Pinaculan and the Sea Shore of Bitan-o
Pinaculan is a tiny island situated between the Rompeolas and the shore of Bitan-o. It was an idle land some years ago. But my mother once told me that there was an observation structure there. It was one of my option for my thesis proposal before I graduated from college. The island is very interesting for a site development planning and design proposal for architectural students. During my elementary years, we used to gather from there boulders and sand to patch into the holes of the pathway going to our school-Bitan-o Elementary School.
Two decades had passed since I last stepped foot in the island, I discovered that it is not an idle land anymore. I revisited it last February 2011, and found out that there are more or less twenty households occupies the islet. Though they are illegal settlers, they had made the land productive. If it was full of cogon before, now it is like a banana plantation. There are bananas everywhere. I’ve spotted also a pili tree, coconut trees and some pineapple plants. One house I passed by has a backyard pig pen. I just followed the trail, and it brought me to the other side of the island. On the east side facing Rompeolas and the new break water.
Though Bacon Beach has a very nice water to plunge in, there were times that we swim at Bitan-o. Just a walking distance from our house and will not cost you a single centavo. When the moon is big, it means the tide is high and is good for swimming. And when the tide is low, it is good to gather some tagunhas (sea shells). We usually went there before the sun rise.
When the Sorsogon Bay was not yet contaminated by red tide, we frequently went there to collect sea shells. Punaw, kagot, barisara, piyong, talaba and kasag are the common take home. Sometimes you could find baluko and badoy too. Talaba (oister) could be sometimes un-noticed because it is attached to a rock. And you thought it’s just a rock. Sometimes I cracked a shell of talaba and eat the content right there. It’s very tasty. You could find also crab or tambagoy (talimusak in tagalog) underneath the rock if you upturned it.
Now that red tide is not being raised down, and the coast line of Bitan-o is being occupied by migrated residents, you couldn’t see people combing the shore line of Bitan-o and Cambulaga (adjacent baranggay) even if the tide is low. A beach combing which my children’s generation might never experience.