I played tourist last week and decided to check out a place which has been in my curiosity radar for a long time. Ternate (in Cavite province), when I was very young, seemed so far, so very “over there” in the mists of time and the waters off Manila Bay.
This municipality takes its name from a place in the Spice Islands of 16th century fame. It was then populated by Indonesian-Portuguese peoples who volunteered to help the Spanish ward off a rumored Chinese invasion of Manila. The threat never materialized, but the volunteers decided to stay. And so there’s a corner of Luzon where people speak Chavacano: part Portuguese, part Indonesian, part Malay, part Spanish, part Tagalog.
Driving down the streets of this beach town, I noted scores of mango trees and some breadfruit trees. I surmised that some of the mangoes on the roadside stands along the way…
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