Sagay Experience (October 21, 2009)
By: Arturo Valdez
I rejoined the crew when they docked at Sagay
City at 3PM. There was a big crowd at the port headed by Vice Mayor Leo Cueva.
Somehow, the people came in full force. After the usual welcome ceremonies,
Pastor and I rushed to the City gymnasium to attend a symposium organized by
Leo and Carina. Again the center was fully packed by students eager to listen
to the stories of Mt Everest and the Voyage of the Balangay.
In the evening, the city hosted a sumptuous dinner and we retreated to a comfortable sleeping quarters at the Balay Kauswagan owned and operated by the city.
On Oct 21 we joined the tree planting along the banks of Himuga-an River in Barangay Paraiso. There was a brief ceremony giving orientation to the people along the banks of the river on the urgency and importance of restoring the tress that protect them from flooding. Both banks were lined with students and barangay folks who actively participated in tree-planting.By 11AM we joined the Himuga-an River cruise on a bamboo boat house. The river was wide and free from garbage and other debris. The City of Sagay under the leadership of the Maranons ensured that this big body of a river can be restored back to its original state. Along the banks, we saw people taking a batch and washing their clothes. Even the waters coming from the giant pipes of Lopez Sugar Central is a recycled, and treated waters fit for habitat of marine life. I learned that the sugar mill spend P300million for their water and sewage treatment facilities. It just showed that if we put our acts together and support a similar project like the “Kapit Bisig sa Pasig” there is hoped to restore Pasig River closer to its original state.
Then we had lunch in Carbin Reef a protective sanctuary in offshore Sagay now teeming with all types of marine life.
Our stay in Sagay City showed lots of positive practice in the locality. What we saw is a reflection of political will by the LGU of Sagay City to protect the environment and establish an eco-balance between people and nature.
We hope that other LGU’s will emulate this model of development.