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Photos by MJ Klein
In this article, we’ll travel from Tuguegarao City to the village of Santo Nino. My guide, Sonny is from that village and I wanted to visit his family and friends there. Please note that many of these photos were taken from a moving Jeepney without looking through the viewfinder, due to circumstances.
This is our Jeepney driver, who spoke excellent English and was very polite, calling me “sir” throughout the entire trip, lol.
We made our way out of the city and headed to the village.
We stopped at this grain warehouse to pick up some bags for the village. I snapped this guy spreading out some kind of grain for it to dry in the sun. We’ll see more of this later, so follow along with me while I figure out what this stuff is.
This is the local chicken store.
They bind the feet of the chickens and you simply grab them and throw them up onto the Jeepney. It doesn’t get any fresher than still alive.
Some of the road sections are in bad shape because of the big truck traffic.
I saw these bags alongside the road. At this time I didn’t know what they were for.
Notice that the road has this golden hue to it.
It was only after we got really close that I realized this was corn placed on the road surface to dry!
Then I saw these farmers sweeping up the dried corn and bagging it up, leaving the bags at the roadside to be picked up later.
No one drives on the corn. Most of the local people are farmers themselves and they respect the crop of the other farmers, too.
This might seem like an unsanitary method of drying corn, but honestly, what else can the farmer use? The road is the only flat surface that’s relatively free of debris and has the vast area required to dry a large crop.
No corn can be dried on this gravel part of the road, however.
Soon we approached a body of water.
It turned out to be a large river.
What is this thing out on the water? Believe it or not, it’s a locally fabricated ferry boat made from 3 boat hulls!
This ferry was carrying a fully-loaded Jeepney and it’s passengers across the river!
I walked around to the other side to get a better look at the loading procedure. The shack-like structure is for passengers to get out of the hot sun while they cross the river.
The Jeepney is going to board the ferry. I’m glad that I took the driver’s suggestion and got out of the Jeepney for this procedure!
I walked aboard following Sonny, in the black shirt and ball cap. Notice the wide gaps in the deck planking!
This is the car engine that drives the beast.
This small gasoline powered pump keeps the bilge water at a manageable level.
This is the “captain” steering the boat with a home-brew tiller arrangement.
I shot a short video of the ferry ride with my Samsung Galaxy S phone:
Even in this remote area, there is cellular telephone service.
Sonny told me that the river’s peak depth is about 25 meters! Considerable in volume, this river often floods its banks inland to a distance of more than 1 KM and that it washed out the bridge (which is why there is a ferry). The government isn’t going to rebuild the bridge because the river will wash it out again.
This is our destination dock up ahead.
Notice the cut log sections. These are used to manage the height of the planks to match the ferry as it docks.
This guy man-handled the ferry into position with a rope and his back.
As soon as the ferry was tied up, we disembarked.
The people came across first and then the Jeepney.
I asked one of the men if there had ever been any accidents, and he told me that recently (a “few months ago”) a Jeepney had fallen off the ferry. He didn’t go into detail, but it sounded bad. I didn’t ask any more questions.
Once back on dry land we headed to the village.
This area has some of the finest corn I’ve ever seen, or eaten!
Soon, we turned down the main road of the village.
I got off the Jeepney and went around the back to say goodbye to my fellow passengers.
This is our destination – Sonny’s store. His home is behind the store. In Part 2, we’ll show you the BBQ party we had for the village, with a roasted pig, Filipino style!
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