Thursday, February 23, 2012

Roxas People’s Park and Mantalinga Island

There is such a thing?! Well, am I glad to have seen it and am I ever happier to say yes, there is such a thing! And it is right at the very place where the locals and visitors alike frequently head to, especially from dusk ‘til dawn – Baybay Beach. Of course it is also such a wonderful place in the mornings. It’s a park and right by the long stretch of black sandy beach! I said “park” not “parking area”, okay?! The thing is its kinda new and concrete everywhere with yet just a few trees around, thus, something we could call a heat-maker! But its still a nice place, breezy with fantastic views out to the sea and some little islands.

Ah yea, that is Mantalinga Island (and the plane that brought me here now returning to Manila). A chicharon vendor and some students “educated” me that no one lives on the island as it is believed to be “enkantado” or a place where many unseen, though friendly, spirits live! I like the portion of the story that says local folks always pass by the island for the spirits’ guidance when they go out to sea to fish or to have fun. They tell me that this little island is frequented by divers, snorkelers and daytime visitors. But when I asked them if they had been there, the common reply was a squirm and a shake of the head as if saying ‘they never will’! So I asked why and one of the students said ‘the spirits don’t like noisy children’! They tell me though that some of the seashells being sold at the grills come from the island. Trike driver added that the island is a ‘marker’ where everyone turns around during boat races. Hmm, that gave me an idea… I must come back to see those races!

Back about the park, I asked the students when this place was done and they told me “bag-o lang” (meaning just in recent years). It actually sits at a crossroad – from the city and the airport, this park is the very corner where you head left to Culasi or right to a barrio called Dumlog where the other Moro Tower is located. Those are the choices for if you head straight, you’d be going out to the sea and Mantalinga hehe! Ah, on a corner as you head for Culasi is a big house with a tall concrete fence. Driver told me that is the Roxas Family residence. Yep, where Mar Roxas is supposed to live when he’s around.

Here are more pics…

Nice place, right?! Okay, let’s head back past the airport and into the city center!

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