Quantcast

For students on islets, days of swimming to school are over

By

A STUDENT swims to reach one end of a footbridge that was damaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in the village of Molocaboc, Sagay City in Negros Occidental province. ROGER ZARSUELO ROCHAR/CONTRIBUTOR

A STUDENT swims to reach one end of a footbridge that was damaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in the village of Molocaboc, Sagay City in Negros Occidental province. ROGER ZARSUELO ROCHAR/CONTRIBUTOR

GOING to his classes in high school no longer means a swim across the sea for Ernest Cawit. He now manages to stay dry after a 1.5-kilometer-long footbridge from the islets of Molocaboc Daku and Molocaboc Diut was rebuilt last year in Sagay City in Negros Occidental province.

“It was difficult for my classmates and I to get to school early when the footbridge was down. We all had to swim against a strong current or wait for a boat to pass and bring us to the other end,” said Cawit, a third year high school student.

Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) whipped up a storm surge that destroyed the footbridge in 2013 and another 1.2-km-long span in Molocaboc Daku that serves as the islet’s gateway.

At least 200 students from Molocaboc Diut had to swim to get to Molocaboc High School in Molocaboc Daku, said former principal Roger Zarzuelo Rochar, who is now education program supervisor of the Department of Education’s Sagay Division Office.

3 islets

The footbridge connects the 80-hectare Molocaboc Diut, where Cawit lives, to the 210-ha Molocaboc Daku, the main island of Barangay Molocaboc. A third islet is the 20-ha Matabas.

Molocaboc is part of the 32,000-hectare Sagay Marine Sanctuary started in 1972 by then mayor and now Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. to restore marine life in the area once destroyed by dynamite fishing and other illegal fishing practices. It is at least six nautical miles from Vito Port in mainland Sagay and bounded in the north and east by the Visayan Sea, and in the south and west by Tañon Strait.

Rochar said high school attendance suffered as a result of the difficulty that students had to go through just to get to school.

“The students swam when there was no banca available for crossing and it was dangerous because sometimes the current was strong,” Rochar said.

Antonio Pasaylo, the barangay captain, said there were times when the water would be waist deep, allowing children to walk to school with their bags on their heads.

Humanitarian aid

Concern Worldwide, an Irish humanitarian mission, provided the P3.3 million needed for the repair of the two footbridges.

Ma. Lina Sanogal, provincial planning and development coordinator who prepared the project proposal, said the repair work originally cost P1.2 million, but the amount went up because the mission’s engineers wanted the structures to withstand strong storms.

The other Molocaboc bridge serves as a gateway to boats coming from the mainland. A docking area allows the vessels to unload and pick up passengers and goods.

The new structures helped boost the local economy and tourism, Pasaylo said. They had also become favorite spots for photo shoots of tourists during low tide, as these were submerged during high tide.

Tourists can easily go to the two islets to sample the seafood that Barangay Malocaboc is famous for. Most male villagers are into fishing while the women make shell craft.

Lanterns, chandeliers and necklaces made of shells collected from the seas surrounding the islets, as well as dried fish and “atis” (sugar apple), are also produced.

Sacks of shells were harvested for sale in nearby Cebu and as materials for the handicraft items, while sea cucumbers were processed into herbal medicines, Pasaylo said.

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

Copyright © 2017,

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94



News

  • 2 soldiers injured in ambush by NPA rebels in Northern Samar
  • Duterte set to visit storm-damaged areas in Visayas
  • Woman gets 2 to 6 years in jail for running over Ateneo student
  • LOOK: Parody social media page offers events services in Malacañang
  • Ejercito: Hasty Denvaxia purchase a case of technical malversation
  • Sports

  • Alas takes blame for Phoenix loss to SMB
  • Chris Ross shows out with mom in attendance
  • Fajardo downplays SMB 4-peat quest
  • Stalzer plans to return to Petron
  • San Miguel opens PH Cup 4-peat bid with win over Phoenix
  • Lifestyle

  • DAY 3: Simbang Gabi at St Pauls
  • Weird but cute: Japan’s capsule toys play big in Internet age
  • 4 simple tips on how to avoid burnout this holiday season
  • Shoemaker Robert Clergerie finally puts his feet up
  • From Colgate Lasagna to the monoski, flops take center stage in Museum of Failure
  • Entertainment

  • Goodbye, gladiators: 4 TV shows to catch before they end in 2018
  • Sharon Cuneta to daughter Frankie on her 17th birthday: ‘I’ll call you baby for as long as I’m alive’
  • Mira Sorvino brought to tears as Peter Jackson recounts Weinstein smear campaign on actresses
  • ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ boasts $45 million opening night
  • LOOK: Aiko Melendez celebrates birthday with ‘Wildflower’ cast
  • Business

  • Thai chain perks up coffee sector
  • RJ Guitar’s ‘Broadcaster’ out to rock the music world
  • Filipinos happy with their relationships
  • Marrying passion with profit
  • Want just the lechon belly? Call Bai
  • Technology

  • Mammoth skeleton sells for over $600K at French auction
  • Does playing action video games change your brain?
  • Fingerprint scanners may soon appear embedded in smartphone screens
  • ‘Snooze’ feature on FB lets users temporarily hide people, pages
  • Facebook: Using social media can make you feel bad
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, December 17, 2017
  • Unending bane of child porn
  • Where is ‘Dutertismo’ headed?
  • Confidentiality of SC deliberations
  • Simple joys
  • Global Nation

  • China dismisses ‘hype’ over military buildup
  • PH, Cambodia agree to fight ‘fake news’
  • Retirement haven: PH targets 80,000 retirees by 2020
  • Where have all IS fighters gone? They’ve run away to fight another day
  • EU moves to protect seafarers, including Pinoys
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • Compensation commission releases P2.3-M to aid Marawi soldiers

      Read More

    • PNP can’t always fool public with ‘nanlaban’ claims – solons

      Read More

    • Poll: Most dislike NFL protests and Trump comments

      Read More

    • Former Mexico governor wanted in US arrested

      Read More

    • US: Nobel Peace choice doesn’t change US stance

      Read More

    • California becomes first ‘sanctuary state’ for undocumented migrants

      Read More

    • Mexican photojournalist found dead after kidnapping

      Read More

    • Moscow gets 130 fake bomb calls, evacuates 100,000 people

      Read More

    • Frustrated police appeal for public’s help in Vegas case

      Read More

    • US states declare emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Nate

      Read More

    • Trump’s one-two punch hits birth control, LGBT rights

      Read More

    • Maute terror base overrun; priest rescued

      Read More

    • CHR execs rebut Duterte: Gascon not a pedophile

      Read More

    • De Lima on Estrada’s bail: We may as well decriminalize plunder

      Read More

    • Army whistle-blower now in hiding

      Read More