Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

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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.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

This is our Jeepney driver, who spoke excellent English and was very polite, calling me “sir” throughout the entire trip, lol.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

We made our way out of the city and headed to the village.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

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.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

This is the local chicken store.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

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.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Some of the road sections are in bad shape because of the big truck traffic.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

I saw these bags alongside the road.  At this time I didn’t know what they were for.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Notice that the road has this golden hue to it.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

It was only after we got really close that I realized this was corn placed on the road surface to dry!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

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.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

No one drives on the corn.  Most of the local people are farmers themselves and they respect the crop of the other farmers, too.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

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.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

No corn can be dried on this gravel part of the road, however.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Soon we approached a body of water.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

It turned out to be a large river.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

What is this thing out on the water?  Believe it or not, it’s a locally fabricated ferry boat made from 3 boat hulls!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

This ferry was carrying a fully-loaded Jeepney and it’s passengers across the river!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

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.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

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!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

I walked aboard following Sonny, in the black shirt and ball cap.  Notice the wide gaps in the deck planking!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

This is the car engine that drives the beast.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

This small gasoline powered pump keeps the bilge water at a manageable level.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

This is the “captain” steering the boat with a home-brew tiller arrangement.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Yikes!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

I shot a short video of the ferry ride with my Samsung Galaxy S phone:

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Even in this remote area, there is cellular telephone service.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

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.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

This is our destination dock up ahead.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Notice the cut log sections.  These are used to manage the height of the planks to match the ferry as it docks.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

This guy man-handled the ferry into position with a rope and his back.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

As soon as the ferry was tied up, we disembarked.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

The people came across first and then the Jeepney.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

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.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Once back on dry land we headed to the village.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

This area has some of the finest corn I’ve ever seen, or eaten!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Soon, we turned down the main road of the village.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

I got off the Jeepney and went around the back to say goodbye to my fellow passengers.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 1

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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4 comments

    1. hi Stefan. it was really something. the whole time, i kept thinking stuff like “did anyone do any stress analysis on the plank ramps?” or “did they calculate the buoyancy or did they just try it the first time?” lol scary! thanks Stefan.

  1. Love all the happy faces of the people living their simpler lives. Do not think I would have the nerve to cross on that ferry without a life jacket. Wonderful pictures! I look forward to more pictures of your trip.

    1. hi Carolyn. the people sure were happy and so friendly! i hear you about the life jacket! i’m glad that i got out of the Jeepney and stood on the ferry. in case something bad happened, i wouldn’t want to be trying to get out of the Jeepney while it was going down! thanks Carolyn and take care.

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