Saturday, January 1, 2011

Synopsis and Reaction on the Documentary, "Sa Tuna at Ginhawa" (I-Witness, GMA News and Current Affairs)

    The documentary features the individuals whom we know as the marginally functioning people in the present society- the urban/rural poor. They comprise the majority of the labor force in the country. The film documented these people’s lives as they struggle for a living via crossing the seas and oceans only to catch tuna. Indeed, fishing has become the primary source of livelihood for the natives of Polilio Islands. This style of life source is eventually a sense of survival for the islanders to ease poverty and its loyal subjects- hunger, overpopulation, inflation and unemployment. Sandra Aguinaldo who hosted the documentary clip in fact joined the group of fishermen in their quest of risking their lives across the roars of the sea waves to earn sufficient living for their families and downtrodden community.

    As these fishermen prepare for their departure, a mixture of emotions veiled the atmosphere. Folks and children alike waved their hands goodbye to the men they consider hope bringers. The whole community is in pursuit that the fishermen would embark safely and return with success. Uncertainties tainted the destiny of these men. The determined ones did not swerve from the drawing danger ahead.

    Thus it all began. Their boats smoothly crossed the waves rushing along the way. At first, the weather was calm and rejuvenating. The occupants of the boat settled themselves while handing down the equipments needed to get the job done. They had a few stuffs to eat and drink to satisfy enough their appetite. Almost everybody got so busy and it was a fine moment for documentation. Needless to say, life in the rocking boat was difficult especially if one is not used to expose himself near the vast seas and oceans. One might feel dizzy and could vomit already in an instant. However, if one does, an improvised urinal slash comfort space came to the rescue and it was just adjacent to the storage area of the boat where nets and various fishing items were well-kept. Although necessary materials were complete, these were not enough to proclaim that it was safe to face the obstacles that they would encounter. Lack of modern and complex safety gears made it more difficult.

    It took a march of minutes and hours before making it to the point of their objective of getting an abundant and fresh catch. At last, hopes began to rise as schools of tuna showed their glancing fins in the ocean’s surface. The delighted fishermen waited for no wrongdoing and immediately grabbed the opportunity to catch a lot of them. It took sweat, time and effort to accomplish the whole thing but it soon paid off. ‘All’s well that ends well’ so to speak.

    Perhaps the focus was for the safe comeback to their homes. It was a day to be called and darkness devours the light little by little and the maintenance of the boats attached to one another was the major dilemma and difficulties arise. Despite the exacerbating case, the fishermen thought of a quick resolution and never forgot to extend a helping hand even for a lone stranger who was also in search of a better fortune. With bags of tuna at hand, a keen sense of a successful return was within their reach.

    After the grueling venture for an abundant catch, the lovely morning and cool breeze finally embraced the fishermen. Waiting from the shore were their families and friends. It was like a hero’s welcome and what the men brought for these people were gifts from heaven as it was more likely considered. By evening, a gaiety get-together was held in celebration of the fishermen’s homecoming. It was already a tradition conspicuously. There were videoke fest, drinking spree and traditional feasting of tuna dishes for pulutan of course.

    As bags of tuna were brought to the town market, the demand was at its peak. The tuna industry was undeniably alive and kicking. A young fisherman was asked how much he earned for catching tuna. He stated that it depends on the demand, supply and market organization. However, he admitted that the highest he got so far was 3,000 pesos. The amount is already enough to provide a good cost of living for an average rural family in a couple of days.

    There are various aspects in the documentary that enter Filipino psyche. These include Pinoy-style strategies known better as either diskarte or pagkamaparaan, helpfulness, generosity specifically food sharing which is cradle of interpersonal relationships and pakikipagkapwa, resiliency and risk-taking. Once more, the image of poverty gave a slap shock in this documentary.

    A Filipino in such a sense will always find ways to make ends meet and overcome adversities not only for himself but for the welfare of his fellows as well. Being helpful and generous always come to a Filipino’s mind under any circumstances and knows no stranger. To make a living, a Filipino strives hard each day and eventually learns innovation with an aid from psychological and cognitive forces- intuition, creativity, clear judgment, etc. All of these come handy whenever a Filipino needs them and once he analyzed the situation he is into.

    The saddening part here is that the government is not able to provide social and community development programs in the rural or remote areas filled with marginally functioning individuals comprising about 70% of the working population of the country. These laborers in every outskirt of towns and provinces are not really given the chance to be inculcated on new trends of science and technology, vocational techniques to establish modern enterprises, to be open with entrepreneurial and commercial skills and above all, quality education. Ironically, these people make a ‘living’ but as they do it, they put their own lives in the line crossing oceans and seas to catch tuna without thinking of their own safety thus using old, rusty boats lacking any high-tech equipment and machine for survival. The Filipinos are adaptive to nature and have already been used to it for hundreds of years. Obviously, the natives are content about it but as time passes by, no development for economic and industrial attributes are attained so to cut it short, how will we engage in global relationships if the administration itself will not provide necessary projects for the betterment of all its citizens? This is truly ridiculous. And, we cannot blame the inhabitants of Polilio Islands for a lifestyle like what is witnessed by our very eyes. Their labor force is essential and for outlook, the fishermen were almost venerated as the modern-day heroes of their community.

    Filipino Psychology must have entailed this documentation for its conceptual framework and history must have a place for these unsung workers.

No comments:

Post a Comment