Ship-side Entertainment

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.

Ship-side Entertainers "Retired No Way" Divers "Vessels in Port PPC"

This whiteboard summary was seen at the local office of the Philippine Ports Authority in Puerto Princesa Port.

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.

Ship-side Entertainers "Retired No Way" Divers

The woman at the top kept on shouting encouragements to passengers.

Kuya, magtapon na kayo!, she kept on shouting. Sir, throw (things) in!

Ship-side Entertainers "Retired No Way" Divers

Diving headlong for a coin that was tossed into the water

Several packs of crackers were thrown in.

Ship-side Divers Entertainers "Retired No Way" Divers

Diving for a pack of crackers.

Ship-side Entertainers "Retired No Way" Divers

Retrieving a pack of crackers.

They were there for the duration of the disembarkation.

Ship-side Divers Entertainers "Retired No Way" Divers

Waiting for the next coin to be thrown.

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.

Ship-side Entertainers "Retired No Way" Divers

The children were fearless divers although the littlest children never dove in.

Their take?

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.

You can enlarge these images.

"How to enlarge an image" "Retired No Way"

How to enlarge an image

Click on the image’s final resolution (encircled).


2 responses to “Ship-side Entertainment

  1. At least their not diving off rocks into ravies like they do at Mines View Park, remember that?

    sarap ng buhay ah!


    • Actually, tell us about Mines View Park please.

      Yeah, mukha lang masarap ang buhay nila. It just appears that they’re leading a good life. Based on what I’ve learned about Palawan life so far, I’d say they don’t eat well. Their living conditions are definitely unsantiary!


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