072515 The Urban Tracker (In Bulacan): The Rhythm of Sailing In Tawiran

A Tatawid barely teen taking the helm of the boat ride.

ishing is still much of a practice in Obando with fishing grounds that abound in the lake, one of the interconnecting freshwater systems from Obando and some reaching parts of Malabon. 

The lake, after all, is home to a fraction of locals who still depend on the life by the waters. Closing into the banks of Obando proper, my apprehension was replaced by thrill as we cruised along. A boy paddling in his might carried our company of 4 observing a good balance on our simple boat. The placid waters above the afternoon horizon gave us a sense of anticipation.

Peering out of the window a detached neighborhood freaked me out.
The feeling was making me sick earlier being in a makeshift house in the middle of water totally detached from mainland without a neighboring hut. It’s like being in exile or being thrown into an isolation.

It’s in the Barangay Tawiran that the house situated among the water community. The house is detached like all other house in this habitable part of the neighborhood and bereft of forms of luxury and I wonder how these people have come to adapt to the daily routine of crossing the waters for in and out of transport goods.

A bigger boat passing by for a check of the fish pen.
Peering out of a makeshift room was such an interesting prospect with motored bancas crossing. Other big fishponds were somewhere on this lake where sea products were sourced and needed transport to the suppliers. But just wondering how electricity could be so available here to this extent.

An early morning capture of alimasag
One local fisher showed me today’s catch – a big alimasag. This crustacean just got stuck in the nets after a routine check. Fishes are elusive according to him due to splashy waters driving them off. But then I asked after realizing the impossibility of a nearby sari-sari store where to turn for small items, especially load. He said they could ask a favor from somebody in the mainland to load them and pay later.

The calm waters reveal the extent of fishponds.
So after my nervousness turned into comfort as our motorless boat accelerated with only a young guy paddling it out manually. Well, it’s something a growing kid like him must get used to in the course of living here. For our part, it’s a way of shaking off thoughts on the character of daily living here.

Hope floats as we approach the Obando town proper dock
The smooth sail brought in some creeping thoughts with the waters trying to bring insight to the way of life. In the way how people live here and still keeping their innate kindness makes you realize that there’s something to learn from the rhythm of order here. They survived in this set-up without having to go to a lot of distractions from technology, social media. These readings were trying to reach me, teach me in a way to assess my direction and path. It’s more about appreciating what I have in the absence or its scarcity, divining a kind of courage these people possess in face of it all. But all in all, it’s more about a glimpse of life in other forms that makes one ponder the significance of keeping a thankful disposition.

Riding a boat without a 'katig' is such a challenge in itself
They carried on their talks without fear and apprehension of what is to come while a city timer like me complained so much. I might not be in their spot but at least their way of life was reminding me that there are behaviors they exhibit that’s truly making them a blessing and comprehensibly defining than ours.

A sigh of relief approaching the port.
We usually tend to accentuate things in a complicated way while people here kept cool on their take in a way of simplicity with raw courtesy and preoccupation. Their cool tendencies were in a way speak best of sincerity without idiosyncrasy and uncontaminated by prejudice.