San Jose de Buenavista, Antique – where the heck is that?
San Jose may not be the end of the earth but you can see it from there.
There are many factors that are considered when Mending Faces decides where to send its mission. While need is an important factor, we also have to consider logistics, local commitment to the project, support in securing the necessary medical licenses as well as the hospital’s ability support 4 operating room tables. San Jose is almost a perfect location, very remote, with few medical missions and, therefore, a significant need but not too far from our inventory base of operation in Kalibo.
Antique (pronounced ahn-tee-keh) is a small province that was, until recently, very isolated by geography. The eastern border is mountainous and includes the highest peak on Panay (Mt Madiaas at 2117 meters high). Antique has its own very distinct language, Kinaray-A (kin-a-rye-a). While the island of Panay has a variety of dialects and even a few different languages, Kinaray-A is unrelated to any of them. When I lived in Kalibo back in the early 1980s. I once traveled to San Jose, it was 8 hard hours, over very bad road and, while beautiful, my biggest concern was the 8 hour return trip. The distance and rough travel made it a place that few ever visited.
This isolation had made San Jose a distinctive place, with a culture all its own. The absence of a tourist culture is a treat for all of us. They take great pride in entertaining us in their own language as well as the local talent.
San Jose is a very small city with limited room options. Mending Faces has booked all rooms in the main hotel in town. Most of the sidewalks are rolled up by 8pm but the quiet is nice after a busy day.
There is so much more to say but we have to put the finishing touches on our packing and tie up the loose ends before we depart. Be back in touch soon.