Saturday, 4 May 2013

FEATURE: Beach of Parang – Breathing life again

Beach kids pose for a Facebook picture … they now enjoy the water more amidst clean sand on the beach. – MWBuzzpics by AP HERNANDEZ


A FISHING boat gliding towards the sand after an overnight expedition; a group of children frolicking in the shallow water; four middle-aged fishermen huddling in a tight circle as they squatted in the sand, chatting the day’s radio morning news.

Nearby, a fleet of “sibiran” sits on the edge of the silent water, glowing mutedly in their colors under the 7 o’clock sun.

This morning, the bay water is serene with its long, tiny ripples rolling languidly towards the shore.

The most obvious of them all, however, is how the stretch of the beach looks this morning: the ribbon of light-brown sand is now free – well, almost – of sea debris called garbage.

More than two years ago today, you can’t step on the sand without parting away the rubbish so there’s a space for your feet to step on.

It was a total mess, a curse of modernity tolerated by man.

The natives who returned after being away for almost a generation were appalled, saddened and utterly disgusted over the unfortunate journey this beach has taken.
They could not believe their eyes, seeing that it had become a common rubbish dumpsite.

But somehow, things have to change for the better this time. And this is the good news.

“Maganda-ganda na rin pong tingnan ang ating tabing-dagat dahil pinagtitiyagaan po naming linisin ito,” says one fisherman whose family was shacked along the beach.

“Nagtutulungan na po ang mga nakatira sa tabing-dagat at ang baranggay upang patuloy pong nalilinis ito.”

However, he lamented the fact that rubbish continued to invade the shoreline.

He blamed this on baranggays along the coastal waters.

“Sa ngayon po, karamihan ng basura ay nangagaling sa Plaridel, Osmena, Bagong-bayan, Calero, Malapayungan, Sta Milagrosa at Pag-asa.

“Patuloy pong nagtatapon ang mga nakatira dito ng basura sa dagat na dinadala naman ng tubig pag high tide.

“Pagkati po ng tubig, ang dumi po ay naiiwan sa dalampasigan, na siya po namang bumubulaga sa amin pagdating ng umaga.”

It’s surprising to learn that one family, who is not from Mambulao but Capalonga, would spend time to come and collect the rubbish.

“Si Congressman Parale po at ang kanyang pamilya ay madalas na pumupunta dito para hakutin ang basura sa tabing-dagat,” according to one shoreline old-timer.

“Kaya naman po kami ay medyo nahiya na rin at naengganyog tumulong sa kanila …”

The beach clean-up is getting support from the local government which deploys a dump truck to haul off the garbage to an MRF (materials recovery facility) in Larap.

Walking this beach this early morning, I relived those days in summer when many “basnig” called here to unload their catch of galunggong in hundreds of banyera.

Their coming here had drawn many locals every morning, who bought fish straight from the boats at give-away prices.

Naughty young boys climbed the vessels through their outriggers to look for fish that had strewn on the deck floors and under the boats’ hulls where the diesel engine hummed endlessly.

Those boats are long gone now and the prospects of their return are almost nil – they have found new shores to call and unload their catch.

Nevertheless, this beach would again one day attract strollers and bathers as it did long time ago, not the locals, but people from other places.

In his remark during the grand homecoming reunion of the Jose Panganiban National High School alumni last year, Mayor Ricarte “Dong” Padilla said: The clean-up (of the beach) would only succeed through the joint efforts of the people in Parang.

“The significance of a clean beach would never be appreciated unless a sustained awareness campaign is carried out throughout the baranggay.”

True, the people of Parang now want a clean beach to show that Mambulao is about ready to put itself on the tourism map.

More so with a clean beach that would reflect on the people’s discipline and their appreciation for a trouble-free environment.

Meanwhile, let’s get soaked in this morning’s Vitamin D while we walk this beach in our sweet time.

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  A signboard warning against dumping rubbish on the beach.

The beach in Parang nowadays  … relatively clean and pleasant to look at.

A fleet of colorful “sibiran” that recently docked after a night of fishing expedition.

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