Henry Supnay watches over his hired crew as they mend fishing nets near Lake Bato floodwall. “These meshes could last twenty years were it not for the triple whammy of 2019,” he muttered.
He was referring to typhoons Sarah, Tisoy, and Ursula which hit the province one after the other on that year leaving their “baklads” in total wreck.
Lake Bato lies within the Bicol River Basin — the bathtub of Bicolandia — which lies on the track of typhoons that cross the Philippines each year. The lake is a major source of livelihood for Batoeños in fish farming.
Unfortunately, it has been plagued with issues both natural and man-made: garbage, unregulated farming, siltation, floods, fish kills, the list goes on you could write a book. With countless environmental plans and concepts, approaches, recommendations, Lake Bato remains in deep trouble. Blame it on local politics, greed, and public apathy.
Lake Bato is dying. Picture it now.