From the Public Plaza of downtown Iligan, the Badjao Village is accessible by the Tambacan Bridge and by the hanging bridge near the old market.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Badjao Village in Brgy. Tambacan. It was my first time and I was excited to have a glimpse of the community perceived as lazy and unreliable and as incorrigible tramps and thieves. I want to see for myself where and how these people, who have suffered so much from the neglect and indifference of the government and their rejection by society, live.
The first thing I’ve noticed was the colorful fishing bancas anchored on the shoreline. Maybe a common sight for the people living there but for an outsider like me, it was a great view. The colorful bancas gave character to the landscape of Tambacan. I did not waste my time and immediately took a wonderful picture.
Although Tambacan is a fishing village, it has a large number of non-fishing households, comprised of people coming from other places to live there, including the Badjao people.
After a few minutes of walking in the neighborhood with houses falling to the left and right of a maze of passageways, we reached the Badjao Village at Purok 4. I did not expect of what I saw. There you can see clusters and clusters of stilt houses raised on piles over the strip of land on the coastline of Tambacan.
The Badjao people are sea nomads but in Iligan, these Bedouins of the sea no longer live on boats but found refuge in thatch-roofed houses on bamboo stilts.