The Mindanao River, also known as the Rio Grande de Mindanao, is the second largest river system in the Philippines, after the Cagayan River of Luzon. It is also the largest river on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao having a drainage area of 23,169 square kilometers, draining majority of the central and eastern portion of the island. It is also the second longest river in the country with a length of approximately 373 km (232 mi).– WIKIPEDIA
At Quirino bridge of Cotabato City where Rio Grande de Mindanao also lies is a very historical site. It is where ShariffKabunsuan’s fleet arrived and landed on Maguindanao to spread Islam. At present, Cotabato City is celebrating an annual festival in honor of ShariffKabunsuan – the Ginakit Festival (ginakit – boat) on the month of December. This becomes one of the tourism activities of the place. Rio Grande de Mindanao that lies on Quirino Bridge is a place of recreation, cultural identity, source of living and a home for many species.
As part of the SUSI – Water Team, I had the opportunity to explore and investigate some problems in terms of watershed here in Hawaii and learn the possible solutions and strategies to solve those problems. I’ve learned about the Plan B which is ecological restoration and societal mobilization that is building a new economy while harmonizing with ecology. Giving incentives is also a good strategy on getting the people to be involved in green activities. It would encourage a lot of participation and a good result or product of the activity. We, human in nature are all into mutual relationship that is: if I give, I should receive something! In that part, incentives will totally work. But let us try to think deeper. Considering the audiences, getting a new approach of Plan B, and giving incentives to gain more involvements: will these things last? A thought from Mary Hagedorn on our Coconut Island visit: Do not save the environment if you are thinking about a better place for you to live today. Rather, save the environment thinking about your children and grandchildren living on it. In this way, you would have a sustainable solution. Doing environmental activities is actually not for us but rather for the future generations. We are suffering today because of environmental problems that exist long time ago but have not been solve but being worsen instead. Let us all ask ourselves: Would we let our love ones to live and suffer more with our HOME – Earth? I think (I hope) no one would answer yes!
The greatest lever that could be used on realizing my personal action plan is the Eco-tipping point. Considering the historical, religious and cultural significance of Rio Grande de Mindanao, its people and its place, a lever that considers the involvement of the community and adaptation instead of going against the water to achieve a sustainable answer would be perfect for Rio Grande de Mindanao. Being able to understand the water source in Dike Tunnel, witness the Green Machine of Lauren Roth, and learn about ocean with Mary Hagedorn, I realize that my Personal Action Plan – Mindanao RiOasis has some ingredients for success.Having the opportunity to be part of 2012 SUSI – GEI and including my other organizations, this would count for outside stimulation and facilitation. Transforming waste into resources is what I am thinking about all the way before I become part of SUSI. Water hyacinth is not a total pest as what others say in our place. It is just pollution out of place. Instead of just pulling it out again and again, why not make livelihood out of it. This is like going with the flow of water not against it. With this, we can see that the environment and the community is functioning together as one – that is co-adaption between social system and ecosystem. With our hands starting and doing things for the river, it’s time for the nature’s response and let nature do the work for the environmental micro issues that is beyond our capacity. Rio Grande de Mindanao has been a beautiful river for how many years ago. It was just been disturbed by a lot of non-point pollutions caused by maybe urbanization or residential. Let us just thinks how it serves as a gate for ShariffKabunsuan to spread Islam in Maguindanao. How clean and beautiful it must be before that made ShariffKabunsuan stop by and decided to live. It has been like that before and our hands can still restore it. It is not about what has been damaged. It is about what remains and what we can do to sustain it! That would be the fifth and sixth ingredients, the social memory and powerful symbol.
Indeed, with ALLAH’s (s.w.t.) help, I envision Rio Grande de Mindanao as a haven of Maguindanaon people who are aware and proud of their history; a source of income through cultural/ecotourism and making something out of water hyacinth which is before a pest; a clean water with a colorful biodiversity of flora and fauna; and an annual festival on it with a showcasing and competition of water hyacinth products. With this, Maguindanao would not only have a clean river but also a peaceful place. inshaa ALLAH!#shye
Mindanao State University – Philippines