By Josephine Mendes
My auntie took me and my best friend to Siargao Island as a birthday gift and I was excited to go, having learned the island is a major tourist destination in the country now.
My father grew up there before they transferred to another city so he was supportive of my going there to experience the island of his childhood. I am amused because it was obvious he was excited for me.
He told me many exciting things of the island, like the beautiful white beaches where barrio folks go and enjoy. He told me his favorite little island, an islet actually, was Daku and they kept going there on a pump boat. He said the waters around the islet is crystal clear and inviting.
I should never miss it, he insisted.
While sailing to Siargao on a bright morning, we were naturally thrilled. We passed by a few islands and enjoyed the sights even from a distance. The islands looked real to me and so beautiful to see. It was my first time to see such sights and I thank the lord for allowing me to see them. As our writing teacher said long before, those islands are indeed gifts of nature and you can’t help be glad to witness it and be part of it, even as an spectator.
My friend and I kept saying to ourselves we will surely treasure this trip as we have something to share in our writings, even in our own personal diary. Who knows when we grow old we have a few things to contribute as active citizens.
But something shocked us when we saw an island that is bald from one corner. We were told it was a mining area even way back when. I was disturbed why they do such thing to a beautiful piece of an island. It was heart-breaking because you know the environment effects of such destruction.
I don’t know why the people there don’t make a stand to save it, or start giving value to the environment more than foreigners and rich people making money. I know fisherfolk are poor, powerless and have no voice. But educated and people in government should know better what to do as expected of them from the “Supreme Creature.”
When we landed in Siargao and took our time to explore and discover its beauty, we were truly grateful and promised to come again. Yes, I have been to Daku Island and I could not help tell my father about it.
But when we sailed back home via Surigao City we were confronted again with a disturbing and sad remembrance of that island eaten by a mining company. We hope when we come again soon the whole island thrives in green and no form of destruction and abuse will be committed.
Editor’s note: The author is a promising creative writer of a private high-school.