BE LOCAL

Homegrown: Mission Education

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The second instalment of Homegrown: A series of stories from the lumadnon's (locals) of Siargao and the silver linings of tourism. Pictures and text by Charles Paul E. Alimpoos / @thecharlespaul

Earning a Bachelor’s degree is celebrated and considered as a milestone in the life of every Filipino. This is the ultimate goal planted by lumadnon parents for their children, because after all, education can never be taken away from a person. This is why at Maasin Enchanted River, students are given the chance to guide and paddle boats for the tourists in order to earn money, which in turn allows them to attend high school and college.

"Because of the money I earn from the boat rides and tips, I was able to pay for the transportation fare from Maasin to Dapa.”

One of them is Clister Jay ‘Jay-Jay’ Concilles, who is taking a Bachelor of Science in Office Administration in a college located in Dapa. “Before, paying for the daily commute was a struggle, but because of the money I earn from the boat rides and tips, I was able to pay for the transportation fare from Maasin to Dapa.”

Being twenty years young, he has experienced hardships and struggles growing up in a barangay which depends on the waters for livelihood. Before, the locals of Maasin would spend half of their day on the water: fishing and scraping mud for freshwater shells which they would sell for 20-50 Pesos per kilo. An amount relatively small compared to the earnings from the Enchanted River.

Jay-Jay also shares that because of the tourist attraction, juvenile delinquency in Maasin has dropped. “My friends who were involved with allegations of causing altercations, gambling and even stealing suddenly became invested in being guides and boat paddlers.”

When asked about what he thinks caused the rehabilitation, Jay-Jay said, “I think part of it is the thrill of meeting new people. Most of my friends grew up here and never travelled to another city because of the lack of money and then suddenly they get to talk, let alone interact with people from around the world. Tourists who come here to visit us on the island are kind, and for me, kindness is contagious, so maybe that’s why they became invested.”

"My salary from the Enchanted River is divided between paying for my motorbike and paying for my education"

Now almost a year since he started working at Maasin Enchanted River, Jay-Jay was able to purchase his own motorbike and pays for it through installments. A dream finally realised because of hard work and resilience. “My salary from the Enchanted River is divided between paying for my motorbike and paying for my education, which is why I am hoping that the volume of tourists will only flourish overtime so the youth of Maasin, including myself, will be able to reach our goals and finish our education.”

“My arms and body may feel weak from all the muscle work, but my mind will never grow tired knowing that every boat I paddle, I contribute to someone’s Siargao journey.”

Before, the fare for the daily commute was a challenge for him and his family, but now because of the tourism in Maasin, Jay-Jay is able to drive his own motorbike to school and better his education, which is a journey he shares with every tourist he has paddled a boat for. What an upgrade!

Surigaonon

HOMEGROWN

MISYON: EDUKASYON Ikaduha na bahin nan Homegrown: Isa ka serye nan mga istorya gikan sa mga lumadnon nan Siargao sanan mga marajaw na tabang nan turismo. ni Charles Paul E. Alimpoos / @thecharlespaul

An paghuman nan Bachelor’s degree tag-selebrar sanan tag-isip na kalamposan sa kinabuhi nan kada Pilipino. Ini an kataposan na tumong na tagtanom nan mga lumadnon na mga ginikanan para sa ila mga anak, kay lagi an edukasyon dili mailog gikan sa isa ka tawo. Ugsa sa Maasin Enchanted River, an mga estudyante taghatagan nan chansa na makagiya sanan makabugsay nan baroto para sa mga turista para makakwarta, na amoy makatugot kanila na makatungha sa high scholl sanan college.

Isa kanila si Clister Jay ‘Jay-Jay’ Concilles, na nag-eskwela nan Bachelor of Science in Office Administration sa isa ka college na jaon sa Dapa. “Sa una an pagbayad sa adlaw-adlaw na pamasahe malisod, pero tungod sa kwarta na ako makita sa pagbugsay nan baroto sanan mga tips, makabayad na ako sa pamasahe gikan Maasin pasingod nan Dapa.”

May edad na baynte anyos, nakasinati na sija nan kalisod sanan pakigbisog pagdako sa isa ka barangay na nagsalig sa katubigan sa panginabuhi. Sa una, an mga lokal nan Maasin maggahin nan tunga sa ila adlaw sa katubigan: mangisda sanan manginhas sa kalapokan para makakuha nan kinhason na ila ibaligja nan 20-50 pesos an kilo. Magamay laman gajod na kantidad ikompara sa makita sa Enchanted River.

Laong isab ni Jay-Jay na tungod sa atraksyon sa turista, an pagpakasaya nan kabatan-onan sa Maasin noubos isab. “An ako mga amigo na apil sa pasangil nan pagpasiugda nan kagubot, sugal sanan gani pagpangawat kalit na-interesado na mahimo na giya sanan tigbugsay nan baroto.”

Kon pangutan-on uno ija taghunahuna na hinungdan sa rehabilitasyon, laong ni Jay-Jay, “Tan-aw nako apil na an kahinam na makakilaya nan bag-o na mga tawo. Kasagaran sa ako mga amigo nodagko dinhi sanan waya pa makalarga sa lain syudad tungod sa kakuyang nan kwarta sanan kuman kalit lang sila maka-istorya, sanan makahimatmat nan mga tawo na gikan sa lain-lain na bahin nan kalibotan. An mga turista na mokanhi kanato sa isla mga buotan, sanan para kanako, an kabuotan makatakod, ugsa amo siguro ma-interesado sila.”

Kuman isa na ka tuig gikan nagsugod sija pagtrabaho sa Maasin Enchanted River, si Jay-Jay nakapalit na nan ija motor sanan nagbayad ini nan data-data. Isa ka damgo na natuman na gajod tungod sa pagkugi sanan paghanap nan paagi. “An ako kita sa Enchanted River tungaon sa pagbayad sa ako motor sanan pagbayad sa ako edukasyon, ugsa naghandom ako na an kahamok nan turista mopadajon ra sa panahon para sa kabataan nan Maasin, apil na ako mismo, makab-ot namo an amo mga tumong sanan mahuman an amo edukasyon.” “An ako mga alima sanan kalawasan maluja gikan sa tanan trabaho, pero an ako hunahuna dili gajod hawojan kay nasayod ako na sa kada baroto na ako ibugsay, nakatabang ako sa ila panaw sa Siargao.”

Sa una, an pamasahe sa adlaw-adlaw na byahe malisod para kanija sanan sa ija pamilya, pero kuman tungod sa turismo sa Maasin, si Jay-Jay makamaneho na nan ija kaugalingon na motor pasingod sa eskwelahan. Isa ka panaw na ija tag-ambit sa kada turista na ija bugsayan. Isa ka kalamboan gajod!

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