Extra Challenge in Isla Uling

May 3, 2006 at 2:33 am Leave a comment

with Nanay Liwanag in Isla Uling
With Nanay Liwanag

The beach of Barangay Islang Uling in Navotas, also known as Sitio Pulo, used to be well-known in the 80’s, with actors like Tirso Cruz III flocking to its clean shores to escape from hot, mad Manila. Now, the beach is littered with all imaginable wastes dumped by the sea from nearby barangays and other areas in Metro Manila. People still flock to the beach, but not the likes of Tirso Cruz – they’re the forgotten Filipinos, driven by the heat, nostalgia, and poverty to enjoy whatever coolness that this sea, blackened by garbage and waste, could offer. During the last Lenten break, this fetid beach attracted at least 15, 000 local residents, who call it fondly as the Boracay of Navotas.

Like children of a lesser God, they try to appreciate and harness every little thing that the sea could provide. They use the floating garbage as fuel to produce coal. When the tide is low, they gather a type of seaweed that is used to make gulaman. They pick up driftwoods and use them to build small boats or to reinforce their shanties.

I went to Barangay Islang Uling to take part in GMA7’s Extra Challenge, a popular reality game show. I was hosted by a family who managed to survive amidst the floating garbage and extreme poverty. To Nanay Liwanag, Tatay Jojo, and their 8 children (!), maraming, maraming salamat po!

Watch Extra Challenge this at around 7.45 PM at GMA 7.


Entry filed under: Events, General.

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