Zamboanga’s Boracay: Cawa-Cawa Beach PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 February 2018 13:44

LOOKING IN

BY ROD BALBON

Long before Boracay Beach Resort hit the national headlines due to the improper disposal of waste materials into its beach, our local Cawa-Cawa Beach has long been the dumping ground—a cesspool of different kinds of wastes disposed by the establishments and households located in the other side of the road.

It was one of the local’s favorite swimming “resort” for weekend picnics long before the Zamboanga Beach Golf Resort and La Vista in Calarian came into existence, due to its sandy shore and clean water. It was a place where one would swim and sun-bath to relieve the strains and stresses of our everyday’s monotonous way of life. Understandably, swimming is free and it’s located right within the city. Except for washed out seaweeds, in cases of bad weather, one could hardly find garbage littered along the shorelines. I can still remember vividly, during my primary school days in the early 60’s, my classmates and I would walk from point to point of the beach, picking up along the sandy shore various kinds of seashells. Every Sundays, together with the late Danny Pajarito and DZT Editor Roy Ramos, we would carry the banca from the former’s residence to the beach and set out to sea for a fishing expedition. Just several meters away from the shoreline, one can catch fish by the fishing rod.

Sad to say in the late 70’s, the waste being disposed into the sea by big establishments and households have tremendously doubled. The beach waters have become polluted. The shells and crabs were gone and various kinds of garbage like plastics, barbecue sticks, empty bottles and old tires littered the beach’s shoreline. What made matters worst was the disposal of cancerous and highly toxic substances from hospital and toilet wastes of residential and business establishments dumped directly into the sea.

The DENR 9 has issued several directories, warning the people from swimming at Cawa-Cawa Beach due to its dangerous and deadly  contaminating coliform bacteria found in its polluted waters. But the poor masses, up to time, have disregarded all these repeated warnings and continue to bath in its polluted waters.

Those doing their early morning exercises along the beach have stopped due to the toxic and obnoxious smell of the water that reaches up to high heavens. One would get sick smelling the scent of the stinky and malodorous aroma of its polluted waters. This reminds me of the similar polluted and stinking waters at the Manila Yacht Club along Roxas Boulevard.

With the DENR’s stern warning to those establishments to stop and connect with the proper sewerage in disposing their wastes directly to the waters of Boracay Beach or face closure as directed by President Duterte, what is our local DENR doing to stop the continuing pollution of Cawa-Cawa Beach? All it did was merely warning the people to refrain from swimming in the beach but it has never warned possible closure or penalizing those establishments found violating environmental rules with impunity.  Our city government doesn’t care and has not done any move to stop the pollution of the beach.

Hand in hand with the DENR, our city government should find ways to stop the dumping of dangerous and polluted coliform bacteria to restore the once-upon—a time status, safety and cleanliness of Cawa-Cawa Beach.

By the way, whose foolish and hare-brained idea was adopted in changing the name Cawa-Cawa Boulevard to R.T. Lim Boulevard? What has the latter done for the good of our city? Just because he delivered a long speech in Congress?  Restore the name of Cawa-Cawa. Mention it and people would know it’s in Zamboanga City.