Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Brown Superman


A coindiver - coindiving being defined as the act of retrieving coins purposely thrown into the sea by tourists or travelers; the latter doing it for amusement, while the coindiver for his/her livelihood.

Coindiving is now a common sight in many seaports around the Philippines especially where there are docked passenger ships and ferries readying for voyage. It used to be that this was an almost exclusive activity of the Badjaos of Mindanao (probably an extension of their more traditional coral and pearl diving enterprise) and that one seldom encounters coindiving scenes in ports outside of Mindanao or in places where there are no Badjaos or any sea-faring indigenous peoples nearby. Today, not only have coindivers become multi-ethnic; they are now found in all major ports in the country, and have devised new approaches to egging travelers to throw in their spares. In this photo, a coindiver at the port of Lipata in Surigao City, opted to dive off the top deck of a docked ship for a 5-peso coin.

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