A look behind the Legacy

As interesting as the interviews and narratives we gather for our halfway-done year-long project of a mini-documentary series are the silly tales I collect behind the scenes. I, for one, am a sucker for good back stories, especially those that are picturesque as well as will potentially give me a nice laugh even in years to come. It's these moments that are worth remembering, worth sharing, and assures me that what I'm doing is worth the while.

Before an interview, while the cameramen are busy setting up their tripods and lights, you may find me scavenging the room for books, figurines, picture frames, and trophies to be strategically placed on the side table next to where the resource person will be sitting. It's not much—sometimes they don't even make it to the frame at all—but I believe a pretty and prepped set can brighten anyone's day, hopefully and especially our guest of honor's.

Our little team flew to Butuan early one morning for a quick shoot and the view that greeted me from my window seat was enough to get me excited. It was my first time there and the drive across towns made me realize that though I have lived here my whole life, there are still so much of the Philippines I haven't seen and made it a life goal to change that little fact. I also got to spend an evening with my close relatives, visiting their lovely home then being treated to dinner at this adorable cafe by the generous governor who was their good friend.

For a couple of months, I traded my bright and color-crazy work wear for extreme dress downs and field clothes as we spent days in military camps in and out of the metro. I have uncles in the service here and abroad, so I understand where all these soldiers are coming from and salute to their bravery to put their lives on the line and willpower to make it through trainings. They deserve the recognition and support they have been receiving in these past years. Mabuhay kayong lahat!

Did I mention how much I dread long drives now? Any land trip over five hours I think should automatically be converted to chopper or plane rides... But I guess the break of day over a beautiful lake and sceneries that look as if they were taken from a Fernando Amorsolo painting could easily make me reconsider. Unlimited rounds of Heads Up with competitive companions would be a close second. Okay, and also maybe if the van is equipped with wifi with amazingly strong signal even in the province, like what we had...

Slightly bummed that we had to meet early on a Saturday—particularly the day after I stayed up late for the Taylor Swift concert, I was groggy and unpleasant since the seven am call time. Throughout the day, however, we chanced upon lots of lovely sights which inevitably turned my mood around: the welcoming terrace of a sweet old couple's humble abode; downtime at a charming cafe with crepes, fruit shakes, and editing on the side; and my dream adventure mobile parked by the side the road.

One time we travelled back south and suddenly being on the road and seeing the heritage houses (which were used as offices instead of residences, just like our gorgeous Bahay Ugnayan) made me miss home a little bit. I was literally counting down the days until I could go on my self-declared break and spend some time in my historically- and culturally-rich town again. Also on that quick daytrip, we stuffed ourselves with downright great local meals at this grill restaurant by the highway.

We met a wonderful old couple who, though already at their eighties, has a strong memory keeping game that even I couldn't handle: annual Christmas portraits with the entire clan as well as wedding anniversary shoots, uniformed photo albums that resemble large volumes of law books, and a distinct wall of pictures frames arranged according to milestone (first birthday, first communion, college graduation, and wedding). And don't even get me started on their bells collection...Theirs would probably give my granny a run for her money!

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