Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Balangai Boats, searching markets for fruits.

We went to the Balanghai Boat archaeological site today.

Took some pics of fruits. Will try to upload a couple of them soon.

Three issues that need to be discussed in depth:
  1. Mining and its ecological, environmental, sociological, and economic consequences. The Gov wants Mindanao to be a model mining area. Nickel is being mined up North at one of our favorite sites, near Tubai. I heard today of mining up toward Davao that has disastrous consequences on local people's lives. An entire mountain was razed near Butuan for some purpose, the top sheared off. With the push from the gov, the situation may get quite grave.
  2. In Caraga, the region in which Butuan is located, logging has been rampant and uncontrolled for many years. Mountains are denuded, the threat is severe of flooding in these lowlands with the watersheds of the great Agusan River having been cleared of mahogany forests. It appears that although a ban on logging has been made, Caraga has been exempted due to supposed "good conditions for growth of trees." Sadly, the mining industry and logging industry are controlled by the two competing political families of Caraga.
  3. I asked Concon Absuelo what spices might be of note in Butuan. He told me that the Mindanao cinnamon tree produced a good grade of cinnamon, but has become mainly an herbal cure for old people today. The one tree we saw at the arboretum at the Butuan National Museum has died since 2004.
  4. The Butuan City Library has been vastly improved over the past three years. A new library has been built, and a Butuan Heritage Collection and an Environment and natural history room have been set aside. The situation is far better than three years ago.
  5. The arguement about the first mass said by Magellan in the PI between Mazawa, here in Butuan, and Limasawa Island, near Leyte, has heated up. In the aforementioned Butuan Heritage Room are found a number of materials, including Pigafetta's works. People here are convinced that the arguement has gone well for Butuan.

I was not all0wed to photograph the Balanghai Boats. William was intrigued by the carved woodem coffins and remains that date, I believe, from the 13th Century, dug up nearby.

The Hydrology and Geology of Butuan are quite interesting, a target for further learning.

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