By: Jyh Ming Gonzales
It’s only been two years since Mararison Island in the province of Antique became well known as a tourist destination, before it was just one of the fishing islands with the usual fisher-folk culture in the town of Culasi. It has become the jump off station to other islands like the mysterious Seiko Island and the equally beautiful adjacent islands of Maningning and Batbatan.
Yolanda made it famous, after it was featured in one of the TV-Magazines as one of the hard-struck island-communities in Region 6. But despite the devastation, the beauty of the island emerged. The magnificent sea scape, the rolling hills and the sand bar over-looking the mountains of Madya-as and its famous peak never lost it glory in the storm, only that the residents have lost their homes, their fishing boats and destroyed much of the infrastructures in the island.
Nevertheless, the community risen-up against this storm. And they are yet to be challenged with a different storm this time, as wave of investors/businessmen are eyeing the opportunity of the island to replace the over-crowded Boracay and its potential as a smaller version of Batanes.
Though at present, the islanders are strong in upholding their rights over the island. They have refused the establishments of private resorts except for residents who have relatives wealthy enough to convince them to build cottages and pension houses, but guests and tourists are encouraged to patronize the “home-stay programs” where residents could have equal livelihood opportunities.
As the tourist rise in numbers, the island is in dire need of potable water and electric supply. They still get their water supply in Culasi proper and get their electricity through a generator which is only available from 10am to 10pm.
It’s quite early to mention but BFAR is yet to construct 8 tanks of rain gatherer that could contain more or less 600 liters of rain water per tank. The One Renewable company also showed interest to invest in establishing solar panels of ½ hectare in size which could produce 5 megawatts of electricity- more than enough for Mararison and its adjacent islands.
Through the initiative of the local government units around 700 giant jackstones were built to be installed adjacent to the beach front to serve as wave breakers to protect the sand bar and to prevent the shoreline from being swallowed by the tides.
Along the vast opportunities in store for this island also comes a vast of pit-falls. The threat of losing their lands, their livelihood and their culture as islanders against the baits of unscrupulous businessmen is expected to be the island’s downfall. The earlier they recognize such vulnerability, the early they can prepare themselves- a call for the Barangay Council and the Fisher-Folk Association to guard and protect their treasure. (How to get to Mararison and the Budget Required Plus Contact Persons please visit The Wandering Poet at Facebook)
Tangyan Festival: A Celebration of Harmony, Peace and Happiness with Nature
Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin
IGBARAS, Iloilo has so much to offer and the annual Tangyan Festival celebrated this year on May 15-21, recognizes the town’s healthy environment as the foundation for its stable and productive community and that every Igbarasnon must participate to protect, conserve, and sustainably manage its natural resource.
Now on its 12th year, this annual festivity serves to bring happiness to every Igbarasnon and to strengthen their sense of community. The tribal presentation emphasizes on conserving nature with its centrepiece, the Tangyan River and why it is very important to their survival.
Tangyan Festival reflects the attitude of its people towards nature and that Igbarasnons should adore nature and acknowledge its beneficence before partaking any of its gifts. Nature has given Igbaras so much and if its people and visitors to the town do not conserve, everyone will lose its precious privileges to exploitation and abuse of resources.
For a week-long, Igbaras comes alive and 2017’s event will feature more free events and activities than ever before. May 15 (Monday) opens with the Fiesta Fun Run 2017 at 5 a.m., Opening Program for 2017 Town Fiesta at 6:30 a.m., Opening of Food Festival and Search for Lin-ay Kang Igbaras 2017; May 16 (Tuesday) Guardians’ Night at 6 p.m.; May 17 (Wednesday) Tangyan River Clean-Up at 7:30 a.m., Watershed Management Forum at 9:30 a.m., Miss Teen Igbaras 2017 at 6 p.m.; May 18 (Thursday) Street Dancing and Dance Drama Competition of Igbarasnon Tradition at 2 p.m., Awarding Ceremony at 7 p.m.; May 19 (Friday) Priests, Religious and Laity Awards and Recognition Night with Cultural Presentation on the History of Christianity in Igbaras by Prima Galaw Artists at 6 p.m.
May 20 (Saturday) Endurocross at 8 a.m., Quadri-Centenial Lecture: The Growth of Christianity in Igbaras in 400 Years at 9 a.m., Outstanding Igbarasnon Achievers and Performers Awards and Recognition Night, Concert as a Tribute to the Augustinian Missionaries by the USA Conservatory of Music at 6 p.m.; May 21 (Sunday) Bikers Fun Ride at 6 a.m., Battle of the Sounds at 9 a.m., A Night with the Stars at 7:30 p.m., May 22 (Monday) Thanksgiving Mass at 9a.m., Disco sa Plaza at 7:30 p.m.
The scenic town of Igbaras is 40 kilometers away or an hour drive from the city. Politically subdivided into 46 barangays, it has a land area of 15,243 hectares. Igbaras is bordered in the north by the Municipality of San Remegio of Antique Province; in the east by the Tubungan, Iloilo; in the west by the Miagao, Iloilo; and the south by Guimbal, Iloilo. Napulak Mountain separates the province of Antique from Igbaras.
To get to the town, one can take a jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary Terminal in Barangay Mohon, Oton, Iloilo. Metered taxis are also available at the terminal. For more information, please contact Engr. Wilfredo “Boy” Delgado-Municipal Tourism Officer at (033) local 104- 5184022 or at 09209643404.