Family Matters | A Touch Of Heaven

My hubby and I, together with two couple of friends set to make an adventurous trip on the third quarter of this month of June to South Lamidan, Davao Occidental. The three couples were an advance team to make a survey for a medical mission come September. South Lamidan is a far-flung municipality nestled in the midst of preserved thick forested area with deer and wild boars. As one looks out to the sea along the coastline, our eyes followed the cascading mountain as it tapers down meeting the sea. The full view of the vast blue ocean opens to the clear wide pacific seas, where international cargo ships pass by from a far distance. Who would think that there is a place like Lamidan, a paradise untouched by the modernity and sophistication of civilization?

We were hosted by the family of Mr and Mrs Steve and Emily Johnson, whose Steve’s great great grandfather came from American- Norwegian origins. They settled in Lamidan during World War I, being a soldier and settled in the forested area after the war and intermarried. The graves of the great great grandfathers were buried within the property of the Johnson’s including the successive generations. We were awed by the way the generations of the family loved and preserved the area. The locals respect the family and jobs were offered to them and are treated like their own family as well. They were taught to preserve the forests, clean their surroundings and disciplined to respect every settler in the community. The leadership of Steve and Emily Johnson is something the locals should emulate. They taught the people by their examples to be hospitable. After generations of them staying in the area for so long, they too speak and talk Cebuano like any other.

To get to the place is challenging. Even with the 4X4 car we took, we were tossed to and fro along portions of rough roads that you would not expect to end up in such a paradise. You don’t need to bring your gadget to the place because one is lucky if he finds a spot to get a signal, but in case of emergencies, they operate by radios. Yet, the place and the locals are enough to keep you entertained and be rejuvenated.

My hubby and I thought how ideal it would be for a family to start from this place to learn life. The simplicity and nature laden kind of living draws you closer to God and appreciate the beauty of His creation. We live in the city in harried state, every minute is counted and caught in roads of traffic to be home again harassed with what to eat and worry how to make ends meet. But Lamidan is far from the hassle and bustle of life. We went to bed after an early dinner of sea foods taken from the sea and vegetable gardens in backyards. We walked around near the beach to look up to the sky after the hearty meal and listened to crickets and waves of the sea, then to our quarters at around eight to prepare for bed. Our sleep were like that of babies and woke up at dawn to watch the most beautiful sunrise.

A cardiac patient like this writer and whoever wants peace in life even for a while to draw in the clean air is a touch of heaven.


Posted in Opinion