"Ma'm, hindi ho kayo pwede pumasok (Ma'm you're not allowed to enter)", a man stepped out of the shadows and warned my aunt. "No trespassing ho."
My aunt snickered. Everyone else snickered. We snickered our way back to an old house across the street which our family rented for a weekend vacay (it was to become PNKY Home Bed and Breakfast) and sat around the bonfire where that dare was born.
The Laperal White House has been known to be haunted. And my aunt, who chose consequence over truth in a spin-the-bottle-game, was challenged to enter the premises. Our whole crew accompanied her to see if she was determined/crazy/inebriated enough to do it. Turned out she was so into the dare that she even attempted to climb over the fence. That was when the house's caretaker shooed us away...
I entered the gate. My travel buddies Melo of Out Of town Blog and Julius of Lakwatserong Tsinelas were already inside for some exploring.
Mr. Manda was appointed General Manager of NAIA from 2001 to 2004 under the Arroyo administration. "After my airport stint I was moved to Laguna Lake Development Authority, an attached agency of DENR from 2005-2010, where I acquired my interest on bamboo because of the watershed surrounding Metro Manila and its environs causing flash floods..."
"The bamboo art fell accidentally on my lap when Baguio was hit by a typhoon about three years ago which resulted in the collapse of a dumpsite in Irisan near the wood carving village of Asin Road in Baguio City. My team went to the area to assess and do an ocular so we can introduce bamboo for hillside erosion control. We found out that it was a thriving wood carving village for many decades. However, they lost their livelihood because of scarcity or lack of wood."
He wondered if the Asin carvers could work with bamboo.
Bamboo Advocacy And Philippine Bamboo Foundation's Future Plans
The future plans of PBF is to improve its information and education campaign modules by complying with the regulations of TESDA. Dovetailing our IEC into skills training to provide more people, specially farmers, a better understanding of bamboo as a commodity. PBF will also provide technical assistance to investors on how to incubate the program into a commercial bamboo plantation."
There was a spark in Mr. Manda's eyes all throughout his talk. And that visual of passion stayed with me for days. After the tour he let us off and we roamed freely upstairs.
In case you're wondering, nope, we didn't encounter any hostile spirits. Just Baguio's hostile cold that crept in the rooms (temperature dipped to 8.1℃ later in the evening) which haunted me in the form of a high fever a day after the trip.