Kadaugan, Part II: Reversals

Life, like the plot of a juicy and unpredictable novel, can have reversals. One afternoon, we were told that the best view of Cebu City would be from the Taoist Temple in Lahug, an affluent part of town in the mountains and home to a thriving Chinese Filipino community. We took a taxi there.


On the radio was a Cebuano talk-show. Now, I can hang out fine in Tagalog, but Cebuano is far beyond me at this point. After about 5 days of being surrounded by this vibrant language, I’ve come to love its rhythm, its dips and dives and fast footsteps. And I notice many words that end in –an or –on.


However, the talk show host was dropping names like Tupas. Then, Lapu-lapu. And, finally, when I heard the name Magellan, I knew that they were talking about the historic event of his landing and subsequent defeat. I pricked up my ears and strained to understand any words at all possible. It’s AMAZING what you can focus yourself to do under the right circumstances.


When we got to the mountains, I told our driver, Jun, that we wanted to see the Kadaugan but that we were told it was already finished. No! he said. He’d just been listening to an hour’s worth of programming. They’d been announcing the Re-enactment and that it was happening (yes, yes, yes!) this Saturday. He gave me the number of the radio station so I could confirm it. What relief I felt at this news I cannot tell you.


What I’ve learned from this is to always check and counter-check the word on the street (any street, any city). The next day, I called the Department of Tourism for final confirmation and *finally* got the official answer and the starting time of the event. Internet is not always reliable or its info complete.


If I had it to do all over again, I would’ve spent the extra $5.00 or whatever it cost to call the Department of Tourism of Cebu from the States to confirm what I’d read about the Kadaugan online – to save these 2 days of grief and uncertainty.


I think it was Julia Cameron, in ARTIST’S WAY, who suggests, “Leave the drama for the page, not for life.”

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