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Monday, August 13, 2012

A Woodstock of Pebble Rocks in Mabua


In the not so far outskirts of Surigao City, a throng of edgy, colliding rockers lies unusually subdued, well rested and only head bangs against each other when stepped upon. These are the pebble rockers of barangay Mabua, simply known as "Pebble Beach". The place defies the popular belief, same way as this madame defies the logic that thin women are the only sexy vixens on Earth - that a beautiful beach, to be considered as such, should constitute only fine granule of sands. As this shingle beach shows, these smooth, oval shaped sedimentary rocks are making a strong case against the prevailing concept that only sandy beaches are worth visiting.

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view from a nearby Hill
My Surigao City based friend Nathalie accompanied me here right off the bat of my arrival. We took a 20-minute tricycle ride at a semi breakneck pace from the city. It was almost the tail-end of the afternoon when we reached barangay Mabua. The sky was already overcast by a yellow color slowly morphing into color red, as if cuing Cookie Chua to belt out a haunting melody of Paglisan . Nathalie wanted to show me the other side of the beach, so we hiked atop this small hill which gives a panoramic view of the surrounding places. From the top I directed my sight following the long rows of fishing boats docked nicely, stretching as far as my eyes can see at the pebble beach-head and its tree-covered rolling hills from the east.



I remember at the house I grew up in, we had a small garden filled with pebble stones. We would use it to play "touchstone" (not named after the movie company) - a game of throwing a piece of pebble to try and hit another pebble stone. Doing so, in no time our garden became bereft of it. Same thing I fear of this shingle beach, I saw houses nearby, especially a large rest house that has a big garden filled with pebbles. Yes, the beach probably has millions of pebble stones, but if people keep on taking pieces and pieces from it and transferring it to their own houses, it will be just a matter of time before they rid pebble beach of its unique character.

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From a distant it looks like loaves of breads scattered around, but the blue shining particles and the gray colored surface adds a shimmery appeal to it. Hard rock and ready to bash into someone's head. Kidding! Throwing pieces of it at the beach will take extra effort, mimicking that of a discus thrower at the Olympics. 

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As the sun was about to set, Nathalie and I threaded our way over the round heads of the pebbles and into the paved road of the town, we talked about our future travel plans and I learned she was off to Myanmar in a few days. I told her that Myanmar is one country that is among those on top of my travel wish list. We passed by a resort which she said is owned by a Korean who probably married a Filipina, just to make the ownership legal under Philippine law. It stuck out like a sore thumb, in a place surrounded by small houses. In a short distance though, Nathalie pointed to me some newly built houses which she says are owned by people from the city, opting to have summer houses in Mabua. 

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Soon we reached the neighboring barangay of Ipil where we took a short break to catch the sunset and had a merienda consisting of sayongsong, a rice based sticky delicacy made of ground rice, brown sugar, coconut milk, roasted peanut, ube and is wrapped in banana leaves. It is sold at a cheap price of 5 pesos apiece. We bought half a dozen at a store wherein a middle age American was loudly telling random stories surrounded by amused locals laughing at the every twist and turns of his tales. 

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Here comes the Sun-set
I had three sayongsong in one sitting, a bit starved from the long day of traveling and hiking atop the hill. My body may be weary but absolutely, my mind is beaming with infatuation about this new place I've seen and the new delicacy sticking in my mouth, curing my hunger, while the sun slowly paves the way for darkness of the night to reign, on the horizon. A few fishermen who recognized Nathalie greeted us reciting a short summary of the day's catch.

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Sayongsong being sold at a store in Brgy. Ipil
The red colored sky soon turned into total blackness, Nathalie and I stood beside the road and waited for a tricycle to bring us back to the city. I was slowly bidding goodbye to an eventful day and eagerly looking forward to the next day's trip to Bislig in Surigao del Sur to hunt for a waterfalls named Tinuy-an.


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