The lush rainforest in Mt. Pangasugan in Leyte provides my hometown with abundant freshwater, with hundreds of rivers flowing down to the Camotes Sea on the west.

In Baybay City, the sea is usually muddy because the surrounding villages (barangays) are mostly agricultural lands that drains water to the rivers.

The coastline was once covered by mangrove trees and nipa palms along the brackish rivers.

Leyte was also a battleground during the WWII and the sea had inspired a soldier to write a song. It was an ode to Kilim, a nearby village whose fine sands extends far from the coast during low tide.

There was a legend that some locals secretly slaughtered crocodiles (bù-aja) that lived in the muddy swamps of Brgy. Gabas (and Patag), though there is no scientific accounts that crocodiles naturally lived in the area.

Coconut trees and the national highway bordered the coastline.

The rocky shore is black with rocks covered in limpets and barnacles, but most parts are covered in pebbles and coarse sand.

On certain months, sea urchins come into groups, showing off their colors ranging from purple, orange and red.

Woman by the Beach
Watercolor on Paper

Harvesting sea urchins is uncommon, but instead, locals gather during low tide to collect (manginhas) shelled molluscs (kinhàsòn) along the shore in late afternoon.

Panagat (Fishing)
Watercolor on Paper

Panagat sa Pagsa-up sa Adlaw (Fishing at Sundown
Watercolor on Paper

The sea also provides fresh fish and seafoods that fishermen catch by net or hooks (tàgâ) on small pumpboats and rowboats, these are sold at the local market (talipàpâ) along the highway.

Some seafoods that are sold around house-to-house (libod) are from another local municipality that uses bigger boats to catch fish.

But aside from being a marine sanctuary, it’s known to have gorgeous sunsets.

I’m happy to grow up near the sea and to have wonderful memories that greatly inspired my works in both writing and painting.

© 2018 Onie Maniego and The Paper Drafts

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6 thoughts on “Waterfront Series

  1. Sounds interesting. I love sunsets! ♥ Hope to visit your hometown one of these days. Nice work you have with the sea paintings. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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