About the Book
This book is a representation of shared stories, formed relationships, and embodied experiences from the six weeks I spent dwelling with inhabitants near the Blos River in Northern Luzon, Philippines. This particular region is located within the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, which is the largest protected area in the Philippines, as it covers the last undisturbed lowland dipterocarp rainforest. Access to this region is limited, as there is no major road network that connects the coastal communities to mainland Luzon. However, in the summer of 2012, the Filipino government approved the construction of a major highway to traverse the Northern Sierra Madre Mountain range from Ilagan to Divilacan. Often, road infrastructures are seen as a social good; however, with the continued pressure to construct a major highway, it is important to consider the ways in which lives and resources will be impacted for the good and the bad. Through the textual and visual depictions presented here, I hope to portray signs of hope, a strong sense of community and friendship, and an essence of simple living. However, I also aim to show the struggles and challenges the inhabitants dwelling near the Blos endure as they continue to experience poverty, marginalization, resource exploitation, and political instability.