Alana is a young girl from a young and small village on her way to her first trip to the biggest, brightest and oldest village. All the excitement in preparing for this journey and the actual experience of taking this important trek compels Alana to write a small but not insignificant book on the amazing journey of her young life. A travel book that was so startling, yet precious and insightful that it sends huge ripples, good and bad, among all the villages, young and old, big or small. This i
My name is Alana.
In our village all the known first names have already been given to all the other girls who were born before me. They were all beautiful first names. Names that any parents would love to call their pretty little girls by. Names like "Dalisay" (pure), "Marikit" (pretty), "Mutya" (lady) and "Malaya" (free) were all snatched up by all the other parents for their girls.
I was left with nothing. My father turned on the last page of the Village Record Book where all the names are listed and found that he had no choice but to think of a new name fast before the 24-hour cut-off from the time of birth. In his rush to beat the deadline, he cried in despair and shouted at the top of his voice "Wala na!" or "Nothing!". The Village Scribe thought he said "Alana" and so wrote it down on the last page of the Village Record Book that was set for that year.
I was born on the noon time of the last day of the twelfth month of our Village calendar and instead of 24 hours, my father in fact had only 12 hours to travel by boat from our place where I was born and take a trek over seven small rocky hills to get to the Village Scribe's hut where the Village Record Book is zealously guarded and kept.
My father arrived at just the nick of time; one second later and I would have been nameless for the rest of my life! So even though my name almost meant the same thing, it was better than to not be called by any name at all.