River mining in Mindanao: Seeing the Unseen

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ March 24th, 2010. Updated on November 30th, 2010. Published in: Travel blog » Discover World Culture » Philippines.
A Full river mining barge in The Philippines

A full river mining barge in The Philippines

The River Miners of Mindanao: Seeing the Unseen

Unless you happen to be traveling through a place and happen to stumble across something, point to it and ask. Even the most mundane things will likely slip by your peripheral vision as just that … mundane.

But, stop. Look, point and ask. Then ask again. Before walking to the place and ask even more and you can find something quite out of the ordinary.

On an off day in travel, try looking at the mundane, it could just surprise you!

Mindanao is crisscrossed with rivers. Buses rumble over sturdy and somewhat un-sturdy bridges day and night. I always look out the window in hope of seeing something special. These days the rivers are flowing well, but it’s what’s underneath that’s important.

Here’s what I saw, and the people I met who come from a very different life …

It’s in a place like Mindanao you can find day to day life like nowhere else. In Nepal I came across a dried up river bed that was being mined, and it looked like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie. In Mindanao I came across the opposite.

Milk chocolate colored water hides a deep resources that can help provide a family with a meal for two days. But it also has a deadly current. Not to mention, sand. Sand that builders use for construction. It means there’s money in the river.

Read More …

Coming soon on Seeing the Unseen: Photographing Miss Camiguin Island

This is an additional post and one of a series highlighting the island of Mindanao & the people living in The Philippines

Liked this post?

Never miss a post!

Enter your email address:


6 Great responses to River mining in Mindanao: Seeing the Unseen

  1. Renny says:

    There are many people living and working a different life to us

    • -Renny- There certainly are!

      -Amanda- Hi Amanda, nice to see you again.

      Sometimes the lives of others can indeed remind people on how lucky they are. Sometimes the grass is not always greener …

      -flip- Yep. It’s not that dangerous. Day to day life continues on as per normal :)

  2. Amanda says:

    Wow. “That’s fifty peso’s each for four hours of hard labor. Under one dollar. Just enough to feed two people plain rice for the day”.

    Reading this story from my warm, brick home in the US, I am thinking of how ridiculous it is that we whine about the lagging economy. Thanks for reminding me of how really fortunate I am to live here.

  3. flip says:

    oh wow, are you in mindanao? brave soul hehe

  4. Ivy says:

    Very interesting, Dave. Still following and reading you!
    Keep smiling ! :) :)