Life Under the (Mactan) Bridge


I was on my way to Lapu-Lapu one day to check out a wonderful spot. Anticipating horrible traffic along A. C. Cortez in Mandaue, I decided to take the smaller roads which I knew would lead me straight to the bridge. But, as fate would have it, I missed a turn or something and instead of seeing the University of Cebu Mandaue campus, I found myself at the foot of the first Mactan bridge.

Honestly speaking, I expected to see a small park under the bridge. I wasn’t expecting much. I imagined that it would be a small poorly-maintained park with a few dilapidated benches and some dead bermuda. I guess what I saw surprised me a bit. I mean, I know there are houses on stilts near the bridge but I didn’t actually know what the area under the bridge looked like.

I know you’re also curious. So, read on.

Under the bridge, there is no park. Instead, you will see a community.

The community is small but it is busy and full of life. They have a basketball court, a row of stores, and even a chapel.

I drove all the way to the edge and parked my bike near the docked boats. These boats can be seen from the bridge. The community, however, cannot.

One of the piers that support the first Mactan Bridge. Looks pretty massive.

The underside of the first Mactan bridge. I wonder how ‘Vincent’ managed to leave his name up there.

Across the channel, you can see the General Milling complex.

The bridge looks beautiful from down here, doesn’t it?

Some of the houses under the bridge.

I’m not sure if that’s an accumulation of trash (like several levels deep) or just a few pieces stuck on the rocks.

I saw this little lady standing dangerously close to the water. She doesn’t look too worried about it, however.

A few moments later, more kids arrived. Normally, when kids see someone with a big camera, they’re get interested and ask to be shot. None of them gave me much thought.

Apparently, the kids noticed a bunch of floating items below. That young girl in white shirt and pink skirt saw a doll with missing arms and loudly declared, “I saw that first! That’s mine!” before scooping the toy up with one hand. I almost had a heart attack.

This boy saw a small plastic ball and hurriedly got a stick to retrieve it. “Ako ni ha!” he declared.

Can you imagine what would happen if these kids slipped or something? I know these children are probably excellent swimmers. But still! (I know other non-swimmers understand how I feel. Haha.)

One of the highlights of my short stay was the passing of an inter-island ship. The kids waved enthusiastically at the passengers and shouted “ba-bay!” (goodbye). And the passengers waved back.

Have you been to this little area under the bridge? What can you say about your experience? Let us know in the comments below.

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