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Mocanacon & Divilican

To reach the Municipalities of Mocanacon & Divilican the travel options are, a 10 hour boat ride by banca, 3 day 3 night trek over the dense Sierra Madre mountain range or by light aircraft taking 30 45 mins from either Cuayacan or Tuguegarao weather permitting.The rugged Pacific coastline of this remote area is a sight to behold one of untouched,undeveloped beauty, the surging waves pound the shore along the black sandy coastline it's a place where the weather can change dramatically particularly in the winter where in a spell of low pressure, access too and from the area may not be possible for several days and even weeks, such can be the severity of the Pacific storms.

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It is a place where wildlife can be seen regularly in the form of fish eating birds of prey flying overhead such as Ospreys,Serpent Eagles and occasionally according to some locals the impressive but endangered Philippine Eagle within the inland forest areas of the Sierra Madre. Species of Butterflies abound, due to the abundance of flora and fauna allowing them to feed and breed without the threat of encroaching development.

It is also the home of Indigenous Dumagat families who mainly inhabit the coastal regions.Regarded as semi-nomadic one can find both simple tent like structures and more rigid permanent homes set back from the beach. their diet consists of mainly cassava,fish and some meat in the form of home reared pigs. Since the 1980s The traditional wearing of the loin cloth known as the 'Bahag' has largely disappeared and now Dumagat families can be found wearing clothing of a western style.Although living within their own small communities the Dumagat children integrate within the community as a whole this can be seen particularly at the elementary school level.

Due to no permanent electricity installation or power in Divilican the use of generators are currently the only source of power. Potable water is pumped from the ground via mechanical pumps these tend to be from shallow sources no more than 3 mtrs underground which with no filtration system in place can be a source of contamination.

One of the problems for remote schools such as Reina elementary are a lack of basic materials such as pencils and paper to write on.

The learning process a very simple affair of the teacher writing the information on a blackboard & children having to retain that knowledge.

Although hesitant at first with strangers these children quickly show their inquisitive nature.

In the main Dumagats within this region seem relatively content with a simple lifestyle. As semi-nomads in spirit they appear similar to European gypsies, not wanting to settle in any particular place but enjoying the freedom of being able to move when and when they like to pastures new along the coastal areas.

Approved plans however are in place for the construction of a road through the Sierra Madre mountain range. Although there are concerns regarding the potential harm this could cause to the environment regarding development & illegal logging, the other side of the argument by some living in this remote area is the hardship and isolation they have to currently endure. Immediate medical attention for serious injuries or complicated healthcare problems simply may not be available due to inclement weather. Shortage of supplies and the general inability to move freely to and from the area when they wish to described as a punishment by one local resident.

Although attending school children will be required at an early age to carry out family chores around their settlement.

It remains to be seen how potential future development effects Dumagat families along this coastal region. Certainly the unpredictable Pacific weather conditions may be a deciding factor and also generally not considered by tourists as a typical holiday destination.The beauty of the region lies in the unchanged natural environment.

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 02/16/2021


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