Monday, December 13, 2010

Back Trails Blog First-Year Anniversary

Reaching this first-year mark in Back Trails’ existence is not a surprise at all. In fact, I have been looking forward in celebrating this.

This first-year block contains in general my exploits in the last six years. And I am thankful that I was able to share here what I thought then as random notes about history tidbits from the places that I was able to visit. This small compilation of trips and notes is already a fine achievement for me but I think that I can still push this blog beyond its present state.

I came to a point that I characterized Back Trails as a travel/history/culture blog. And in my own interpretations, I think I was able to fulfill that description. But reading through other travel and history blogs and doing revisits to different places in the country, one thing comes clearer and clearer to me:

that discovering things about a person’s or a place’s past is inexhaustible; for the past, as days pass by, gets more and more intricately complex, and it is up to a willing adventurer – be it a historian with degrees and titles or a simple traveler – to immerse him/herself in our country’s past.

Much can still be discovered about our country’s past. This is evident in the active works of some historians and writers who stir the stagnant waters of our historical consciousness and turn our attention towards history. Of course, we may have our own motivations, but if the same end is desired (that is, having an active interest in history all over the country), then such differences are not problems at all.

But being an amateur traveler/travel-history writer is not an excuse to suspend Back Trails in mediocrity. Just recently, while reading through some downloaded materials, I came across a line that sliced through me, as its message is a wake-up call and a sharp-edged motivation for me to continue with Back Trails and make it more than just a good blog:

…knowledge of [the] real history carries significant power.

To have knowledge of our history – our real history – is to master the intricacies of our past, together with all the ugly sides, the scandals, the treacheries, among other. To have knowledge of our real history is to have solid grounding in examining our present conditions. To have knowledge of our history is to be able to define our identity and prepare ourselves well (as a country) in the future.

This may not have much bearing on the reason for this day’s celebration but this is important to me, as I am now endowing Back Trails a firm anchor from which to base its future contents. I might as well call this a passion, as others may not have the same degree of enthusiasm about such endeavor.

Finally, I shall still keep the language format of the blog. Although I have now understood the importance of having our records of (or about) the past written in Filipino, writing entries in English will facilitate faster dissemination of information and thoughts to the world. This may not be a strong justification but I am content to have this suffice for now.

And so now, to the people who I was able to know (even in passing) through Back Trails, let us then continue with the historical escapades and discover the Philippines (and its rich past) as we travel and see different places. To you, chance reader, I hope that you would stick to this blog and share this with your friends as well.

Hail to Back Trails! Cheers!


  1. Congratulations Francis! Kasama mo ako, kami, sa iyong paglalakbay!

  2. Salamat Kuya! Mahaba-haba pang lakbayan to. :)