Sailing along Historic Pulangi River, Navigating Ligawasan Marsh

Editor’s Note: Today, February 25, 2021, Travelin’ Light gives way to a guest author, Attorney Naguib G. Sinarimbo, minister of the Ministry of Interior and Local Government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM-MILG), on his travel along Mindanao’s great Pulangi River (the Rio Grande de Mindanao), sailing through and navigating the historic, and once rebel sanctuary, Ligawasan Marsh.

 BARMM official sails along Pulangi River across Ligawasan Marsh....
BARMM Interior Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo. (Credit: PIA)

We traverse the Ligawasan marsh through the great Pulangi today. We started our early morning travel from the mouth of the Pulangi in Bucana where this great river empties its water into the Moro Gulf and we disembarked in the old settlement of Dulawan, now Datu Piang. Along the way, we stopped by Gambar, part of an old settlement known then as Tumbao, a known rebel lair and center of Moro resistance in the 70’s.

The Pulangi in the old served as the highway that connected the downstream settlement of Kutawato and the upstream settlements of Dulawan and Buayan. This river runs and branches out all the way to Bukidnon in the north, the Allah river in the south, and the Buluan Lake to the east. Upstream, it serves as tributaries to the great Ligawasan marsh, a catch basin that collects rainwater from the great mountain ranges of Mindanao . Downstream, it serves as the outlet of the great marsh towards the sea.

Settlements along the banks of the Pulangi remind you of yonderyears when life in the great flooded plains of Mindanao was shaped by the great river. In the great marsh, it seems like time stood still and the vast expanse of the marsh stretching as far as the eyes can see takes you back to a life of great simplicity and where nature ever so subtley dominates.

This marsh is as old as time. And as you start to absorb its immense beauty, you begin to wonder how much time is left before “development” forever alters its splendor. Or perhaps, how much time is left of us to get a glimpse of and basks in its beauty?

There is great potential in the marsh.
But then there is also actual beauty in the marsh. (/)


Featured images from the author.

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