Friday, November 16, 2007

Philippines: As long as it will float


Island of Siquijor

The Philippines is a archipelago with over 7000 Islands in Southeast Asia. Famous are the Badjao people, the tribes who live on the sea and from the sea.
Nowadays there habitat is badly effected because of (over) fishing.
And the beautiful corals are destroyed by using explosives to make catching fish easier.

With so many Islands there is always water around. Beautiful beaches and not yet discovered bays for the Kayak. Little villages where fishing man are going out with their Banca to provide the family with a decent meal.
I have been living for a few years over here. The first few months I traveled around Mindanao and the Visayas, before I did stay for a long time in Negros. The Sugarcane Island of the Philippines.
In between the Islands are many forms of transport; the big passengers' ship, fast ferry (catamaran) , outrigger boats or a Banca.

Outrigger boats or Pumpboats are the cheapest means of transport in between Islands. Made of plywood, bamboo and a old car engine. This all hold together with nails, rope and nylon wire.
Bancas are most of the time used by fishermen who go out and you can see along the coast. Sometimes near the beach but more often far out of sight. Often they use a paddle or a little triangle sail.
Last September I went back for 5 months to Negros. We did take a fast ferry from Cebu to Dumaguete. A heavy wind and storm did appear. People around me were vomiting and crying. A passenger beside me was sometimes one meter above her chair. And her thighs were all black and blue from bumping up and down.
Oh, I wish I was in my kayak. For me the most seaworthy boat there is. A lot of accidents take place in these waters. Heavy seas can occur in narrow passages and overloading of ships is a common problem.
We were the last boat that departed from the port of Cebu.
Airplanes did not fly and a Typhoon (Bagyo) did strike.
After the Storm
Sitting in my kayak I feel always comfortable. My PFD and everything I need is close at hand. For me it's the most trustworthy boat there is.
The fisherman in the Philippines do not all have access to internet and see the weather forecast, neither do they use PFD's or carry flares with them. They are just happy to catch some fish again for dinner.
They say; Bahala na…'s up to God!
Silliman beach, Negros


Anonymous said...

Do we know each other? Nice pics from the PI.


COBBER said...


I do not know If I know you.
But enjoy the Blog. These days the Philippines is in Full Alert again, due to heavy Typhoons.
It remind me of the song:

Rain,rain go away
come again another day.