Wading the tide, Freediving the deep

I watched these boys, ages 7- 8, as I drove to and from my place for several days playing their hand at a simple form of line fishing. A nylon line wrapped around a plastic water bottle. This day I stopped, I motioned to see if they were having any luck and one of them raised both hands, laughed and signaled with his grin, nothing today. They were wading in the shore of an outcrop tidal area but none of them seemed at all bothered by it rising. One of them was then washed off a rock by an incoming flash of wave and ended up right in a swirling pool… again no cause for alarm. Their form of a game while testing their fishing skills.

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It was late afternoon when a three man crew of free diving, spear gun and hand run net fishermen were approaching shore following a full day much further out to the deeps. Still practicing sustainable fishing, I had nothing but respect.

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They are still using the Paraw, a traditional Philippine double outrigger canoe, sail boat native to the Visayas for their daily routine. These outriggers are now being used much more widely today trasporting construction materials and tourists throughout the islands. originally designed from the sailboats of the first settlers from Borneo who were in search of a peaceful home in 1212 A.D. Legend would say that these 10 Bornean datus reached The Philippines through paraws as their mode of transportation.

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The propagation of Filipino civilization was made possible because of these paraws. And the theory that there might be no ‘you’ and ‘me’ existing today without these sailboats might be correct.

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