The Town of Oas, Part 5 of 6

The cold morning air was quite inviting for a walk. Having missed the look and feel of my hometown, I gave in to the call of nature. In shorts and jacket, I braved the cold misty morning to get reacquainted with the village, which at 6 AM was still in deep slumber. I walked to the river only to be mesmerized by the serenity of the scene. From a distance stands the gorgeous Mayon Volcano and the nearby mountains, and along the rivers the bamboos gently arch to the river and coconuts proudly reach the sky. The beauty of nature’s reflection in the calm waters was a great way to start the day. With the gargling flow of the river and the chirping of the sparrows, what more is adorable?

The Oas River system, however, is not as admirable as when you see it at daybreak. As the saying goes, it’s “water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink”. Its dirty black water speaks so much of complacency, lack of care for the environment, and lack of will to rehabilitate the water system. The inconvenient truth is that many think there’s no hope to the flooding and pollution–they’re natural–as much as there’s nothing we can do to get rid of the river. So let it stay, wash out houses and farms during strong typhoons and heavy rains. Let it flow where it can flow, never mind if water reaches the farms that most need them.

I’m sure it’s time we give more thought about this river. Not to banish it, but to make it more useful and meaningful to the lives of those who live with it.

Photos taken with Cherry Mobile Flare
This part of Oas River was taken from Bgy. Mayao.


ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.