Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 3: Cobrador Island: A Small Piece of Paradise

October 22, 2008. I would describe the 30 minute boat ride to Cobrador Island in one word: scary. I am not used to travelling by sea (which may sound weird to some as I live in a country with 7100 or so islands). More so, I am not used to riding a bangka (local term for a small boat). And I will never get used to big waves.

We used the bangka owned by SIKAT, the organization who hired me to write stories for their website. Along with 5 community leaders, and 3 SIKAT staff, we headed to Alad island first where we dropped off the community leaders, for their meeting with the Alad community. Then we headed for Cobrador.

It was the perfect sight: blue waters, green mountains and reefs. Except that the waves got bigger on our way from Alad to Cobrador. I had to hold as tight as I can, as my companions, who are so used to travelling by sea, were laughing at me :-(.

But, the sight of Cobrador made me lose whatever fear I had. Cobrador can easily be one of the beautiful islands in the country. I cannot believe tourists havent discovered this yet.

The island can boast of its fine, white sand, and very clean water comparable with Boracay, or even more beautiful in the sense that it is not crowded and they do not face waste problems as Boracay does. It is blessed with reefs, and beautiful rock formations on one side of the island. It is more like a combination of Palawan and Boracay. It was breath-taking.

More importantly,the place is blessed with happy, welcoming and forever smiling people.We went to meet with the officers of the organization and the baranggay officials. The head of a baranggay and the council was then in a meeting with another non government organization and they asked my brother to join in. While waiting for him, I roamed the island.

What can I say. I loved the view.Wind was blowing in my face. The sound of the waves almost lulled me to sleep.

One thing caught my attention, though, as I was walking around. The big jars. Most of the houses have this really big jars outside their houses, with a pipe connected to the gutter of the house. And they call this rain collector.

Apparently, the people of Cobrador, had to depend on the rain even for their drinking water. They do not have water system. They even only have a generator for their electricity at night. And this Rain Collector is a big help to them as it helps them gather rain water. It is the first time I have seen such a thing. It is the first time I have been to a place where people have no access to basic thing such as water. It's a good thing a non-government organization gave them a grant to have Rain Collectors built.

We had lunch there together with the leaders of the community. It was fun, just interacting with them. And the grilled pork was good.

I had the interview afterwards. And then it was time to leave the island.

As much as I would love for Cobrador to be just the way it is, and not become another Boracay, I wish there is a way to bring some kind of progress in the community especially in the delivery of the basic services. I wish there is a way to balance progress and environmental conservation.

But more importantly, I wish to be back :-).

1 comment:

  1. So well presented to its fullest length; just going through alone makes one feel that you are there physically already! I would love to go through this route in the very near future. Well done Cheryl!