Biking into Coloong, Valenzuela today I thought for a second I'd accidentally left Metro Manila. There are two roads Coloong 1 and Coloong 2 which divide a narrow stretch of land nestled in a series of fish ponds.
I was there at noon time when parents were dropping their kids off at school after lunch at home. Everyone is using large carriage-type pedicabs to cart around their families. Big beach umbrellas shelter everyone from the sun. The scene of mothers, fathers, grandparents biking their students to school seems like a scene out of Copenhagen. I am excitedly taking photos outside the school when I realize I am a foreigner, wearing a face mask creeping outside an elementary school taking photos of children.
I sat with some fishermen who biked from Malabon to catch tilapia in one of the ponds. I finally got to use my binoculars and saw heron, ducks, and some small bright blue bird that swooped to the water and disappearing into some brush in the middle of the pond.
Three boys Emman, JC, and Dapan followed me the majority of my ride. Dapan wanted me to take a photo of his school. JC showed me his house.
I saw vacant lots and I hope future development won't eat up the fish ponds- it's a unique environment that has been largely pushed out of the city. Wonderful if we could figure out how to plan with the ponds and restore more in other areas.