I have been meaning to make a thread about the general location of where I live for quite awhile now. I am still a bit apprehensive for putting this
information online because of the potential for the area to be destroyed over time for its resources. However, I know that most people don't travel,
so I'm not too worried about it.
To begin, the Cordillera Mountains
are a range of mountains located in the
Northern area of Luzon Island, Philippines. (Pic below)
This is a large mountain range with elevations between 600 meters (~2000 feet) to nearly 3000 meters (~10,000 feet) in elevation. The people living in
the region are indigenous and for the most part living their life in the same way as older generations have been. Unlike the rest of the Philippines,
the Cordillera Mountains were never conquered by the Spanish or the Japanese, so they retained their culture.
I am not going to claim I am an expert or know the answer to every aspect of life here. I have only been living here a few years, and cultures (and
languages) vary from one mountain range to another. There are several different tribes here as well, with a history of headhunting. Only in the last
~30 years has electricity been available to many villages, with some remote villages still lacking electrification.
Here is a great article to read, as an intro about the people of the Cordilleras. I never met the person who did this article, but some of my friends
Jacob Images - Igorots of the Cordilleras
As you can imagine, it is called the Autonomous region for a reason. The people have lived without outside influence for hundreds of years since the
migration from Taiwan, South the the Philippines
The way of life is very simple, so I'll try my best to explain the basics of food, water, and shelter here.
The most common food is rice. Rice is grown on the terraces with 1 to 3 harvest per year, depending on elevation and the farmer. Mostly the rice is
organic, but the closer to the road and cities the fields are usually means the involvement of chemicals.
Other extremely common food include: taro root, sweet potato leaves, chayote, chayote shoots, pigeon peas, sweet potatoes, green beans (white when
dry), black beans, snails, mudfish, a variety of tropical fruits, wild "weeds", peanuts, arabica coffee, lima beans and others, and a whole lot
more. The climate varies from mountain range to range, but average rainfall is about 10 meters per year.
In general, the diet is mostly rice with vegetables, and on some occasions there will be meat. The animals in most traditional village will be
unfenced and running around free (pigs/chickens).
Food was cooked in village-made clay pots but now uses all metal pots. Most food is boiled. The fuel is pine wood, and cooking is done on a
concrete/ribar platform with the wood burning under it. If cooking is outdoor, the pot is placed on 3 large rocks with the wood in the middle
Water either comes from a spring, or is delivered (if there is a road.) The most common form is spring water that comes from high on the mountain and
is diverted through a channel or a pipe to a public communal water area or directly to a house/water tank. The water most often collects on the
leaves of trees/pine needles and condenses and fallto the ground where they flow down the mountain and collect in a location which is partially
diverted to the people. The people will fetch water in containers for use in their home. Bathing is usually public. There is no toilet paper.
Traditional shelter would be a "modular" house made by hand from metal tools. These houses would typically take ~3 years to create by hand. The
roofs are made of a frame of a bamboo-like grass, with grass leaves stacked on top to shield from the rain. The wood is held together by being slotted
or through wooden pegs. There are no metal nails or screws in a traditional house. Cooking is done inside the house (like a box) n a corner of the
house. It can be very smoky inside haha.
The land is beautiful and untouched. It is very difficult to acclimate to the unforgiving and steep terrain. The land I have experienced (and I'm
sure others can relate) is so pristine that you can bath in a stream while drinking the water (but be warned the water is very cold.) There are crabs,
small fish, and prawns in the rivers that are clean to eat. There is little to no pollution except for some bottles/cans in some footpath "highways"
in the middle of the forest used for sleeping. There are respected tribal communal land boundaries and in general people respect each other. It is a
culture where they believe in "Kabunyan", a lone God who watches everything they do on Earth even when no one is watching, so they should be good.
This belief was pre-church.
There is a lot more I could add to this, but I think less can be more right now. I just wanted to share a different kind of lifestyle / place on the
planet that is out there. My concern is that people who learn of this location views the area as a new location to exploit or change in a way that
they believe is better. From what I have observed so far, the worst changes that happen here are at the hands of outsiders, and that is why the locals
are very cautious on accepting outsiders without knowing them for years.
A point I would like to make is that once the Earth is releived of its resources or polluted/exploited to the point of desolation for any life, people
should learn from that mistake and not move along to the next location to do the same. It's a deep concern I have for this region.
If you have any questions just ask, and try your best to preserve nature, especially for your grandchildren =)