The mountaineer in me is always intrigued by the sea. That’s why I enjoy novels like Mutiny on the Bounty and movies such as Pirates of the Carribean. There’s something about the sea that is mysterious and inviting. So I consider it a blessing when I have to take a long trip by boat to the Visayas or Mindanao rather than the shorter one-two hour/s plane ride. Nothing beats watching the sea change its color to different shades of green or blue, the quietness of the breeze, the salty air, the white waves that roll on and on, and those flying/jumping fishes. Huh, I’m getting carried away here. But you know, maybe the sea is home for us mountain people. After all, if the history taught us in school is correct, didn’t our ancestors travel by boat from Malaysia/Indonesia. So maybe there’s a seafarer deep in our souls that long for the sea and that sometimes, the sea is calling us home. Ha ha, like the elves in the Lord of the Rings you know.
In any case, the sea is home for two ships named after two Cordillera provinces — the BRP Kalinga-Apayao and the BRP Benguet. For some reason the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) decided to name its amphibious warfare ships after Philippine provinces. Since the AFP doesn’t have as much amphibious ships as there are provinces, we should consider it an honor that these two ships are so named.