Chapter 5. Welcome home Savannah

Savannah’s trip to CN province is another hour on the plane.

Excitement and mixed emotions are setting in. Will they be able to recognize me or will I may be able to recognize them?

It was sunny but a little bit windy in CN province when Savannah arrived. She was met by her friends, had the prelim lunch, said hello to one another. It was a sumptuous lunch, happy moments, and picture taking. 

 They agreed to meet again at dinner time. 

Meantime, Savannah checked in at Bella’s bed and breakfast for 20 days. Her plan is to walk on the beach every morning, do some writing, take pictures and will visit the famous butterfly farm in the area.

CN province was an old community even before the discovery of the Philippines by Magellan in 1521. The early settlers were believed to be direct descendants of the group of datus who escaped from the court of Brunei (Borneo) to evade the enmity of a ruling rajah.

In 1571, Juan de Salcedo arrived in the Region in the quest of gold found in CN province and discovered that it was already a thriving settlement and noted that the houses were clustered together for the reason of safety and protection. In June 1583, a Franciscan Order confirmed the founding of Doctrines including CN province.

No less than thirteen martyrs were contributed by this community before the altar of liberty. They were butchered or burned alive and buried in a common grave during Holy Week on Easter Sunday, April 1898. The local "insurrectos", however, made a remarkable feat in the last days of the Spanish regime when they succeeded in containing the Spanish local garrison and subjected them to relentless attack. The Spaniards were dramatically saved from annihilation by burning at the timely arrival of their rescue ship. CN province today takes a distinct pride in owning the first monument ever erected in the Philippines in honor of the foremost Filipino hero and martyr, Dr. Jose P. Rizal Protacio y Mercado, at the inspiration of Don Antonio Sans, Commanding CN province is known to have Mont Beach. Best for locals due to its proximity, it attracts a lot of tourists as well. Known for its consistent wave quality for surfing, the long stretch of wide beach is rarely really crowded. Access is free, with local shops, amenities, and dining along the road. The gentle slope provides excellent wading and swimming for all ages.

Mont Beach runs all the way to Seaside. This popular beach is used for many outdoor activities, including surfing, kayaking, surf fishing, and swimming. The sight of scuba divers emerging from the surf is common. Beachcombers often find sea glass and other treasures along the strand, which is also a popular area for kite flying. Artistic sandcastle builders ply the grains on the beach into beautiful fantasies.

Savannah loves this beach. She decided to walk on the seaside to breathe fresh air every morning. It’s been years since she did that. She suddenly missed this beach that happened to be part of her young life. Little did she know that a pair of eyes were watching her like a hawk. 

Allan Cruz has been Savannah’s friend since childhood. He married a medical doctor and has 4 adult children. Allan and Mary have been in contact with Savannah ever since they got married. She is the godmother of the couple’s eldest daughter. Allan is a contractor. He builds bridges, roads, and government facilities. In CN province, Allan needs a strong backer and partner in order to get the business on the roll. He is in cooperation with builders and military protection from General A*i.

There will be a military reception in Camp Happy Hearts in 2 days. Politicians, business people, military personnel, and health care professionals are invited to attend.

Allan and Mary thought of bringing along Savannah to the reception party. They are so proud to present their friend who just came from California. Little did they know that a complicated story would sprout on that evening. Allan felt so bad and helpless seeing her bosom friend was forced to submit herself to the ruthless military general to protect their life, family, and livelihood.

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