Mindanao is rich in culturally diverse tribes and one of these are the Samal Lauds (Sea Sama) most commonly known as Badjaos or our version of sea gypsies. They live in house boats and proficient sea people. They are wanderers of the sea and as their cultural practices dictates, they professed their swimming skills around the sea since they are brought up that way, very diverse from their fellow Muslim tribes.
Badjao by the way is a Malay-Bornean word which connotes and defines “man of the seas” which appropriately are what we call the Samal Lauds. They are oftentimes seen swimming down to retrieve the coins passengers or visitors throw at them into the sea.
I and my friend Pocholo Gonzales, my China man and my longtime friend in our own soul-searching efforts at nation-building, went to Paseo del Mar to catch a great vista of the Basilan Strait. We saw the Samal Lauds in their most proud moments, professing a dancing skills and swimming abilities.
Paseo del Mar in Zamboanga City is one destination for almost everybody in the City and those visiting the City. I saw some students milling around after class and of course, the Paseo becomes a place where dating is most openly seen and love professed. When one comes to the Paseo, one sees the vista of perfect sunrise or sunset depending on one’s preference. At night, the Paseo del Mar is alive with restaurants and live bands.
Samal Lauds has showcased their craft when people throw them coins to keep. It was an impressive sight for me whose swimming skills is nil. Of course, Paseo del Mar allows us to see them and which made this journey the most memorable.