The Legend Of The Pasig River
A long time ago, there was once a couple who resides on the eastern part of the river. The couple lives in a farm and with their only child that they named Pacifica. The child was different from their neighbors kids in a way that she was quite and would barely talk. It is very rare for the neighbors to hear her talk. The people gave her a nickname, they called her Paz.
Finally, little Paz is old enough to start school, but it would take a long walk to reach the school and there's not much transportation in the area on where they live. And so Paz, didn't attended school. But instead, her mother became her teacher. She was taught on how to read and write and Pacifica loves to read, she just loves learning new things. She makes her parents proud. And because of her love of reading, her dad would always bring home books for her to read.
After her lessons and hours of book reading, and after helping her mother with the house chores, Paz would walk alone by the shore and plays all by herself.
Years had passed and Pacifica had grown into a beautiful, bright young woman and she still takes that time of walking by the riverbank, all by herself. And although she had grown up to be a beautiful maiden, Paz doesn't have a boyfriend. There's nothing wrong with Paz, she's beautiful and nice, and she got the brain, but those young guys interested in her doesn't have the courage to come up to her, introduce themselves, and make their moves. Each of them thought that they weren't the right match for Paz.
And like the other guys who has their eyes for the beautiful Paz, there was this young Spanish man who, like others had fallen for the young lady. And he too, doesn't have the guts to tell Paz how he feels. Oh well, he's content and happy of just glancing at her from a distance, just like the other guys.
Then one afternoon, Paz was greeted by a gentleman while she was sitting on her favorite spot on the river and splashing water on herself.
"Hi there. Good afternoon to you," greeted the young man as he approaches closer. " It was my first time her in your town. I'm from Manila, I'm Serafin. May I know your name?"
"And why not?! My name is Paz. People her had given me the name the jewel of this river," she giggled. " You see, I always spend time here."
And because Serafin was such a natural conversationalist and a funny guy, the two had such a fun time chit-chatting and both felt at eased. The young man, Serafin ended up being introduced by Paz to her parents and they didn't objected when the two became sweethearts.
One day, the two decided to ride a boat on the river. Without them knowing, the Spanish young man was watching them, feeling jealous of Serafin spending time with Paz, and him being the lucky man. He also rode a boat as he follows the lovers whereabouts though he wasn't used on boat riding. And because he wasn't familiar on how to ride a boat, the boat started lurching. Paz and Serafin on the other hand was gaining distant when the young man following them fell on the river when his boat finally lost its balance and tipped over. Panicked as he doesn't know how to swim, he called for help for Paz and Serafin.
"Paz, sigue me. Paz....... sig!"
Serafin jumped off the boat and came to his aid but it was too late.
After the incident at the river, Paz has been moody. More than often, she remembers and thinks on how the Spanish young man had drowned and died in the river, with her name being the last words he said, asking for help. She would sing the kundiman whenever she's on the river as her offering for the young man who lost his life in there.
And in the memory of him, with the last words he had uttered, the river was given the name Pasig.
Up for some Pasig River Quick Facts?
* Pasig river connects Manila Bay to Laguna de Bay.
* Because of the informal settlers on the banks of the river that started moving in on the area after WW II, it lost its beauty and became polluted. By the year 1990, it has been declared biologically dead.
* The growth of industrialization had transformed the once before beautiful river into a sewer system.
* By the year 1991, the restoration efforts of the Pasig River began with the Danish International Development Agency's help and by the year 1999 the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission was created.
* It had been a habitat of 13 kinds of aquatic plants and twenty-five fish varieties.
* The cleaning and restoration of the river is on going and DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and PRRC (Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission) signed an agreement last March of 2013 for a P50 million mangrove planting project along the Pasig Riverbanks.
(Legend translated from Gintongaral Tagalog version.)
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