[Vigan] The People I Met Along the Mestizo River


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"Their lives start to revolve with these things that many of us living at the cities and working at the office don't know or not aware at all."

The more I traverse the length of the Mestizo River in Vigan via the Vigan Heritage River Cruise, the more that I appreciate the simplicity of life that many of us can't appreciate. We have always wanted a life filled with luxury and comfort (and who else doesn't want) but with the scenes I saw along the banks of the Mestizo River, my hypothalamus begins to send neurochemical signals that filled my emotion with a mixture of just many things.

Father and Daughter: What a nice way to start the day right checking the fish cages
Maps by Wikipedia
Location Highlighted in Red
I was brought out in a simple family just within the corners of our house and never exposed to work at the fields or in growing livestock therein.

Of course, I am not also accustomed with the life near the river so seeing these scenes is a big deal for me because it is giving me a chance to explore more about life, society, our community and see the new things that I rarely see in my daily routine. The things I am seeing brought me to real life and to mature as well that the simplest thing in this world should not be taken for granted.

During the morning, the life along Mestizo River goes into action. Some residents living nearby, wearing their hut and long sleeves face the sun as they visit their fish cages to feed the fishes therein.

Aside from the fish cages, there are also livestock that are domesticated by the residents also just along the river and these include goats and poultry.

Their lives start to revolve with these things that many of us living at the cities and working at the office don't know or not aware at all.

As the boat [where I am in] continues to traverse the river route, there are some I have seen harnessing the natural resources they can get from this river.

Through the method they call in Ilocano as agkammel, people are able to catch their next food of the day from this river.

More over, the cruise kept going until the boat reached a place where several construction workers are working.

I salute how persevered these workers are and being a not so athletic or physically-capable individual to carry heavy objects like they do, I have to realize that no man is an island.

We have different strengths in life and we excel in different fields. For this, I appreciate how our lives revolve and how diverse life could be that blend too complex to build a community.



These construction workers are here to build this river control project to protect the residents nearby from the threats of erosion.

Under a hot day, they are unstopped by the circumstances and could you just imagine the role of these people in our society yet they are not highly-paid for this physically demanding work but still work hard for their families.


And what an enlightening moment to see the smiles of the children looking before my camera who are accustomed with the life along the river.

The river has been a part of their life and how inspiring to see these river kids enjoying a life with all those sweet smiles painted at their innocent faces.

From these children's smile is the effort of their parents to look for resources at Mestizo River to look for a food for the day or possibly things to sell at the market.

At the photo below is an image of a man catching a fish using traditional means of catching them. Pointed objects are sent toward the river and I can't explain the whole process since I don't how they did it but I was able to see how the man has done the method.

This is the Mestizo River, an ordinary river as it may seem but as I cruised to this river, I realized, I am just so ignorant and immature to say that this river is ordinary.

I have to say "read the book first before concluding for the title." The river seemed so quiet and just a simple river but hundreds of stories can be taken as you explore it and will learn and discover many things and understand the role of this river to the life of both ordinary and extraordinary Filipinos.

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Tags: Mestizo River | River in Vigan | People along the river | life along the river | living of people along the river

comment 65 #TownFolks Commented :

palakanton on February 2, 2012 at 2:25 PM said...

ang ganda nman ng mga shots [luv it]
malimit tlga na gnun sitwayun ng ilan..

Edmaration etc on February 2, 2012 at 2:40 PM said...

^^Thanks Palakanton :))
OO nga, marami sa ating mga Filipino ganito talaga kasimple ang buhay but we fail sometimes to appreciate them :(

Ding | The Pinoy Explorer on February 3, 2012 at 10:52 PM said...

And these workers make our lives easier...we should be thankful of them. I wonder why it is called "Meztizo River". I hope you can blog about it...:-D

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 12:02 AM said...

Hehe. May idea ako pero ireresearch ko muna ng todo. Haha.

YANI on February 4, 2012 at 1:07 AM said...

I was moved by your article. Kudos to you and the inspiration and learnings you shared from your cruise. We must appreciate life as humble and as simple as it is :)

Traveling Morion on February 4, 2012 at 1:09 AM said...

Hay edmar palit muna tau, explore visayas en jan nman aq sa north luzon;) liked da way u featured simple lives, it marks...

lakwatsero on February 4, 2012 at 1:44 AM said...

Exploring and traveling is sometimes more about learning than having fun. It is good to know that a someone like you takes the time to make a great post about something people wouldn't have noticed or things that are normally taken for granted.

MaryJane Tauyan on February 4, 2012 at 1:59 AM said...

muntik nko maiyak! very inspiring i should show this to my daughter so she knows how most of the filipinos live their life without the luxury and everything is as simple as this photos. My dad was a farmer and still doing it whenever were back in the province. He'd let us experience how hard to be a farmer so we never waste foods. keep it up! xx

enzo on February 4, 2012 at 2:06 AM said...

Ang cute naman ng name ng river - MESTIZO. Sounds like very Spanish. Anyways, I had experienced cruising the Loboc River in Bohol and it was splendid. It would be nice cruising to this river so I will have my own story to tell too.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 2:09 AM said...

Tnx Yani. Yup. Aometimes we really fail to appreciate simple things. ;)

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 2:10 AM said...

Jeff, oo sige switch tau haha.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 2:12 AM said...

Maryjane. Oo nga. Our children as early as now should learn to appreciate simple things.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 2:16 AM said...

Lakwatsero, actually whenever I go to places, i am actually more into seeing the ignored part of every destination that is very meaningful yet we sometimes fail to notice. It is only now again that I am able to write about this thing.

Christia's World on February 4, 2012 at 4:16 AM said...

Wat that man really holding on to a thin tree trunk balancing himself?!
parang feeling ko dapat naka-tip over na yung tree... galing ah

www.ROMELO.com on February 4, 2012 at 4:39 AM said...

these are the simple people that builds our countryside... and this are the same people our corrupt politicians are stealing money from... subukan kaya nila ang buhay ng mga ito... baka isang oras pa lang, nagrereklamo na sila...

Earlied on February 4, 2012 at 6:33 AM said...

I am so carried away by the way you describe your experience..and life is very simple but decent here and I can see that people are happy.

This is what I love to do..go around the countryside of the Philippines and stay for a day or two to learn how life is different from village to village.

Thanks for sharing. Really good for you.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 6:39 AM said...

Christia, that is the man's tool of catching a fish from the river.
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Romelo, yup... So sad to hear about that :(

Algene on February 4, 2012 at 8:05 AM said...

Naamaze ako sa beidge. Wala lang, it caught my attention kasi :P

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 10:01 AM said...

^ Algene, naman! Haha. Yun talaga ang naka-catch ng attention mo ha :)

Leah. on February 4, 2012 at 10:03 AM said...

Hmm.. bakit kaya tinatawag a Mestizo River yung river? :p That's great, people work together sa project nila.. And wait, bakit nga sa taas talaga ng puno nagfi-fish si Kuya? hehe.. Nawindang ako dun ah. lol.. May nahuli din syang isda? Sana nga meron.. :p

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 10:18 AM said...

^^ Leah, Actually in Vigan there is also Mestizo District, a place where the old houses are located (Calle Crisologo is the core of this district). Going eastward of the Mestizo District is this river (Mestizo River), so that is my analysis since I haven't made any extensive research about it.

The Mestizo district is a place in Vigan where Filipinos with foreign blood (e.g. Chinese, Spanish) used to live. Until now, their generations are still occupying these houses that's why most of the people living in these houses are Chinese.

That's a great thing to know. They are Spanish colonial houses but inside these houses are Chinese people. Mestizo River flows east of Mestizo. Mestizo is a term that connotes a person with a mixture of native and European or American ancestry. Kabaligtaran ng Mestizo ay Mulatto kung saan African (black) naman ang ancestry.
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About kuya at the tree, there is a certain method they apply. May mga trap sila sa isda. And I think nasa taas siya para hindi matakot 'yong mga isda at makita rin niya ung trap.

verneeh on February 4, 2012 at 10:50 AM said...

naku nadagdagan yung search of the origins for why it's called - Mestizo River and Mestizo district. hehe. Like the shot of the kid leaning on the wall. Me shadow pa.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 10:55 AM said...

^^ Verneeh, oo nga. I didn't include na sa main post kasi unverified but that is my hypothesis.

The Wandering Lion on February 4, 2012 at 11:02 AM said...

Wouldn't it be nice if we can all move to the countryside and live a simpler life. I envy the people of the the Mestizo District, they may not have the most when it comes to money but they surely have the less stress on a day to day basis. :)

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 11:08 AM said...

^^ Wandering Lion, yup, at the end of the tunnel, wealth and richness is all about contentment and happiness. Many people who are rich are living with paranoia and madness.

Joy on February 4, 2012 at 11:12 AM said...

i admire people who are very happy living in simple lives, when i grow much older i want to live away from the metro, my husband and i prefer to live in a farm where we can plant and raise animals for a living :)

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 11:16 AM said...

^^ Mommy Joy, What a good idea. I also want to retire at the countrysides someday.

Aj Banda on February 4, 2012 at 11:26 AM said...

Vigan is one place I want to visit to and thanks to your post, mas nasasabik ako pumunta jan :)

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 11:29 AM said...

^^ Looking forward for that tour. You'll surely enjoy!

Ed Zafra on February 4, 2012 at 11:44 AM said...

Life is more enjoyable if one would not complicate it. Happy are those who have simple needs for they don't have to struggle much for material things that could lead to their being greedy. We should admire how the people mentioned in this blog are living their lives.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 11:47 AM said...

^^ Ed Zafra, true. They are the people that we really need to admire for having a simple life like this without any complaint.

ajpoliquit on February 4, 2012 at 12:31 PM said...

I like how you found stories to tell and scenes to capture in a seemingly simple river in the countryside. Not everything should be about "touristy" places. In fact, I believe there are more interesting stories and sights in places that are not sold as a tourist spot. Like this one.

I appreciate your highlighting the role of the construction workers in our society. They do build the physical foundations of our civilization, but we hardly give them much thought...or even adequate paychecks. They toil under the sun and labor until their muscles are taut, but they also barely make the minimum wage. Such is life, but I hope it changes for the better for them.

kindlehearts.com on February 4, 2012 at 12:49 PM said...

ganda naman ng mga pictures! And yes I can't imagine working in that place under the scorching sun .. Let's be grateful that there are people willing to do it even if they're underpaid.
- sionee

violy vallester on February 4, 2012 at 12:59 PM said...

Very inspiring! I'm from central Luzon, Im always in pangasinan too so yung ganitong buhay is very normal for me. Even now I'm from Olongapo, going to zamabales ganito din ka simple buhay nila. I have a lot of relatives too living their lives like this.. I remember tuloy bahay ni lolo sa lingayen, naghaharvest kami ng mga sibuyas, kamatis and singkamas tapos benta sa bayan solve na! Wala pang kalan nun nagssisiga Lang kami..it's nice also to experience this kind of life.. So simple but enjoyable din and it makes you humble...

Gil Camporazo on February 4, 2012 at 2:49 PM said...

In one's simplicity there underlies a beauty beyond description, especially the nature. Mestizo River in Vigan, I believe, is one of the nature's creation, which could be fully developed, could be the source of livelihood of those people residing in it. Vigan has so many hidden picturesque places to be explored and be known to the world. There are "wonders" which need to be tapped and developed. Someday, or sooner or later, Vigan would be considered as one the 7 nature wonders of the world.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 3:28 PM said...

Violy, really true. Life in the province is very simple yet meaningful.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 3:34 PM said...

Wow sir Gil. Sana magdilang anghel ka sir. By the way please vote for vigan now for the new 7wonders cities campaign.

ChrisAir Seneba on February 4, 2012 at 4:15 PM said...

good place sometimes are just about on our place , we just never give attention to it

Gemma | My Dailies on February 4, 2012 at 4:23 PM said...

I love this post Edmaration! sometimes I'm wondering what would my life be without computers.. and just be back to basics? love vigan love your photos! will definitely visit someday!

Journeys and Travels on February 4, 2012 at 5:11 PM said...

Ed, this post somehow reminds me that genuine beauty rests on how ordinary people live their lives each day.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 5:14 PM said...

Thanks Gemma. Hope to see you here.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 5:20 PM said...

Doc Wends - journeys and travels

you really said it right

markpogi on February 4, 2012 at 5:39 PM said...

Now that's something new to visit for those who want to go to Vigan. =)

Julie. -- on February 4, 2012 at 5:47 PM said...

I believe that we who are living in the cities and somehow live a more privileged life has no right to complain about our lives because there are some people who live in such situation. The sad fact is, they are more contented and happy than most of us. Appreciate the small things in your life. You never know, these simple and small things are already the "everything" for some people.

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 6:14 PM said...

Markpogi, it's eye opener as well

Edmaration etc on February 4, 2012 at 11:52 PM said...

Julie, you're incredibly right. We don't have the right to complain. Sometimes we were just so not contented with what we have because of our exposure to city living and we many things that we also wanna grab.

Reymund Oliva on February 5, 2012 at 12:05 AM said...

nakaka tuwa naman ung isang tao na nakaupo sa taas ng puno... anu kaya hinihintay niya dun...

Edmaration etc on February 5, 2012 at 12:08 AM said...

Reymund, nahihintay siya ng mahuhuling isda, he uses certain method kaya sana puno siya.

Jenny O'Toole on February 5, 2012 at 1:50 AM said...

It seems that your having fun. The third picture looks like Manny P. a healthy Manny P. aww haha happy weekend

Edmaration etc on February 5, 2012 at 2:01 AM said...

Jenny, mukang malayo? hehe.

Sumi Go on February 5, 2012 at 2:04 AM said...

I really like how you captured the people you came across through your Mestizo River cruise. Even if we try to deny it, there are a lot of beautiful things in simplicity. And I definitely agree with Ms. Julie. I think we are living such complicated lives though we consider ourselves more privileged, that we can't find happiness anymore in smaller things.

Edmaration etc on February 5, 2012 at 2:08 AM said...

Sumi, true. This was in fact a learning experience. Not simply a cruise.

Tess Chancellor on February 5, 2012 at 4:04 AM said...

Life is simple for those who want it like the people from Mestizo River.They chose this kind of life and happy and contented.Their day is complete with the freshly catch fish from the river,freshly harvested veggies from their backyard ,farm or forest and some animals/livestock around the area.But some people were not born for this kind of life.They want the big city or shall we say the progressive place to fulfill their dream of having a better life.

Hopeful on February 5, 2012 at 4:18 AM said...

This is what we call a simple life. Thanks to these people who made our life easier. And it looks they're not complaining at all.

Blair Villanueva on February 5, 2012 at 9:04 AM said...

i also grew up in province, and i can say that life is too simple yet its wonderful

ralph on February 5, 2012 at 12:07 PM said...

always have nice memories in our province... both the place and people were nice... simpleng pamumuhay. Yahweh bless.

Edmaration etc on February 5, 2012 at 12:43 PM said...

TESS,

I would say they still need the city but the simplicity of their living makes me open up my eyes :))

Edmaration etc on February 5, 2012 at 12:45 PM said...

HOPEFUL,

Correct, they are simple people with GREA role in our society.

Edmaration etc on February 5, 2012 at 12:47 PM said...

BLAIR VILLANUEVA, RALPH,

Life in the province is really simple but less stressful from noise and pollution.

Rudolph on February 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM said...

so rustic. love the sights.

Edmaration etc on February 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM said...

RUDOLPH,

Yup. The sights were just meaningful.

Brambleberry on February 5, 2012 at 5:30 PM said...

We may never see fields,river or anything of that nature in the future. Best to keep photos :D

Edmaration etc on February 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM said...

BRANBLEBERRY,

Oh, hope that won't happen that we can still enjoy the great gifts of God :))

rjs mama on February 8, 2012 at 5:21 PM said...

next time i visit the province will try this river cruise

Edwin on February 16, 2012 at 4:49 PM said...

The river ride seems like a great way to relax. It's nice to appreciate the beauty of our own people. Nice pictures by the way.

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