A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing
CHAPTER 2 continued…
“How many people now?” asked the Admiral.
“The last count was 248. Well… it’ll soon be 249. One of our Bajau Laut ladies… ah… Mrs. Espinada… is due to give birth anytime now.”
Alicia turned the camera on Jona. “Jona, excuse me for eavedropping, but may I ask, how many of those sea gypsies did you get to join your project?” Seeing his frown, she quickly added, “No, I am not prejudice. I did a story on them some years back. The impression I got was that they were very much set in their ways.”
“Well, most are, but even among such a tight knit community, there are those that feel they need to spread their wings a lot more, so to speak. To answer your question, we have about 22 families that joined us.”
“How ever did you get them to join you?”
“Well, seven years ago, I was scuba diving off Palawan when I met this guy named Ito Ito about 20 feet underwater. I was so focused to take a picture of this nudibranch when suddenly this bamboo spear swoosh right by me and hit a very large moray eel. Apparently, this eel was going to take a big bite of my leg. I turned around to see this small skinny guy with no scuba gear except for goggles, a wooden flipper on one foot, a makeshift speargun and get this… white underwear with red hearts all over it.” There was laughter all around including Hallbright who was listening also.
Jona continued on, “Anyway, we got to talking in the dive boat I was staying in. He told me about how he used to belong with a sea gypsy clan in the Sulu Sea until they exiled him because of religious differences. So, he and his family have been living a nomadic life. He was such an expert of survivinging entirely off the sea that I told him that I wished I had about a hundred like him for my project. When we parted, I thought I’d never sea him again. Two years later, when we launched the rings into the water, about thirty bancas with multicolored sails appeared into San Miguel Bay. It was Ito Ito, his family and 21 other exiled families like him. It took him about a year to seek them out and assemble them together. Then, they took a year to sail their fleet of boats to reach us.”
“Attention everybody,” piped-in the Pilot, “…we are about to land. Please buckle up.”
The chopper descended on the heliport which was situated right next to the stern superstructure. It didn’t take too long for them to land and as soon as the whirring of the engines decreased, the crew chief went past them to open the rear cargo hatch.
Jona was off his seat as soon as the crew chief gave the clearance. First, he helped Alicia with her bags then got his own and he led them off the chopper. Waiting for them was his wife, Mae and Robby Ramiscal. Also there waiting were Bryce and Bree Grover, a brother and sister team incharge of the multiple agri and aquacultural projects.
To be continued…
Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.
Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.