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Date Posted: 11/02/09

Comedic encounter before reaching Manapla (October 19, 2009)

By: Arturo Valdez

The Balangay departed early at 6:30AM at Bredco Port for the Northern Negros town of Manapla. This time there were only 10 Balangay crew members. I opted to stay to undertake unfinished business and will rejoin the crew in Sagay City Oct 20.

Per the account of the crew, there was barely a breeze in their northern travel. Somewhere in the town of Enrique Magalona (Saravia) several motorized bancas rushed out from the shoreline towards the Balangay. The local fishermen were tipsy having gotten one drink too many but still manage to bring a basket of fish for the crew. This must be the result of Balangay given full coverage by the Negros media stirring lots of interests among the locals. Some went on board curious of how the boat was built. They even recognized the Badjao master builder Ibrahim Abdullah and Pastor Emata. One fisherman because of too much excitement or drink, or perhaps both, fell off the waters but was saved by his companions.

I arrived at Manapla wharf by 4PM after joining Leo and Carina in their talks with students from Manapla National High School. The students went to the wharf to welcome Diwata. It was getting late but the Balangay was nowhere in sight. Finally, the silhouette of a sail boat appeared in the horizon but still too far away. The throng of students including the marching bank who waited at the wharf had to go home after 5PM but a determined class coming from Grade 6 section 1 of Manapla Elementary decided to stay in order “not to miss history” per their own account. At 5:50PM almost 11hrs after departing Bacolod port the Balangay docked at Manapla wharf.

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