggest?

I suggest that you go to Cagayan and rediscover your inner child.

Be playful once again; and just let your curiosity completely lead you, just like the time when you wanted to explore that spooky empty house in your neighborhood during your childhood.

Go on 13 hour joy ride by riding a bus that would navigate the whole length of Luzon Island to reach its northernmost tip.

Long Cagayan Bus Ride

 (On our way to Cagayan)

Ride a boat to Palaui Island and allow your imagination to run wild again after it never had for a very long time.

Believe me; doing so would let you experience different worlds on the same island. You would be able to entertain absurd ideas such as middle earth is not fictional, the world is flat, centaurs do live in the forest and leprechaun gold does exist.

Just when you are warming up to being a kid again and slowly starting to care again, you would meet a young man. Unfortunately this man would painfully remind you that caring definitely has its negative consequences.

After seeing him skin diving while holding an unusual plastic bottle and a net from a distance, you will be obligated by your curiosity to approach and make friends with him.

In his company you’ll be marveled by his ability to effortlessly catch fishes. You”ll discover that he usually stays in Manila for schooling and during school breaks hunts for aquarium fishes to be able to pay for his tuition.

Palaui Cagayan Cyanide

 (Cyanide fishing)

Wanting to share something amazing yourself, you’ll tell him that a turtle surprisingly allowed you to swim close by, willingly posing in front of your camera.

His reply will be shorter than expected, “You should have told me where it was earlier. I would have caught it for you”

Palaui Cagayan Turtle

 (A hawksbill turtle too dazed from the cyanide to swim away)

So what is so painful about meeting the man, you ask?

I would like to inform you that you just unknowingly made friends with a cyanide fisherman.

In a cold apathetic voice the locals will say:

“That boy is not a Cagayanon. Just like most of cyanide fishermen they are from our neighboring provinces. Some even come from as far as Quezon.  They were once dynamite fishermen who switched to using cyanide when law against dynamite fishing was strictly enforced. They once destroyed our seas with dynamite now they are destroying it with cyanide”.

At that very moment, you instantly figure out why most of the corals you saw earlier diving were either lifeless or shattered.

Palaui Cagayan Shattered Corals

Palaui Cagayan Shattered Corals

 (Damaged coral reef due to illegal fishing methods (dynamite and cyanide))

You’ll realize that the turtle you encountered earlier was not as friendly as you have imagined. The turtle was scared out of its wits, unfortunately it was just too dazed from the cyanide to swim away.

So why the hell would you want to have childlike qualities again? Aren’t experiences such as this the reason why most of us are forced to grow up in the first place?

Well you are right, because it is surely tempting to regress back to your old grown up self after such an experience.

But staring at the local people of Cagayan will be like staring at a mirror and seeing the reflection of the person you are considering to become in your lifetime.

Looking from the outside you will definitely realize how depressing it is to live a life pretending not to care even for stuff which affects you directly.

Well I guess no one can blame the people of Cagayan, for losing their inner child. Being isolated in the North for a long-time resulted to their cries for environmental help and livelihood not being heard.

The primary reason you’ll want to rediscover your inner kid again is for Cagayan people’s sake.  Being a grown up just wouldn’t do the people of Cagayan justice.

It seems ironic but being a childlike probably is the most mature act anyone can do. Thus as a favor to the locals of Cagayan, be a kid again.

Be emotionally involved for Cagayan’s cause and future by visiting Cagayan and its neighboring provinces in order to provide good people like Christopher of Jotay Resort with alternative sources of livelihood through tourism. Help bring back the inner kid in them by conserving what is left with the hope of restoring Cagayan to its formal self.

Christopher of Jotay Resort Cagayan

 (Christopher of Jotay Resort Cagayan)

(Nicco Lampa visited Palaui, Cagayan, Philippines on November 4, 2011 to November 7, 2011)


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