Morning fun … High tide in Mambulao Bay is always a happy event for kids who live by the beach of Parang, a bustling coastal neighborhood in Mambulao. On this particular morning in April last year, the bay water was still holding, prompting these two kids to plunge into the cool, a ritual they would take every morning while the touch of the sun was still mild on their skin. It’s great fun despite the murkiness of the water caused by silt and mud from the gold mining operations in the municipality.
Sweet flowing water … There was a time when access to potable water was just a dream for many families in Parang. The residents sourced their washing and cooking water from their backyard wells and collected drinking water from as far as Malapayungan, then a mecca for the village lavanderas, where water welled from a natural spring. But over the years, it dried up after the massive forests nearby were felled for commercial timber and cooking charcoal, until they finally disappeared. About two years ago, the town Water District water service reached Parang and provided easy water access to many households that are willing to pay the rates, such as the families of these two mothers in the picture. Abundant clean water has enabled them to keep their homes clean and bathe their children every day after a nice swim in the bay which is just a few steps away from their back doorsteps. – MWBuzzpics and texts by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ