[Where I've Been] The hypnotic 'Blue Lagoon' of Maguindanao
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In Datu Odin Sinsuat (DOS) in Maguindanao, there exists a lagoon with serene waters an aquamarine color so pure it looks Photoshopped, so crystal-clear that you can see the waterbed even in the deepest parts.
People often recall that the majestic sight almost always leaves them speechless, even breathless. That's how many feel when they see the Blue Lagoon.
Discovered a long time ago, "Blue Lagoon" is named after the heavily hued water that seems to try and fill the brim of the pond. Residents said the water flows into Tamontaka River and comes from the high lands of Labungan, DOS and North Upi, both located in Maguindanao. It's about 20 minutes from Cotabato City, in Barangay Margues.
Generally, most swim in the area where the water's shade ranges from aquamarine to blue, where it is a darker blue, it means the water is already on the deep side, approximately 6 to10 feet.
Muslima Alamansa, 40, who lived near the lagoon since birth, describes the lagoon as “God’s beautiful masterpiece, of majestic beauty and wonders."
“When tourists visit the lagoon, they always tell they have fallen in love with its beauty. And they come back once in a while,” Alamansa said.
Visitors from neighboring towns mostly flock to the Blue Lagoon during summer time and weekends where families and friends go for a swim and picnic.
Residents here are deeply involved in protecting the lagoon which has now gained popularity.
Alamansa, a vegetable farmer, considers the place an iconic tourist destination in Maguindanao and feels strongly about the protection and preservation of the place.
"This place is free for anyone who wants relaxation and good time. Thus, we are encouraging them to take good care of it. This is not ours, this came from nature," she said. – Rappler.com
The essay above is about Valerie Ann Lambo's visit to the Blue Lagoon in Maguindanao. There's history of political conflict in the western portion of Mindanao, and has been included in some foreign countries' travel advisories about the Philippines.
About the author: In the daytime, Valerie is a field reporter and photojournalist who covers Central Mindanao for The Mindanao Cross, a local newspaper in Cotabato City. At night, she studies law. And on weekends, she wanders the streets for photo sessions.
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- [Where I've Been] The hypnotic 'Blue Lagoon' of Maguindanao