This is Barangay Patungan. It is a small, tight-knit community in Maragondon, Cavite. The pristine waters of its beach and the warm hospitality of the people make it unique among other coastal barangays that I’ve visited.
The people of Patungan people were celebrating their fiesta when I visited. Sadly, they were being evicted from their homes near the coastline. Despite this struggle, the people of Patungan were still joyous for the occasion and showed their devotion to their Patron Saint, the Nuestra Señora dela Paz.
Behind their smiles, they may be heartbroken that they may lose their homes, but their fight for their homeland lives on.
Fiestas or street festivals that celebrate the feast of saints are widely practiced in our culture. It is a tradition that the Spaniards brought to us to replace the old worship of the pagan gods. | Photo by Juan Sinag Cano/MP-KNN
People approach a newly docked boat, full of fresh catch from the ocean. Fishing is one of the main sources of livelihood in Patungan. | Photo by Juan Sinag Cano/MP-KNN
These empty and abandoned fish cages are remnants of the people who chose to start a new life in a resettlement area in Ternate, Cavite. | Photo by Juan Sinag Cano/MP-KNN
Some empty pilings and a broken boat, a dock that is waiting for the waters to rise, like the people’s continuous hope. For the people of Patungan, their only goal is to win this battle for their land and continue their lives and culture in this beautiful haven. | Photo by Juan Sinag Cano/MP-KNN
The community is very vocal in their fight against a corporation that bought their land and grabbed their lives and their right to thrive in Patungan. The grassroots struggle is both shared by the elderly and the youth. | Photo by Juan Sinag Cano/MP-KNN
An innocent child with his solitary play, unaware of the fate that awaits his town. | Photo by Juan Sinag Cano/MP-KNN
Located near the beach, an abandoned old house stands the test of tides: a mute witness of the community’s struggle to fight for their right to stay here and thrive. | Photo by Juan Sinag Cano/MP-KNN
Demolished houses are a regular sight around the barangay and even near the beach. | Photo by Juan Sinag Cano/MP-KNN
The people still hope that their patron saint will help them resolve the problem that they’re facing. In this image, people are dancing with their local version of karakol, a kind of parade performed to appease the patron. | Photo by Juan Sinag Cano/MP-KNN
The young people of Patungan participated in the festivities and thanksgiving even at the brink of demolition. It was important for them to continue this tradition because they don’t want to be defeated by profiteering and cultural murder. | Photo by Juan Sinag Cano/MP-KNN
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