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Bangui Windmills » Catching Scattered Memories Beyond the Wind

Have you ever visited a place for the first time that instantly triggers memories of your happy childhood? A far-off place with totally different landscape and foreign scenery but with an ambiance that evokes a familiar “feel” within your subconscious. Sometimes it could be the place’s scent that instantly exhumes buried and long forgotten memories. Childhood memories that you think you’ve lost when you discovered the adult world.

It would be nice to once again feel that carefree feelings right? So folks, let me show you the Bangui windmills of Ilocos and at the same time let me also share pieces of my treasured childhood memories.

Windmills of the gods

On our recent Ilocos tour on our way to Pagudpud beach, we made a pit stop at the Bangui area where the famous “Wind Farm” of the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project is located.

 After parking at the Kangkang café, a solitary mini-restaurant conveniently located just a few meters behind the windmills, we excitedly head for the beach and greeted by gusts of hot and salty wind.

I am immediately awed by the Bangui windmills, which are neatly lined up, tracing the romantic curves of the Bangui shores carved by the agitated and forever grumbling waves. Against these waves, the windmills are trying to push back the playful north winds back to the sea but to no avail, yet they seem very happy because they can’t.

This is a scene where time stands still.

It’s like the Ilocanos built the windmill towers to honor and appease Boreas, the purple-winged god of the north wind, thus they made it huge powerful and towering like those sacred temples and towers dedicated for the Greek gods.

However, aside from the expansiveness of the place, the windmills, the gusts of wind and the roaring waves, the place also summoned up something more powerful within me.

The memory of the waves and the wind

Then I felt small and light. Carefree. That familiar feeling suddenly surged up when the first white bubbles carried by the snaking wave touched my feet. I just stand there, barefoot, feeling the gray pebbles against my feet, eager for more waves and white bubbles. I felt the salty air rushing through my lungs and it tickles me.

Another big wave came, but a few inches before it touches my feet, I jumped and ran, crazily laughing while catching my breath. While running, I saw the wind passing the spinning windmills burst into amazing colors, exploding like a sudden drop of ink on still water.

I am happy. I am child again.

In search of buried memories

I spent my whole childhood days in my hometown province in Occidental Mindoro. I spent it playing on the beach, running on the field, jumping and rolling on haystack, swimming on rivers and picking guavas, duhat and other wild fruits during summer and mostly playing street games with other kids.

There is also a special season in my hometown called tag-amihan. It is the time when gusts of strong wind visit our town, which happen sometime during the harvest season but intermittently come blowing till early December. This is the time when we happily fly a saranggola and play paper windmills.

I suddenly missed everything from my hometown. I miss my home. My playmates. Lala, my dead dog. Mang Felix’ homemade ice cream. But do you know what I really miss? The smells of my childhood memories. I never thought each memory has a distinct odor to it, but it does. I could taste it in the Bangui air, just like our amihan. Unusually fresh.

And I think I seldom taste any of those memories because the adult world robbed it from me. Hence, I travel to search for those lost memories.

Travel and the gift of forgetfulness

The adult world can make you sad, this is what I realized. This is the time when you worry about so many things – career, money, love life, gadgets, facebook likes, twitter mention, traffic, earthquakes, summer heat, salary increase and sex performance.

Moreover, we live in a world so obsessively, and crazily concerned and devoted to looking forward that we frequently forget to take the time to look back. Nevertheless, some of our best happy memories reside there, in our childhood. Memories which can guide us much about to where we are heading.

However, no matter how rich or successful we struggle to become, I learned that it is always important to remember the joys of our childhood. This is the best thing travel can offer. The gift of forgetfulness - which the Bangui windmills and the Ilocos wind bestowed on me. I who seemed lost in the chaos persistent in my adult world. A gift that let me forget the awful remembrances of the arduous climb to the corporate ladder, and the haunting stampede of adult responsibilities.

We all need this gift, in order that we should be happy and lighthearted again.

To forget. That’s why I travel.

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» Photos taken by the author, Yodz Insigne via Samsung Galaxy S {mobile phone photography} except for the jump shot (last photo)

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