The small fishing village stirred as the dawn breaks in Gaspar Islet, the only one with inhabitants in the Tres Reyes islet group. I stood on one of the huge rocks near the shore and watched the children frolicked on the beach while some of the folks prepare their small bancas (outrigger boats) for another day of fishing.
Its amazes me how people chose to live on this islet. They have difficult access to most of the necessities a community requires. The only source of electricity is the community's generator. Fresh water is non-existent and they have to get all their supplies from the mainland. Yet the village is flourishing. They have a small school perched on the side of a hill and I was told that additional classrooms will be built soon.
There is not much of a livelihood here except for fishing and seasonal tourism. Gaspar's sand (or coral?) bar, made of crushed corals and shells, is a popular destination as the surrounding waters are pristine and crystal clear. The locals build nipa huts on the sand bar during the summer especially during the Holy Week when the vacation crowd flocks to Marinduque for its Moriones Festival. There are also several areas in the waters around the island that are protected marines reserves - great for snorkeling and diving.
Its interesting to note that the area on the sides of the sand bar is devoid of any sand, the waves on both directions have cleanly swept all sand materials neatly into this panhandle. The panhandle changes size and form throughout the year as the sea and the wind sculpt it.
I guess it does not really matter where you choose to live. Once you call a place home, it instantly becomes beautiful.
There was a time when the rivers and surrounding waters of Marinduque (especially the northern part of the island) were heavily polluted by tailings (mining wastes). Dynamite fishing was also rampant before and it laid waste to corals in the surrounding waters. But things have started to improve, thanks to the efforts of the
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