Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Children and the Whirlpools

Suba is one of the known places in Liloan. It is the place where the first inhabitants of the town of Liloan landed, and it is the place from where the town got its name. However, I will not talk about that in this blog. We'll talk about it later. Right now, I want to share with you my experience of the place known as Suba.

Curiously, "Suba" also means river, but there is a no river there. Instead, there is a channel that is connected a bay known as the Bay of Silot. More about that in a separate blog.

I once passed through this channel at night aboard a friend's car, en route from our trip to the lighthouse in Barangay Catarman. As such, I was not able to take a close look at what the place has to offer because I was in a moving vehicle and it was night. I did, however, get to see the different Coast Guard yachts parked at the mini-harbor.

Now, these are the real treats of Suba: the whirlpools from where Liloan got its name. By whirlpools, you might be expecting something big and nasty swirling in the water but, no, they are far from that. The whirlpools of the channel are small, yet their size masks the strong vacuum and current in the water. What amazed me, however, were not the whirlpools but the children who were bathing in the waters. Children, but yet they are very good at surviving the current and the vacuum (called "suug" in the local dialect) that the waters of the channel have.

Curious, Swerver and I approached these children and asked them what they do about swimming through the vacuum. They probably didn't know what to say, so they just went and gave us a demonstration. I noticed that after hitting the water, they just let the current drift them a bit away before they started treading water. This makes sense, because people end up getting drowned if they try to fight the current. So that's the trick, I thought to myself.

Swerver then asked them how it feels when the vacuum is pulling them. One of them said, "Anad na mi ana kuya." (We're used to it.) Yet another one of them said, "Makuyawan ka." (You'll be scared.)

Another curious thing about the whirlpools is that they don't start forming until after seaward side of the bridge. Swerver and I took a look at the other side of the bridge, and it turned out that the waters there were as calm as the Pope. There must be an explanation for that, but I didn't want to think too much about it lest I ruin the experience.

At the end of the day, Swerver and I bid goodbye and thanked the kids for their support, but not without taking a few more pictures:

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Sara said...

Very interesting.. I know you are not supposed to fight it. When one panics they are more at risk for drowning, but I would have tried to fight against it.. Thanks for that informative and visual blog..

LILOAN said...

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment sara.

zyntax said...

If these kids will be trained for the olympics then maybe we will gain gold.

phoenix said...

Nice Bloggg...
I lived in Suba. I used to jump off the bridge when I was a child.. @__@ But that was many many years ago.. hehehe
The bridge was still made of woods that time.