The morning began at the fish port where we got to see how the fishermen bring in, grade, and sell their fish. We saw humongous Tuna and Blue Marlins. There were four different kinds of markets at the fish port – 1,2,3,4. Market 1 is for export quality fish, Market 2 and Market 3 fish are sold locally. Market 4 was not open during the morning we went. One of the most interesting things that the boys learned about was how the fish are graded for quality. A thin metal tube is inserted into an area near the belly of the fish and then pulled out. A part of the fish will come out in the process revealing the color of the fish inside. For tuna, the redder the better. And the most expensive kind of tuna is the Blue Fin Tuna.
Next, we headed off to a place called Maitum where we met the Mayor and we got to see jars that were dated back to about 5 B.C. They are burial jars that were used to keep the bones of people who died. Each jar has a head on it that represents the personality of the person while they were living.
After this we passed by a home where women were weaving coconut leaves to make roofing panels for nipa huts. Elijah got to experience “sewing” the leaves. Can you believe that 1,000 panels sell for P600 pesos only! Talk about hard work and not much of a return!
We proceeded to the turtle sanctuary where we met a man named Danny Dequina who has taken it upon himself to save the turtles, which are becoming an endangered species. Although he gets no money for what he does, he is fiercely devoted to saving the turtles. He created a nursery area for the eggs and the boys learned that they look exactly like ping pong balls! When the mother digs a hole for the eggs and lays them, she buries them nearly a foot into the sand and they stay under there for about 45 days. Afterwards, they hatch and find their way up through the sand and back to the ocean.
By lunchtime we were hungry and had the privilege of spending that time with Dan and Aurea Evans. Dan was originally from the U.S. but came to the Philippines after marrying his wife, who is from the Tiboli tribe. They are both serving God as self-supporting ministry workers who reach out to the Tibolis in Sarangani.
We ended the day at a farm in Kling, where we got to see a number of things. First, we saw how coconuts are turned into fiber and peat, and copra is cooked (which becomes the raw material for shampoos, soaps and other products). After this, we tried to go see the rubber trees but our attempts were thwarted by the muddy road. So we went to the shrimp ponds instead and got to see the farm hands harvest a net full of shrimp – the white kind that are used in Chinese dishes. The kids got to hold the shrimp and feel the scales on it. We ended up eating the shrimp for dinner that night. How cool is that?!
Day 5 next!