I returned to Puerto from Cuyo yesterday on the Montenegro ship, MV Ma. Isabel.
MV stands for Master’s Vessel. The vessel naming convention is for the name of the ship to be preceded by the title M/V.
The Maria Isabel is the name of the Montenegro ship that ferries between Iloilo City, Cuyo, and Puerto Princesa. It’s a faster ship than the ship I rode to Cuyo, the MV Milagrosa “5” (Cinco).
They dive for coins or food.
As we were pulling in to our berth, these divers entertained us. Consisting of more children than adults, the divers work incoming ships for money or goods. Passengers are encouraged to throw coins or food into the water and these divers retrieve them.
Kuya, magtapon na kayo!, she kept on shouting. Sir, throw (things) in!
Several packs of crackers were thrown in.
They were there for the duration of the disembarkation.
There was a hierarchy. Most of the diving was done by the four males shown above–the two in the small banca, the one in the water, and the man whose feet are dangling from the larger banca.
They were most likely diving for 1, 5, or 10 peso coins. A one peso coin is worth 2.3 American cents or less than 2 Euro cents. I don’t think people threw in more than 20 coins.
Entertainment or Begging?
I asked Alan, an Aussie I met in Cuyo, if he thought it was entertainment or begging. Entertainment, he said.
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