Dear Tito Den,
At last I’ve found time to e-mail you this letter. Howdy, Tito! Greetings from the Orchid City of Dipolog.
You must have missed Dipolog, I know. I’ve read your messages in the Facebook and how you like to come home after 15 years in New Jersey.
What about Dipolog?
Oh, Dipolog has face lifted itself after the big fire in the 60’s and the succeeding small fires through the years. Today buildings are taller and bigger. There are several banks sprouting like salibotbot. Old Chinese stores were taken over by the next generation who are keeping up with modern times. Kamayan restaurants and hotels are buzzing and sizzling. Gee, Dipolog is terrific!
But do you remember the breakwater- just beyond Sta.Cruz marker? It is still there today. But today it is already battered and ruined and bruised by the harsh weather.
It is 303 footsteps from the approach to the tip. The left side of the structure is brutally lashed by several typhoons and storms in the past. The boulders and big chunks of cracked cement and a few driftwood lie together like a family. However, the cement walk is still passable.
Beyond it is a pure pile of boulders, cement chunks and petrified corals as if dropped randomly by some demonic creatures from the sky .One cannot enjoy the cement walk anymore but has to jump from one boulder to another to reach another end.
Far into the sea are nine wooden giant posts that are living witnesses to the giant waves and strong winds that have continued to strike them even up to the present time.
A sad picture? Not really.
It seems like an orderly disorder. It seems like ugly beautiful- a landscape so contrasting that it leaves anyone mesmerized of its sight, at the same time saddened of its fate.
No, the city government has not done something to restore it to its pretty form and its intended purpose. Perhaps it has its good reasons. Perhaps, it just wants to make it the best symbol of the Dipolognons,.. vulnerable but resilient.
And do you still remember the murder of lovers Jonas Patangan and Jufel Narzabal before? Despite the scar left by the brutality, the breakwater continues to lure everybody to come.
Like Parthenon and Colleseum, the ruins still beckon anyone to the heart of the structure.
It has continued to be the haven of fishing vessels coming from everywhere. They may come to rest for a while, to pick up fresh water from the city or to hide from a raging storm.
It could be a place for a displaced individual like Jeremy Nobody. He is a special child who fishes every day at the breakwater. He has to drop his line to feed his nine other siblings every day. He could not even speak well nor remember his family name but he was proud of his good catch of tiny tabagak fishes.
At least, the ruin provided him the only place in the city where he could be at peace with the world. Where else?
Lovers come here to share a story, a cone of cheap ice cream, a handful of boiled peanuts and perhaps, a sip of Sparkle.
Since this is the dead end of the city boulevard, early morning joggers find this a very good spot to slow down their breath and savor the smell of salt coming from the wide expanse of the ocean.
Or late afternoon joggers find this a good place to watch that red ball of fire sinking into the sea or simply the best place to just sit on top of the big rocks.
It could be a better place to pick up old memories but memories that refuse to leave the mind: a circumcision to make a boy a man long time ago, a swim towards Tabuk Barra, a comfortable place to cast the burden of the heavy belly and some other memories that escape the mind.
Yup, this is Dipolog breakwater- breaking but inspiring. Love it!
Tito Den, I’ve included a photo of me at the breakwater superimposed in this letter. This was taken by my best friend, Gelli. If you’re coming home this summer, I’ll be taking you there. See you.
(sic) Janah Rechel Gallemit Katipunan National High School 1st Place, Dipolog.com Feature Writing Interesting Place in Dipolog category, High School level
Photo Credits: (1st picture) Mary Nove Patangan , 1st place, People in Dipolog category; (2nd picture) Angelli Bicoy, 3rd place, People in Dipolog category, High School level