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RE: @ CANNABIS« on: March 12 2007 11:03:00 »
Unlike back home, the seasons are indistinct and months can drift into years without variation. Waiting and watching for the return of Habagat helped me
tune in with the signs from nature and to distract me from the useless diversions and distractions of modern society. Following the passing of the seasons brought me awareness of old knowledge society used to hold guardedly. Some of the old fisherfolk can still read the changes in nature signaling the arrival of Habagat, as I found out during the height of the monsoon.
RE: @ CANNABIS« Reply #1 on: March 12 2007 11:03:00 »
One Sunday morning in early July, in preparation of the coming Habagat season, I went to clean up my boards. What I found has to be one of the most embarrassing finds for anyone claiming to be a surfer. Untouched since a trip to Australia two months before, I picked up one board to see a neat pile of powder behind it. The whiteness of the pile clearly indicated it was foam. My brain struggled to figure out what was going on, when I saw ants. One after another exiting their now disturbed home, my ex-surfboard. I tapped on the board and saw the little buggers tunneling deep all the way into the middle of the board. Davao City, for much of the time, is an unworthy home for surfboards!
RE: @ CANNABIS« Reply #2 on: March 12 2007 11:03:00 »
To the credit of the local government of Davao City, communities were being informed of the oncoming danger, and maybe that insured there was no loss of life, but for the squatter communities built along the shoreline, not much else could be done. A reflection perhaps of ever-growing population pressure coupled with the lack of safe tenure and sound livelihoods options for many coastal communities, not just in the Philippines but across Asia and beyond. Their vulnerability to the sea was highlighted with the devastation wrought by the Asia Tsunami in December of 2004. But how quickly the focus of media attention moves onto current up-to-date disasters, and the vulnerable communities remain stretched across the shores at the mercy of the increasingly unpredictable elements of the sea.
RE: @ CANNABIS« Reply #3 on: March 12 2007 11:03:00 »
This increasing unpredictability is evidence of climate change, and members of the scientific community are starting to term such climatic related damages to coastal communities in Asia as the collateral damage from western emissions. Ironic, isn't it, that the less developed countries suffer the most from the benefits enjoyed by us in the developed world.
RE: @ CANNABIS« Reply #4 on: March 12 2007 11:03:00 »
For the hardy few local surfers, the high seas provided a rare opportunity to exploit quality waves right on their doorsteps. The coastline swings smoothly from east to west, exposing about 50km to the southerly swell, which enters through the narrow window at the mouth of the Gulf, with various choices from points and beach breaks from Digos right into the reefs near Times Beach, in the center of the city.
RE: @ CANNABIS« Reply #5 on: March 12 2007 11:03:00 »
Afternoon onshores made early mornings the best just after the peak of the high tides when the waves were glassy, cleanly formed and well organized. Using their second-hand boards, the local crew indulged themselves in carving up the waves and the raw energy of the sea. The underling seascape, the corals and sand beds, causes the energy of the waves to be emphasized or reduced at various stretches along the coastline. So we sought out the best spots where the wave energy was most concentrated and most powerful. The irony was that the "best spots" often fronted some of the communities at highest risk and who suffered the greatest losses.
RE: @ CANNABIS« Reply #6 on: March 12 2007 11:03:00 »
The city's beaches had fun beach breaks. These being most accessible meant they were the main spots where the locals frequented and good spots for a surf before work, but I had a major dilemma: could I handle the pollution? The city's water is loaded with the wastes from the million inhabitants, and no sewerage infrastructure. The first morning I sat looking at the small waves puzzling, "at what point does it become too polluted to surf?" I could remember from work some very poor water quality reports in which I later checked, and found that the next beach had recorded coliforms 14 times beyond the World Health Organizations safe recreational waters.
RE: @ CANNABIS« Reply #7 on: March 12 2007 11:03:00 »
But good waves arriving at a beach normally like a like would test any wave-starved soul. I decided to test the WHO standards, using myself as the guinea pig. I can now confirm that tropical waters and urban waste definitely make great breeding grounds for bacteria, it took over a week for the darting shots of pain in my ears to ease. The infections are recurring to this day.
RE: @ CANNABIS« Reply #8 on: March 12 2007 11:03:00 »
A healthy paddle offshore were reefs with cleaner water and rippable walls at mid tide, and as the tide dropped it produced sweet hollow pockets to sit in. Barrels on my door step, I laughed out loud with joy. The irony smacked in the face as just on the shoreline it also saw homes and tourist "nipa" huts flattened.
RE: @ CANNABIS« Reply #9 on: March 12 2007 11:03:00 »
Outside town is a long sweeping beach with several points, enough to carry a hundred surfers, there was five of us out. The community lined the beach to watch and cheer us. Patchie, one of the local surfers, knew some of the local fisher folk. They thanked us for coming, saying, "This is a Muslim area. Normally people are afraid, so we'll host surfing competitions to bring people to our beach." He was right. It's only half an hour outside the city and I had never been there before. Behind the beach, their homes were flooded where the waves had breached the sand bar. Local men worked digging trenches through the sand bar to relieve the flood as if it was another normal day.