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The Everyday at Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental

August 29, 2013

Today: I woke up at five and observed how Amihan kids practiced in the morning before they left for school. Three boys were assigned to prepare breakfast. A group of boys has its turn to prepare meals for everyone. I had coffee at the small place where Lupon fishermen had theirs. Carding, drunk, tailed me around with his “makahilis og baga” stare. He is an interesting character.  I took photos during the kid’s “duwa” (their word for skimboarding), tried it, and failed big time. Walked around and covered a good portion of the 7km Dahican Beach and went back to Amihan with a wild flower in hand. Have to wake up at 3 to go fishing with the Amihan boys.


DSCN9889Pablo trashed Dahican beach with logs. Some are really durable. A woman in her 40s checked the lying logs around and pointed the ones she said she bought. BoughT from whom? I wonder how the claiming ownership of these supposed drifted logs work. I overheard she paid P1, 500 for the logs and P600 for the chainsaw operator.

DSCN9886The view on my short walk to the snack place where Lupon fishermen have theirs. I find Dahican’s boat design beautiful and sexy. It follows the natural design of a singular wave.  DSCN9883During my second day, I spotted a man husking off coconuts. He is paid P200 for every 1000 coconut husked. If P were around, he would feel sad and guilty with the inequalities in the world.  But the countryside works differently. Money is not the prime mover here. And I envy them for that. DSC_1294Winston Plaza is one of the tatays of the Amihan Boys. When the boys got carried away with duwa (play)—their word for skimboarding— Winston would usually reprimand them that they had to prepare for school. He makes sleeping bags/hammocks, which are really high quality, during his free time.

DSCN9949I threw up. Despite the fact I am a fisherman’s daughter, I threw up after sailing for an hour into the bay’s mouth. Despite my love for movements, I do not particularly romanticize the rockings of the small boat. It always causes a ruckus in my innards. It was quarter to four,  and Winston, Vincent, Mark, and I sailed into the sea with panaw, sapaw, and my cameras in an outrigger accommodating enough for the four of us. This is a story I’m dying to write. But wait, I must.

DSCN9977Vincent removing our catch from the net. He used to work for a bank, but he realized he was not cut for the corporate world. So he quit and went fishing, took long naps, and skimboarded. I wish I could do the same!

DSC_1224I waited for the rising of the sun. But it was already too late. It only showed up minutes after the main action. But it was still beautiful. Mornings at Dahican are early.

DSC_1211-001This boat stood out. And this fisherman was the only one running his boat while standing.

DSC_1214 After the main action, boats sailed ashore. 
DSC_1259Mark intentionally sailed faster, so I could take photos of the silhouettes. The Amihan Boys are very supportive.

DSCN0005Our catch! I did not really help. I was only observing and taking photos the whole time. I heard one fisherman blurting out, “Disturbo ra mo,” I assume an equivalent for “malas” since I—a woman—was around. But Mark said it had been awhile since they had a good catch.

DSCN0033With the freshness of our catch, I requested for kinilaw! Mark and Mon prepared the kinilaw, while I was goofing around with Kibol.

DSCN0036Because the real one was not around, Kibol was my fling. He is a beach cat. He sometimes accompanied me to the beach. I actually stalked him and took around 30 photos. He loves me, I could tell. 🙂

DSCN0043A part of the 7-kilometer beach. In Dahican, Amihan boys buried the gapnod. They would eventually rot.  DSC_1295The study of the body. I love how we position our bodies at the Amihan Boy’s bahay kubo.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at Find me somewhere else!

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1 Comment

  1. […] would take around thirty minutes by motorbike. In spite of lack of sleep for the past three days at Dahican, Mati, I was lively and restless when I arrived at […]

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