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January 15, 2013

lake sebu: the coin divers

Coin Diver 3

Hunched on one end of a dilapidated dugout canoe, he waits for those coins to hit the water. These silvery objects glitter in the water and do not fall straight down to the bottom of the lake, and he can easily get to them.  He can swim fast, and dive deep.

Coin Diver Duo

He and other T’boli kids have been at it the whole morning, their eyes already bloodshot and their hands are wrinkled. They would take a breather every now and then, expertly perched on the end of their canoe, shivering as a chilly mountain breeze blows through.

Coin Diver 4

Coin Diver 2

I do not know when one of my favorite destinations in the south has become too touristy. There was a time when most of the locals would not pay much attention to the visitors (tourists). They would go about their daily routines like catching fish near the lake shore. Nowadays they would head to the lake side cottages overflowing with tourists and ask or beg for coins.

These days its probably easier to prod tourist to throw coins into the water and dive for them than catching fish. It also does not help that there are people who are delighted with such a spectacle.

Coin Diver 1

But who threw the first coin? When did these kids figure out that its easier to just beg? When did some schmuck decided its more fun to throw the coins into the water rather handing it to them? Once the cycle has started, it will go on for a long time.
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Ishmael Fischer Ahab said...

Sadly, coin diving can be found in many places in the Philippines. Many foreigners find it amusing that children will race down the sea or lake to get the coins.

Lantaw said...

Its not only the foreigners, many of the local tourists do it too.

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