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Artwork by Paula Tongol

Clothed with the sun’s warm welcome, she radiantly smiles at every color that flies in and out of her islas.

Even after battling for 333 times, she still courageously flaunts the 7,641 treasures she naturally possesses. She likes to dance in celebration of Panagbenga and swim along with the Bisayas. Her bright and golden tanned image mirrors her love for the crystal-like waves of the Batanes shores. “Oh, how wonderful it is,” she said, “to be raised by Love, Country, and Honor.”

Immersing herself in the graceful art of the first Pintados, she proudly embraced the smell of Daragang Mayon’s home. A true epitome of beauty and grace, she slays the Vintas as it sways itself through the waters. Isla is the pearl of the orient seas. The cradle of noble heroes. A sacred beauty that even the darkest cannot outcast.

And as she danced her way back home, she glanced at all the parol that illuminated her way. She reminisced the memories that played at the very back of her history…
…the way the children played Patintero
…and how she adored the timeless paynetas of the dalagang Filipinas.

Isla smiled at the thought of 1989…
…the era where the Philippines was at its very best; the time when Bayanihan was a trendy culture. It may be hard to accept, but that was the very last time the Isla felt like home.