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Monday, September 1, 2014

Just Saying: Tagalog's Sea Gypsies, Striving for Life

DALAHICAN PORT OF LUCENA CITY, Quezon Province -- Ate, kuya?!, loud pleading yells echoed inside the ship. I saw people gathered on the rail portion of the vessel. I pondered what was they were looking at. With my great curiosity, I hastily checked what seemingly entertaining them and found out that a group of sea gypsies gathered right on the sea next to the ship. That wasn't the first time I glanced a scene like this. I used to witness them during  trips in our hometown ever since I was young. However, up to this day, it's still a long hanging question to me of which tribe these troops belong. ( If you know them, tell me.)

It was a rendezvous! A gathering of unknown tribesmen right beside on the ship. These exodus of commuters, including us was amused with their superb swimming skills in exchange of coins thrown in the water. Sometimes packs of food was bestowed on them. I knew to my self that it is a sort of begging. They are beggars in other way, definitely. Thus, giving alms, I know, is prohibited by law. FYI. Geeezz!! I threw few amount from my pocket. Nah! But what can we do? We're just carried away with their dire situation. 

For this tribe, the sea was a shelter, a playground, sometimes a friend and most of the time a parent that provides them. Though, at times it is a worst enemy. A dangerous place that can claim their lives. 

Atleast, there were 10 kinfolks with own banca, paddling and hurdling to get that amount tossed on them.  They come in  barkadas, a mother and children, a seemingly grandfather and a grandson, vice versa, and even a whole family for this infrequent banquet. 

As soon as the vessel was full and the crew was done with their fleeting procedures, a honking noise and a disturbing vibration came from the ship's machine has caught each passenger's attention. That means we are about to depart. We left the port few minutes later.  And for the last time, I gazed on the port then found nothing but a deserted colossal sea structure, emptied. Also, the entertainers in the show a while ago have absconded the area too. It allot me queries once more as I look in the vast ocean ahead of endless horizon.

For people who were born, raised, and fed by the sea, are the resources getting scarce and is not enough anymore to provide them a living? Or is this tribe just see this opportunity to earn money in an easier way? We are aware about it, after all. We see them in the chaotic urban jungle sprawling around nowadays. It is just upsetting that this tribe and the others also, I assumed, is forgetting their ways steadily and leaving their native land. Their traditions are possible to fade as well as this ethnic people are trying to reach the further land to be a modern individuals.

Well, it is not bad to understand the world beyond the fence of their tribe but they were not honed in this type of dwelling. They might not survived this frantic environment that is afar from theirs traditionally. Worst come to worst, they may perhaps end up into another rusting cause to this realm. 

Just saying. 

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