Visiting my Mother's Birthplace - Dumangas | Iloilo

Since my friends left for Manila the day before my flight, I decided to spend my last day in Iloilo by visiting my mother's birthplace of Dumangas — a town approximately 30-45 minutes from Iloilo City. It was a special trip because I saw with my own eyes the place where my mom grew up. According to her, this was the place where she spent here happiest and formative years with my uncles, aunties and my grandparents.

Dumangas Iloilo Travel guide

Obviously, after 50 years  — as my mom was only about 14 or 16 years old (she was born 1944) when they left Dumangas for Manila — a lot has changed since. I took some photographs so I could show my mom what the place looks like nowadays.

Upon looking at the images I took, she told me that the Dumangas Cathedral is still splendid as ever with a lot of interior improvements but the high ceilings and brick walls were still the same. Gone are the grassy plaza where the Iloilo baseball team used to practice before, today it is the site of a small park with a basketball gymnasium.

Elal Jane Lasola

I also took a photograph of the Dumangas school where she attended elementary. The school is a short walking distance from where they used to live at Salas Street. As expected there's nary a trace of their old house. Today, small houses occupies the street.

Levy Amosin

With almost nothing similar to the time when my mom spent her years there, I still achieved joy within myself that somehow I have come and seen the place where once upon a time my mom, uncles, aunties and grandparents lived together.

My grandfather passed away in 1980, while my grandmother died in 1987. They have 8 children with my mom being the youngest. Today, only three of them remain living. I missed my other uncles and aunties who passed away through the years. Somehow, my visit in Dumangas was not only a homage to my mom but to them as well.

Dave Gatenby

I grew up listening to my mother fondly tell stories of growing up in Dumangas. She always swear it was a place they found happiness as a family living one of the happiest times of their lives there. It was that same happy outlook that they individually took in raising their own respective families.

My grandfather used to own a fishing pond near Dumangas port and for years the business thrived and supported the whole family. That is until a great flood wiped out most of the fishpens. Shortly afterward, my grandfather chose to relocate his whole family to Manila. Since then, my mom has gone to a lot of places but has not yet returned to Dumangas, I know she has plans of coming back in the future. Until that time, I am just glad to show her some photographs of the present day Dumangas.

Salas Street. The street where my mom was born
My trip to my mother's hometown of Dumangas have shown me a thing or two about her past. Wherein before, I could only listen to it through her stories. Today, even though many things have changed and people have come and go within this sleepy and peaceful town, the feeling of seeing the place with my own eyes brings meaning to her stories about her hometown.