Dynamite and other harmful ways of fishing destroy the marine life. Because of greed, people of the next generation suffer. Because of ignorance, people are misled to destroy their own selves.
Mayor Niño Rey Boniel of Bien Unido did something drastic, did something extra-ordinary. As he exhausted all possible means of preventing the fishermen from doing illegal fishing but to no avail, he thought of something brilliant. Since the people in the locality are God-fearing, why not put statues of the Virgin Mary and Sto. Niño underwater?
Indeed, it paid off. The next day the statue of Sto. Niño was installed, fishermen were reportedly scared as they dove in the water and saw what to them was an apparition. They swore never to come back and repent their sins.
“This measure we’ve implemented was scrutinized by the local church, but we’re very happy that it was effective, it drove off the bad fishermen away,” said Mayor Boniel in Cebuano Visaya.
I was privileged to be one of the few people who were invited to see the place. Its exact location can’t be determined just by going out to the sea; you need a local guide who knows the coordinates. Once you reach the place, you will only see a small buoy that serves as a marker.
The depth of the waters in the area is from 25 – 28 feet or approximately 8-9 meters. The statue is about 14 feet in height – it looks like a sentinel in the water, guarding the precious rich marine life from wanton destruction.