Friday, December 21, 2012

The Wrath of Manurigao River

The wrath of the Manurigao River is turning into murky brown the color of the sea, I was about to say when I posted this picture. Seen from the highway of Caraga while on board Ramsey Ahmed's motorcycle about a week after typhoon Pablo, the vision itself looks threatening, reminding someone of a scene from Armageddon. Is that a natural color of the sea? I asked Ramsey, who stopped his skylab to allow me to take some pictures. The gigantic waves even dwarfed a carabao grazing under what remained standing of the coconuts along the shoreline. I have known Manurigao long before typhoon Pablo made its landfall in nearby Baganga and Cateel areas of Davao Oriental, leaving behind a trail of devastation to people and communities. Manurigao figured out in many of Allan Delideli's stories and anecdotes during the making of the book, "Understanding the Lumads: A Closer Look at a Misunderstood Culture." During those times, he couldn't help telling stories how the lumads had to hike for very long hours on their way to school, crossing the river along the way; and how dangerous the water current can get during days of torrential rainfall. When I arrived in that part of barangay Baugo, where the bridge traversing Manurigao had fallen, people told me how the logs had gathered its strength underneath the pillars supporting the bridge, so that eventually, the bridge had to give way. "It was also for good, Day," a storeowner said, "With all those logs gathered near the foot of the bridge, trapping the water, we would all have been submerged. If the bridge had stood, the water would have killed us all!"

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