One day, they would have to leave the homes where they grew up in along the
. – All MWBuzzpics
by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ beach
PICTURE yourself in a car rolling on a boulevard that branches out from a bend on the Larap road in front of the Adea property and stretching out across what used to be the beach of Parang, until it links up with the road that leads up to the town hall, but whose other end bisects a busy section of a modernized fresh-food-dry-goods market.
Imagine this as an asphalt thoroughfare stonewalled by red bricks occasionally lapped up by the bay waters below, dotted by lampposts in its entire length that would glow immediately once the deep-red sun – on a cue -- begins sinking somewhere behind a mountain in Larap.
Imagine too, that the squatter shanties and homes that you are seeing now – in real time – are no more.
Imagine that these are all just wild imaginings.
But a source from the office of Mayor Dong Padilla told me that all could become a reality because there are basis for its being so.
“This is a dream project,” my source said, as he sketched on my notebook page the shape of the Mambulao Bay which looks like an upright horseshoe where the bottom represents Baranggay Parang, and of course the rubbish beach itself – the beach of Parang.
“Once the cementing of all the roads across the municipality (of Mambulao) is done, this will come next,” he says, as he continued to retrace and retrace – this time heavier that the ballpoint had pierced through the sheet -- the original ball pen lines he earlier drew.
Looking at his face as we sat on the sofa at the office of Mayor Dong one lousy afternoon, I thought the guy was -- shall we say - committed.
How? I asked, curiously and he got an instant answer.
“We will reclaim a few hundred meters of the shallow portion of Parang beach and make it a solid, dry land just like what the previous municipal government did at the backyard of Mambulao where the original breakwater sat.”
I tried to imagine what he just described: Ah yes, that portion of a piece of real estate where the Evia’s halo-halo parlor sits right now used to be under water (Oo nga ano? Pwede, Sir …)
“Then we will shape the boulevard from that reclaimed land,” he said.
“That should be a lot of earth being dumped into the bay … where do you get it?” I reacted.
“It’s not a problem … we will source the landfill from Investwell Minerals Co that will soon mine the huge iron ore deposits in Larap … what they will displace from the mine quarry would be more than enough to fill the stretch where our dream boulevard would rise,”
“You’re telling me you gonna knock off my childhood beach – the Parang beach …? I still would like to have the beach back instead of having a boulevard in Parang!” I protested.
“You can still swim because along the 1.5km boulevard would be sort of beach-like walkways where white sands from Kalalanay Island would become a permanent fixture … your feet would still be beach-feeling with sand imported from Kalalanay.”
Hah! That’s great!
“Where do the fishermen park their boats after returning from overnight work? I love to see in the morning colorful boats lined along my boyhood beach for nice Facebook pictures …”
“Those fishermen and their families would evaporate … moved to other places along the coastal areas outside the poblacion … maybe in Calero, Malapayungan, Osmena, Pag-asa, Spurline and so on…”
“What do you mean?”
“In building the boulevard, we will demolish the squatter shanties and other houses along the project … you see… it’s not nice to see a boulevard of squatters and ugly-looking houses… see?”
“So your problem regarding rubbish beach is solve for good,” he justified.
“Are we talking serious?” I asked
“I have to … because you’re supposed to be journalist hunting a story like this …this is on the record, but don’t mention my name … right?”
“Those fishermen-squatter families … they are voters and they could deliver the winning votes from Parang … for Mayor Dong …”
Not a problem, he said. “Anybody coming after Mayor Dong has finished his three terms would have to deal with them voters himself …”
I see. And where’s our good friend going?
This is the rough sketch made by APH's source when he revealed an ambitious plan to build a boulevard across the beach of Parang as part of the Padilla government's development program for Mambulao.
The proposed 1.5km boulevard will start right at the spot where the last house stands along the side of the Parang-Larap road.
The asphalt boulevard will pass through this area, starting from the foot of the mountain (background).
While they still have time, these three kids should make the most of the beach of their childhood as it might disappear one of these days.
This portion of the shoreline is just a stone’s throw away from the Parang bridge that links the poblacion and the baranggay.
The proposed boulevard will overturn everything along the beach - including rubbish - once works start. As to when remains a big question, however,
The boulevard will connect to the breakwater on the water edge of the poblacion.
These boats would have to find a new place to park once the reclamation work begins.
A typical scene - rubbish burning - that takes place every morning.
The proposed boulevard will solve the rubbish pollution at the beach. - All pics by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ/MWBuzz