What did I learn from my journey to this remote Filipino village? That the forms of culture & stories, houses, clothing, carvings, weaving, songs, dances, are the visible means of protecting knowledge, without which we would be less than human. They are a visible map to an invisible world within ourselves, a map that leads to no place and every place. Moreover, that if we can remember the ways to sink into reciprocal being, if the channel is left open to dreaming from that country within each one of us, we can dream all that is needed in being again. This is the treasure I brought back with me from T'boli.
By the Ming Dynasty, ruqun became the most common form of attire for women. The sleeves of the blouse are mostly curved with a narrow sleeve cuff (琵琶袖, pipa sleeve). There is often an optional detachable protective huling (護領, lit. "protect collar") sewn to the collar. The huling can be white or any other dark colours. The collar is of the same colour as the clothing. Towards the start of the Qing Dynasty , the skirt was mostly baizhequn (百摺裙, lit. "hundred pleats skirt") or mamianqun (馬面裙, lit. "horse face skirt"). [ 15 ]
The drag of endless mental work in a strange land takes its toll. Fatigue can kill so petty escapades provide hopeful deviations from the brewing madness. An aging DSLR keeps good company to a walk around the neighbourhood, a short drive to a scenic place, or a silent recollection in a quiet nook granting that the host community and the elements of nature would allow one a safe passage to solitude and contemplation. Loneliness quickly turns to joy when something exciting gets captured by the cam’s shutter then set free into the laptop’s screen followed by electric words that rush from the fingers to the keyboard in an effort to describe the moment. Alas, the brain is alive once again!