Friday, August 30, 2013

Why do I want to Xplore Naga?

(Photo credit to:

Maybe you are wondering guys why in the world I created this particular article. I am also. It was only yesterday that my office mate, Rye Lopez (who will happen to join the photography contest of the organizers of the competition I am joining now), told me to join this blog writing contest entitled “Why do you want to Xplore Naga?” He left me in shock realizing that I only had one day to create a blog about it. Well, I could opt not to join, but there was an unknown urge inside me wanting to join and hoping to win, because Bicol is where my roots are from. Bicol is my origin. Just to quote what James Baldwin – an American novelist said,

"We cannot escape our origins, however hard we try."

True it is, I can say. 

I want to start convincing you guys how strong my urge is to go to Bicol, visit Naga, and experience the Peñafrancia feast by telling you my full name. My name is Francia May Gacos. Yes, I was named after the feast of Peñafrancia and as my mom said, the female version of my late father, Francisco Gacos. Both of my parents were from Bicol, Bulusan and Irosin, Sorsogon to be particular. I was only 4 or 5 years old the last time I set foot in the Bicol region. I was so young then that I cannot remember all the memories we had and even appreciate that visit to my ancestral land. Again, yes, that was the first and last.  

It was only last week that I could have got a chance to be back there. One of my office mates, Myk Durana, together with his friends, planned a trip that will explore Naga, Calaguas Island, and CamSur. However, due to lack of budget, I was not able to join them. Even in the past, I had few opportunities to go back in Bicol but maybe, it was not yet my time for me to be back there. I have always this longing for my ancestral land that sadly, I was not able to explore even if I have all rights to do so.

Nevertheless, one day, one day…. I know I will be back for sure. My origin, my ancestral land. Where my roots are from. The land where my parents have known each other and built their dreams together. A paradise where I had my first beach and river experience. Most of all, I cannot forget that time when I stared in amazement at the famous Mayon Volcano from my bus window.

I may only had few memories of Bicol on my mind, but my heart and soul will always have this strong urge and longing that someday, I will be back to where I really belong. Of course, before I die. Regardless of age and condition, I take my oath that someday we will see each other again, Bicol, tête-à-tête. God permits.

And this is a story of a girl and her dream to be back in a paradise she had once been. Au revoir, Bicolandia.

For those who want to join this contest too, visit The Photography Academy Manila facebook page for information and details on how to join.

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