Finding a Sagada Friend through Facebook

Friday, October 3, 2008

RC was the first Caucasian I befriended. This was during my 6th grade, way back in 1987-88. She is Australian. Her family rented a place in Nangonogan, Sagada - where I spent my early childhood years. I don't remember what her family's business in Sagada was. I know they moved from one rural place to another. Prior to Sagada, they stayed in Somalia. This means that her folks may have worked for a non-government organization, but at that time, it didn't occur to me to even ask. Her family were the first Buddhists I ever met.

I was a regular at their house; she and her brother had a good collection of Asterix and Tintin comic books. I remember playing darts with them both. And, when it was school election time, she run under my party as the Public Relations Officer (PRO). After a campaign speech in front of the whole school, she sang "Waltzing Matilda". I remember that I won in the position I aspired for; she narrowly lost to a 5th grader. (On a side note - when I worked in Paris, a French colleague was surprised that I read Asterix and Tintin as a child. He pronounced Tintin as "tan-tan".)

We had a class debate during that year - it was on the effect of tourism in Sagada. I was in the group who favored tourism, to my great surprise, she was in the opposing group. To me, she was a tourist in Sagada. Perhaps she didn't see herself as I did. She was one of five or six from that group who stood up and gave a speech why tourism is bad for Sagada.

After 6th grade, I moved to Manila to continue my high school studies. I believe RC and her family stayed in Sagada for a year or two more. After that, we lost contact with each other. Just last year, I opened a Facebook account. I searched for RCs name and I saw a profile from Australia. I sent her a message asking if she was the same RC who was in Sagada. She replied back:

"Yes!! I am RC who went to sagada elementary school, and I am delighted and suprised that anyone has found me! I would never have thought that anyone would find me from Sagada. I am SO PLEASEd you did. ...

The only thing is I have a vague memory I definately rememeber your name, and now your face has changed. I have photos of that time and I will look at them. Are you still in Sagada?"
Sometimes, the child in me wish that he is still in Sagada - a 6th grader, no cares in the world except for reading Asterix and Tintin comics, and learning "Waltzing Matilda" from an Australian friend.


Belene McLaughlin October 3, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

Hey Juan...Thought you were referring to Luke and I...LOL. I remember you did befriend RC the Australian red head. How have you been? I see that my mother emailed you also. They will be going to Sagada in early Nov.
Do you have RC's contact info?
My facebook account is under my name Belene McLaughlin. Look me up and I will try to find you also.
Take care...Belene

Kamulo October 4, 2008 at 6:10 AM  

hi belene, thanks for dropping by. no, i wasn't referring to you and luke, though i have in my list of future posts something on non-sagada locals who have lived in that town. so there, you got ahead of me, hehehe...

i'd always remember luke in his bike. didn't get to play with you that often - and that's perhaps because (a) i was shy as a child, and (b) you and your brother were homeschooled. (by the way, 2 of my boys are currently homeschooled, the eldest attend regular school and is in 4th grade but he was homeschooled until 2nd grade).

i sent you a note through your facebook account. you can search through my network and find RC there.