It wasn’t until I examined the soil I was standing on when I realized I had been trudging on what was a riverbed. As the river struggled to swell enough to cover its former territories, a small cattle took comfort in the sprouting greens that signalled their widening grazing land. The grainy earth had been dry under their hoofs, under our feet. The promise of rain might not be enough for the water to really run deep.
The river continues to ramble through this small valley, at the foot of sloping hills still covered with trees and shrubs. Locals tell of the time when the stream was wider, when it used to flow at different angles, that its changing bends throughout the years and seasons brought fascination and wonder. These days, however, they would be happy if the river remain as it is, meandering in their backyards, certain that it would always be there.
Aklan River, Province of Aklan, Panay Island, Philippines, April 2016.