Friday, 25 April 2014

Editorial: The beach of Parang lives again!

ON EASTER Sunday, one great event occurred in Mambulao: The resurrection of the beach in Parang.

After being dead for almost two decades until last year, the transformation of this beach from a communal rubbish dumping ground to what the whole community saw on Easter Sunday as a decent ribbon of powdery sand simply demonstrated how people cooperation could deliver a great job for a common cause.

On Easter Sunday, every Mambulaoan was a winner.

This stretch of community shore debuted as a public beach, a first in nearly 20 years, to a rousing welcome from the local people, who for years believed they had already lost one important gift of nature – the beach.

In the late 50s and throughout the 60s and 70s, this beach saw the coming of hundreds of basnigs, which offloaded giant baskets of catch by the hundreds to the excitement of the villagers.

Every summer, when the weather was great for fishing, basnigs of all shapes and sizes coming from various fishing towns in Bicol called at this beach to do business with local fish traders.

And shared some of their catch to the villagers.

But most important was that this beach was our beach – not just an ordinary beach, but one which boasted of powdery sand, whose 1.5km stretch was unspoiled by rubbish and for course, a great trophy proudly held by the community.

One reason was that there were no squatter families along its entire stretch, which up to recent days had been blamed for spoiling its environ with trash and stinking human wastes.

But of course, they were not the only culprits – there are more along the coastal waters – those barangays that unmindfully dumped their refuse into the bay waters.

These villages – Osmena, Malapayungan, Calero, Sta Milagrosa and Pag-Asa. alongside those households along the banks of the Parang mangrove river -- have until today continued to  choke the bay with their wastes, which later ended up on the shore of Parang.

After almost a year of intense awareness drive and so-called environmental re-orientation, the squatter families along the shoreline got their acts together and pulled as one force to help rid the coastline of eyesores.

What remain as continuing stumbling blocks are the coastal barangays, which have yet to heed the call from the rest of Mambulao community to help in shoring up Parang beach so it would eventually regain its lost glory.

The Mambulao local government will leave no stone unturned in its bid to fully rehabilitate the beach, followed by the Mambulao Bay rehab, to put the municipality on the map of nature-loving tourists.

For now, let’s praise everyone for this great feat of changing the face of Parang beach from appalling stretch of dirt into a wholesome spectacle for everyone’s eyes to behold and celebrate with, like what we saw on Easter Sunday.

- Alfredo P Hernandez

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