Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Case of Compressor Divers in Linapacan, Palawan

We got Tupe to go on leave for this day (after being reminded that it's actually their anniversary) and we're going on a hopping trip on the nearby islands.

Meanwhile, it was the day to feed their cultured fish (Lapu Lapu), so before heading to the islands, Tupe will have to do his little feeding... 40 feet below thru a compressor.

Without me asking, he invited me to join him. (I would have asked him to, if only he did not foreward). In fact, he was asking me to try diving too.

There were four of us in the small boat. Tupe, his younger brother, his nephew, and Me.

Tupe and his brother will dive, while the nephew will wait and operate on the compressor in the boat, and as for me, i'll be floating around while I look at what they do.

Tupe and his brother wore their makeshift fins, put on the mask, and then the hose, and jumped into the water.

They had their metal weightstraps on, and little by little, sank. 

It was still early, and the sunlight wasn't too bright. And, at the depth they're going, little by little, they've vanished from my vision. At such depth, i don't think it would be visible even at noontime.

The night before, Tupe were telling me about how he almost lost a life after doing a compressor dive, how it feels to get a compression sickness, or how a folk of him died of this activity, I was so worried of what might happen. I've carefully looked at every bubble that comes up, and every time nothing come up from the usual interval, i try to look deeper and check if they're ok; And his brother so young. I was wondering if they're even keeping track of the time that they're under water.

They've spent more than half an hour below. Tupe's brother's done, and has come up. Tupe came up too and signallingg for my camera. (He was actually excited to take pictures of his fishes). He sank back down. 

While I'm at a sigh at his excitement, I just thought these men won't even have a taste of what they're risking their lives for. Perhaps, not even their families, not even their villlage folksmen, or perhaps, not even us, travellers from the Metro. A piece of the Lapu Lapu would, as they say, may cost around P2000, and not even so many Filipinos perhaps would afford to. The fishes would most likely be exported elsewhere. Over the mouths;- of some citizens of high value currency nations... Sad and regretfull. Life in third world. Let's put this is our bucket list, shall we?

1 comment :

Popular Posts