RATTAN SA PUSOD NG SIERRA MADRE

April 1, 2013

Ang Sierra Madre ang sinasabing gulugod ng Luzon. Tirahan ng daan-daang halaman at hayop. Tirahan para sa isang Dumagat na may pangarap.

Sa likod ng mga ulap na bumabalot sa kabundukan, makikita ang mga baging na siyang kabuhayan para sa mga Dumagat ng Sitio Kinabuan, Tanay, Rizal. Ang mga rattan o yantok na ito ay nagkakahalaga mula tatlo hanggang dalawampung piso bawat isa. Para sa ganitong kita kung kaya sumasama si Jacqueline Araojo sa kanyang mga magulang papunta sa masukal na bundok, kung saan nakabitin sa naglalakihang puno ang mga matinik na rattan. May pangarap si Jacqueline, at sa bawat hakbang buhat-buhat ang rattan papunta sa bayan, alam niyang siya’y napapalapit dito.

English version

The Sierra Madre mountain range: the “backbone” of Luzon. Home to hundreds of plants and wild life. And home too, for a young Dumagat with a dream.

In the foggy mountain range are spiny vines that provide a living for the Dumagats of Sitio Kinabuan, Tanay, Rizal. These are rattan vines or “yantok”, which start to sell at three pesos and go as much as 20 pesos each, depending on the size. And for this selling price, fourteen-year-old Jacqueline Araojo joins her parents and elders into the thick forests of Sierra Madre in search for these thorny vines that dangle the trees. Jacqueline has a dream and as she carries their rattan harvest to town, she is a step closer to it.

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