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"My Family's 2010 Vacation in Mindanao"

Of Baryokes, Jessa Zaragoza, River Dredging...etc.. Part 2

19 °C

I immediately made a walk around the neighborhood before sunset. Since our home is just a few steps away from the river (Calinawan River), I noticed that there were large boats and backhoes mounted on separate boats. A DPWH billboard installed on the riverbank educated me on what is the use of the heavy equipments on the river: the Calinawan River is currently being dredged. Heavy siltation brought about by the erosion of soil from the mountains into the river for years had deposited on the riverbed which caused the river to be shallow and prone to flooding our small town. The backhoes are being used to dig the soil/sand on the silted river bed and are then loaded into the large boats. Of course, any engineering student would agree that it is a welcome project if only to save our town from flooding. However, the dredging work with its humming sound coming from the boat carrying the backhoes continues till the evening, I was telling my wife and my daughter to brace for possibly a sleepless night ahead.

I totally agree that the dredging work is a welcome activity on what used to be a clean river where I first learned how to swim dog style. Aside from the direct beneficial effect that it will bring specifically the prevention of flooding, the project has brought in addition money to the economy of our 5th class municipality. Some 40 staff and crew of the project added the local demand for food commodities (including the cheap tamban fish) but most importantly, same crew become instant avid clients of the baryokes (a word coined to mean the Philippine-made electronic machine similar to its 1960's counterpart – the jukebox where an aspiring singer drops a five peso coin, push the button to choose the number of his favorite song and presto, the audio of the selected song containing the minus one being played by a full band comes out in blaring volume with the lyrics of the song displayed on the tv screen with sexy bikini-wearing foreign models as background.)

The owners of the baryokes related to me though that most of crew of the dredging project are singing on credit to be paid on paydays! I counted four baryokes which are surrounding our home. One owner promised to me that the blaring volume will be reduced to tolerable level after 9:00 pm in compliance to a municipal ordinance providing such. However, ever as the blaring volume of the baryokes is being reduced, the humming sound of the dredging continues till about 11:00 pm.! Tsk, tsk, tsk!

My body system and that of my wife and daughter had easily adjusted the audio challenge from the baryokes and the dredging such that the next evening, we used to the audios as our lullaby to dose us to sleep!

I have a separate compliant though. I have no problem listening to Jessa Zaragoza's 2004 hit song “Parang Di Ko Yata Kaya” even if it could be considered as old time favorite. However, if it is being replayed and replayed for 18 times straight in a row it is a different story! I was tempted to discuss the matter with our young Lady Mayor Sadeka Garcia-Tomaneng if the local council can pass a local ordinance limiting the number of replays of the same song not only Jessa's but all the songs in the book of entry of the baryoke to at most only 3 times! This is my personal tolerance level!

My routine while on vacation in our ancestral homewas to wake up at 5:00 am to check on the faucets since the local water system opens only the water for 30 minutes from 5:00 to 5:30 am. After filling all the water containers, I walk along the rive side going to the delta and finally into the beach fronting the open sea (Mindanao Sea). Since my youngest daughter's boyfriend gifted me with a Panasonic SRD-S26 handy cam, during this trip, I made my first video shots. I have videos during the wedding of Kanna and Awing, the birthday of Auntie Nita but my videos during these early morning walks with such subjects as the river, the dredging activities and the arrival of the fishermen from an evening fishing expedition are the most notable ones. I will usually buy freshly caught fishes (tamban was only P20.00 a kilo!) and cook it for breakfast. We then just sit down the rest of the morning and sleep in the afternoon until Jessa's song will wake us up to signal our visit to the grave of my parents.

I was surprised to receive a text message from the Talent Coordinator of Green Rose while I was busy doing the above laid back routine that supposedly I had a taping last December 20! I texted back that I was already on vacation in Mindanao!

To break the monotony of the fresh fish as viand, I brought my wife and daughter to the next town - Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte. We usually do some marketing of meat and vegetables in the local mercado or eat in the town's most popular restaurant Yang Chai!

(to be continued...)

Posted by E. Sandalo 01:37 Archived in Philippines Tagged river baryokes calinawan dredging panasonic srd s-26

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