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.
Early morning before the sunrise, Savannah was walking on the beachfront, enjoying the breeze and the walk. It was refreshing. Unbeknownst to her, a tall guy wearing a ray ban was watching her. After an hour, she received a text message that her friend Allan was running late. Then, she was approached by an unknown guy. Good Morning Mam, We would like to invite you for a cup of coffee in our tent. Thank you but no thanks! I am waiting for my friend to pick me up to have breakfast. Maybe, while waiting, my boss can share coffee with you. He is the commander in chief of this province and a 5-star general. Savannah was irritated..... Tell your boss, even if he is a 10-star general, I will not have coffee with him. We are being hospitable to you Mam. Please don't shut us up! The tall guy wearing a Ray Ban was approaching them. What is going on here? I am inviting her for a coffee, Sir! I overheard
While Ari and Savannah were in the middle of the ballroom, a tall guy from the entrance of the ballroom was watching them dance. He felt a dagger was thrown into his heart. It was hard to watch them dance the way Ari held Savannah in an intimate position. He had difficulty breathing. He went out for a while and breathed, then after 20 minutes he went back and whispered something to the person guarding the entrance of the hall. The guard went to Ari and whispered something. That time, Ari and Savannah were now seated at the table.Let him in and join us here at our table. Ben, please add another chair beside me. My nephew is here.A tall guy is walking to the table with a wide smile and hugs Ari.Hi Uncle Ari, It's been a while.Yes, it's been a while...good to see you, Adam.Hey, Adam, it's you! Why are you here?Yes Sav, it's me! How are you?I am fine Adam... Thank you!Did you know each other? Ari was surprised.<
Meanwhile, a military officer was watching from a distance and recognized Savannah. He waited until the General and Savannah were back, seated on the table, then he approached Sav.Hi Ms. Sav, I hoped you would remember me. We are neighbors. You’re my sister Ann’s friend.Ohh Yes, I remember you Cris, my neighbor? And we are friends on Facebook, right! Savannah said.Who can forget a childhood neighbor who stole my brother’s heart? Cris jokingly said.You’re funny! Edna here?No, unfortunately, she missed seeing you. Her mother is in the hospital. She needs to attend to her.Sorry to hear that. What happened?She slipped into the bathroom, her hips were dislocated.Is she okay now? Savannah askedShe will be. Let’s have a chat later to catch up. Cris said.Why not now Cris? Sav responded.May I be excused for a while. I need to talk to Cris alone.Ari said, Sure.... Cris,
You told me, Allan, she’s a childhood friend. Tell me something about her, Ari asked.Sav belongs to a big family. Her father has 10 siblings and 8 of them migrated to the US. When we were in high school, she was one of the beauties we had. She's always wearing stateside tops and shoes. Tall, beautiful, and smart. She was one of the most active students in extracurricular activities in our class. Though she was shy at that time, she gained a lot of friends. Her family was very protective of her. She can't attend parties, no weekend movies except she goes with her family. I don’t know if it's tough for her, but it seems that she’s good at coping with her father’s strict guidelines. She turned out to be okay. She is a good person, decent, and focuses on what she does. She doesn’t play around.While Allan and Ari are whispering, Savannah is brought back by Cris.General... As promised, I am returning Sav to you, without any scrat
Yes Cris! I have been waiting for her to come home. Now she's back! This is my only chance to marry my true love.Cris was so stunned but he did not show it to General Ari. He was so worried now about Sav.Let’s go back. Dinner will be served in a minute. This is confidential, Cris.Sure, General, you can count on me.As soon as they get back to their individual table, dinner is served.When the plates were served, Ari was so attentive to Savannah’s plate, he cut the steak into little pieces then turned to her, now eat, it's ready. You have to drink coffee, not wine, since you have a low tolerance to alcohol.Thank you, Ari. I can do that you know. And I can handle at least 2 shots of red or white wine, so I can take care of my heart, Savannah said.No, avoid alcohol, please. There’s more options to take care of your heart. Just accept me and I will take care of you, not only your heart!Everyone was stu
We have time tomorrow, right Sav, how about lunch?I can’t Adam, I have to be in L county to see my relatives. I should be back late afternoon or early evening.I will go with you, Ari interrupted.Ari, I have not told my relatives that I have guests, they might be surprised and intimidated that I am bringing in a General. I will rent a car. I will be okay Ari.I will go with you, no but this time.Adam can go with us, Allan and Mary too. So, while you’re with your relatives, I have them with me. How’s that? I am making it easy for you Sav.Allan and Mary were looking at Sav, giving her a hint to say Yes….Okay, you win.We will contact Stanley to accommodate us at their restaurant while waiting for you Sav, Allan said.Who is Stanley? Ari asksSavannah's cousin and a restaurant owner. A good friend of ours and a classmate in school.Hey Allan, please order my favorite d
I saw her when she was only 15 years old. She belongs to their school’s model platoon that competes in D county. I was a young Lieutenant at that time just got married. You know the story, Adam, about my marriage.If I was single then, I will pursue her. I cannot forget that face.After 10 years, I saw her again, working in the government office in the city. I was then 1-star general. I can't take off my eyes on her. I would like to hug her so bad. She was then married and with 2 kids. Both of us are married. A friend from Tarlac who was their regional director noticed my staring...he whispered to me, she's married.Adam is listening attentively to Ari while drinking Vodka.Does she know you?No, she doesn’t know me.When I was promoted to 3-star general, I was assigned to D county. Her house is only 5 miles away from my office. Every afternoon, I will drove and pass by her house. Sometimes, she was tending her orchids collection
It was an hour's drive to L county. The road was a little bumpy and traffic was bad. While on the road, Savannah was reading the documents that she was going to present to her relatives signed by her elders in Connecticut.Where are these properties? Ari asks SavannahThey are located in the suburbs of L county, belongs to my family. There's a lot of conflicts so it took time to gather all the documents. Some of the elders died already. I was the eldest in our generation so I was given the tasks to finish and be done with it. The transfers are very important to my family.There was this lot in the hill of L county that belongs to my family and will be handed down to any member of our family who is willing to build a ranch house. I will show it to you, we are going to pass the hill anyway, it's on the roadside. My sisters are interested, so I have to put that on our agenda for today.Ari, see that plateau? That will be the location of the ranch house. Nice