Throwback Thursday: Tahong Adventures in 2004

To qualify for #ThrowbackThursday, photos or videos must be taken 10 or more years ago.

I was not able to post last week so I made this week’s set a bit more… well… you see for yourself.

2004. As a student in Cavite, I wanted to expose myself to stories that happened outside the verdant green campus of St. La Salle. My editor assigned me to go on an immersion at the coastal areas of Bacoor, Cavite. The area was going to be affected by the construction of the Cavitex (completed five years later in 2009).

The objective of the immersion was to get insights from the people who lived and worked along that coast. How an unstoppable urban development such as a highway slicing through the waters they tread daily… would affect them (if at all).

My editor had managed to turn our publication’s magazine into a beacon of community activism (in the previous year it had contained reviews of Avril Lavigne’s latest CD). I was apprehensive to write as if the only audience would be the College Editors Guild of the Philippines… but heck, this was an immersion and there were stories that needed to be told.

We spent the night sleeping at a house near the coast. The only meal I had before that was a burger from Tropical Hut. The area was filled with a mix of informal settlers and half-finished houses. Telenobelas and karaoke pierced the silence. All of this was just a 20 minute ride away from the international airport.

I saw what could be one of the origins of the tahong (mussels) I loved to pair with my virginal San Mig Light… it came from here… from the waters of Manila Bay. My best friend T, who was with me on this immersion and also a writer of the paper, signalled to me to skip the tahong. Because by golly it came from MANILA BAY. The once gorgeous but now polluted waters of Manila Bay (the sunsets are still gorgeous though).

So much for an immersion. Skipping the Manila Bay tahong, I had canned sardines instead. But I listened to Manong’s stories. About how their way of life will change. The Cavitex will block their way to the sea. At the time, I was thinking along the lines of what the greater public would get with the opening of Cavitex. It would reduce travel time from my hometown to Manila from an hour and a half to just under thirty minutes. It would decongest traffic along Aguinaldo Highway.

Photos:

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TODAY

The design of the Cavitex has these bridges which allow access for fishermen to go out to sea. It did not block their access. Though I don’t know any issues today like right-of-way or something that is bound to crop up.

Travel from Tanza to the international airport now takes about 30 minutes without the traffic along MIA Road. When the NAIA Expressway connects to Coastal Road / Cavitex in the next few years, getting to the airport will be a breeze. No longer a two or three hour traffic route through Paranaque, Las Pinas, Bacoor… etc.

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