Fishermen pulling the morning catch in Bonuan

We live near the sea. Surrounded by waters. Brought here to these islands. By balangay. Seafaring people. Nusantao. Sons of the ocean. Daughters of the pearl.

And yet, how many of us really know how life is at sea? Or near it?

These are fisherfolk along the shores of Bonuan, pulling together the catch of the morning. No, actually, the catch of the day.

A few men and women are cooking lunch, vegetables, and soup, for these 20 or so men and women. Their torsos are wrapped by the thick nylon rope. The rope could cut their backs so they walk barefoot and hang their slippers, instead, on a thick wooden stick behind their backs.

The labor is gruesome. Three hours at least. Of pulling and pulling and pulling, under the heat. But the price is assured. Food for their families or money for their pockets.

And for people like me, who spend more time on our phones and our computers than from where we came from, the sea, we sons and daughters of who were once great seafarers, such labor is a site of academic astonishment!