I thought it was already the end of the journey because it was already the end of the road and this great river is actually a predicament for it has served as a peaceful and beautiful obstacle of going to the other side of the town of San Quintin in Abra.
It was said that several years ago, there was no boat like this to help the residents of San Quintin to cross the river. Instead, they use rakes to cross it.
The people clamored for the need of a bridge but for now, there will be no easy funds to finance the construction of a bridge and that would mean hundreds of million-peso project I guess (because a bridge near our city that crosses the same river width costed to be like that). Remember that Abra River is the 6th largest river system in the Philippines and it streams down from Benguet, to Abra then opens its mouth to Ilocos Sur. So there are a lot of towns situated along the Abra River and San Quintin is just one of them. Each town has a story to tell about Abra River.
For the said situation, it would be very impractical to rush the construction of a bridge here because there are more "main" bridges which should be given priority because of catering the needs of more people. I am talking thousands of productive people with the need to go to work daily to build our economy. Constructing a bridge here worth hundreds of million pesos that will only serve less than hundreds of people crossing daily would be very impractical.
Now it is getting clear, even using your common sense alone, why this place has no bridge yet. The solution given by the local government unit of Abra is to employ 2 boatmen to assist people crossing the river from morning until afternoon and that should be for free. It is a matter of public service. Cool idea right? I'm glad I am one of the beneficiaries this time although I am not from Abra. This would mean that anyone is entitled to have a free boat ride.
Before I crossed the river. I captured a video of my self. Oh! I didn't bother to edit it anymore because my video editing tools were just too weird that they didn't work now that I need them the most. Please bear with the video quality because I don't have a highly sophisticated gadget. You're not watching a Hollywood movie anyway, do you? So be it
Crossing the river would last for about 1 minute. Finally, I will be crossing this river for the first time. It was not the touristy river cruise that all you need is to relax.
I was able to capture a short video clip while I cross the Abra River. It should have been more than a minute video but I used some parts of the crossing period to capture photos. So please bear with the short video clip of crossing the river.
Hearing the noisy engine of the boat was poignant. It tells me that the residents need to get used of this situation daily. It was poignant, at least on my part because I am not used of living to this kind of situation and knowing their daily situation brings a message that penetrates deep to my throat.
But I can not see any complain from the faces of the people. They were even more warm and welcoming when I had a ride with them. If you try to listen to the video, one of them is even making a joke that Jing-Jing, the name of the lady whom I talked with has suitors and we are going to their house to propose a marriage based from their words. She said in their native dialect called Itneg: "Umali da danunen si Jing-Jinge'n (I hope I said it right)." Danunen, or Dumanon is a tradition by which a man is going to the house of the woman to show his intention to the parents of marrying their daughter. Well, it was just a joke! Those people are just happy given their daily situation. They have still time for fun :)
|Jing-Jing, the lady whom I first met at this river crossing with instant love affair.|
Now you know why I said it was not really fun? Well it could be fun doing the river crossing but that fun wouldn't be real if you don't know the reason of the existence of this free river crossing. But if you try to dig deeper into it, you will realize it is not really fun. It mirrors the daily struggle of the people with the clamor for development that keeps running away from them. However, the people are resilient that makes them happy people in spite of all of these odds. The Abra LGU has been helpful for this set-up.
That mountain is too far, and that would be another story. Where is the footprint? To be continued...