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Date Posted: 11/02/09

Silay Stop over and Enjoying a Short break (October 17, 2009)

By: Arturo Valdez

As my verbal promise to Silay City Mayor Oti Montelibano, we made a special trip to Silay City departing Bredco Port at 7AM. It was a fast 2hrs travel to Barangay Balaring in Silay. The shoreline was lined up by students, city and barangay officials, high school classmates from the Negros Occidental High School and friends when we docked Balaring. The martial beat of the high school band created a festive atmosphere to the Balangay. There was welcome ceremonies led by Vice Mayor Mark Golez, and an open forum ensued after talks from the Balangay crew. A sumptuous seafood lunch was hosted by the city and again another presscon by the local media.

Afterwards, we were showed the mangrove plantation and conservation project funded by JICA. It was a sight to behold when local people worked together to preserve and enhance their mangrove forest especially as a protection against the threat of ocean surges brought by climate change.

I also learned a lot about mangrove growing from the Japanese NGO funded by JICA.

We went briefly to Bacolod-Silay National Airport to take photos of one of the billboards carrying the picture of the Voyage of the Balangay. Then rushed back to board the Balangay to avoid having caught in the rushing low tide. We barely made the tide departing at 2:30PM  for Bacolod City. This time, we were going back against Habagat and the clock tick almost at 6PM when we dock at the Bredco Port.

In the evening first timers among crew members in Bacolod joined the merry-making at Lacson St. Having given tickets by the Maskara organizing committee, some crew members got the best seat during the Maskara street dancing contests. The pictures in our photo gallery showed the colors and excitements of the festivities.

During the Bacolod stop, five crew members, Janet, Godoy, Peter, Ronnel and Jovit went on a break and flew back to Manila.

Leo Oracion and Carina Dayondon had already taken over the functions as Advance Team members.

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