Baslayan: A Creek on Deathrow


Baslayan Creek At Early Morning

The Baslayan Creek runs through the heart of Iligan City. It is the main drainage outlet (together with the Salabao Creek) that empties much of the waterways and esteros of the central business district to the beautiful Iligan Bay. Unfortunately it is also very heavily polluted and silted. It has always been a source of wonderment to me (and maybe in a distorted way is a testament to the durability of the native Filipino fish?) that one could still find here and there the presence of aquatic (fish?) life! Indeed, I wonder what if in the future, some enterprising student of biology in the nearby Universities – out of bored curiosity perhaps – would experiment on these fishes and determine its true longevity? Would they perhaps finds a mutated creature capable of thriving under these challenging conditions? Or if they deign to check for the presence of heavy metals on its innards? What would they perchance find?

Needless to say, this sad state of affairs in THE CREEK drastically brings down the price of real estate in the area for obvious reasons. For only the most adventurous, and foolhardy (or needful?) amongst us would dare to invest in a house or building along this flood prone area – what with the constant and distinct odor of mud, silt and deteriorating debris hanging on the air.

One just could sit back , wonder and dream of what could it be like if its banks were teeming with a multitude of flowers of various colors, and of trees, making it a mini-park? And if its waters were filled with fresh and living aquatic life? If a boulevard is just built along its banks, where at nighttime or weekends whole families could stroll and play along its clean walks? Lovers holding hands smelling the fresh air from the sea, and the pungent smell of flowers growing abundantly at the banks exuding its perfumery at night?

One just could despair in a poetical illusion …  or is it really that hard?

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