Joekano's blog

Going to and from Davao Samal past and present

Scenario six years ago.

Let’s go to Davao! Ok we had better go on the weekend so that we don’t have to wait hours for the ferry to fill with cars and passengers before it leaves. Ya last Wednesday we waited a whole hour cause we were the only people there. Only a couple of motors waiting for customers. Ya no tricycles or lines. Ya only one motorbike and a car. Ya probably some rich dude, don’t often see them on Samal. Get on the bus on the ferry that goes from Kaputian to Davao. Ah nice only half full relax and maybe snooze. Not much traffic should only take twenty minutes to get to the terminal. Going back to Samal, there’s no line up of any kind to get on in fact we are the only passengers and a motorcycle. Get to peaceful Samal and appreciate the lack of crowds and noise.


Scenario at present.

We have to go to Davao sometime for the bank and a few things. Are you sure? You know we may not even be able to get on the ferry. Ya I know, don’t even think about it any time between Friday and Monday. Line ups sometimes two km long all SUV’s throwing their mineral water bottles and Emperador bottles out the windows with their empty bags of junk food. Ok let’s go on Wednesday and maybe we’ll get lucky. Ok! Wednesday morning at 10am in April. Get run off the road three times and almost killed by speeding maniacs passing the endless tricycles. Ya passing right into me.  OMG look at the line up, gonna take them two or three hours just to get on the ferry. Wonder what they do if they wanna take a shit? Ya and its 40C and the cars full of kids or the ones in the back of the dump trucks full of people. Thousands of people from Davao. Everybody looks panicked and tired and stressed. Dust flying everywhere from the cement trucks and construction materials trucks roaring by honking their air horns. Oh Shit there must be three hundred foot passengers lined up going back to Davao. So we do my trick which is walking in the traffic lane and going directly on without paying. The ferry has only been here for five minutes and it’s leaving already. Ya that’s because there’s three others waiting to dock. The ferry is completely packed with people of all ages and hundreds of trucks. Get on the bus on the ferry only to discover its packed and we will have to stand all the way and will probably take an hour cause of the traffic in Davao. Wow look at the line up of people and vehicles waiting to get on must be two km long. What’s it gonna be like on the weekend? Pretty soon we won’t be able to get on or off the island! Scary! Where has all the wealth come from compared to a few years ago? Probably OFW’s and immigrant families and foreigner bf’s sending home the dollars. Ya this is exponential increase unbelievable. Get to the terminal feeling frustrated, tired, and weary of the masses and traffic and horns and brakes. Havn’t even started the shopping and feel like just closing my eyes and imagining I’m not here. Going back to Samal feeling weary, tired, stressed and just want to sleep. Oh shit we may have to wait a couple of sailings as there are thousands of tourists and line ups of vehicles.  What the hell has happened?


Ya know I remember studying demographics and biogeography in university forty years ago. Looking at population projections and seeing an exponential growth increase peeking at somewhere around nine billion. Well we are at about seven and a half billion now and what a mess we are in, and now I’m living in it not just studying it. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world of negative population growth, negative economic growth, no new buildings, no crowds, no noise, empty spaces, derelict buildings, schools only half full, no unemployment, choose the job you want cause you’re the only applicant, no terrorists, clean air, no species extinction, wildlife everywhere, Utopia!

I remember a much kinder gentler world! Do you?


If you have been here for any length of time you will have invariably noticed how it dominates their way of life. In almost every aspect of their life there is some kind of push, pressure, hurry, get there fast, I’m first, it’s my road! Some things are quite subtle and I’ll start with those less obvious but so annoying habits.



It’s September and I'm sitting outside SM having a beer. I listen to the music and it’s “I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas”, “Jingle Bells”, “Let It Snow”. And I’m thinking of a white Christmas wtf? It’s September???? But oh yes Christmas is coming! Ya four fucking months from now! Push! It happens with all the holidays, of which there are an endless number which gives all of them a chance to line up, traffic jams, hurry, get there fast, buy, PUSH.



You probably didn’t know this but mangoes are sprayed with a hormone to make them flower so that they produce more fruit, PUSH. The crazy thing is once they have been sprayed they will never again flower naturally hence they have to keep spraying. This then needs an array of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and an array of other suicide squad chemicals guaranteed to fuck up the environment and shorten everybody’s lives, especially if you live next to an orchard as I do. It’s also incredibly labor intensive requiring crews of underpaid lackies to spray and put paper on and pick. Really can’t believe how they make any money? PUSH.


Line Ups.

This one you must have noticed? I’m standing at the PO waiting for the person in front to finish and feeling uneasy as instead of lining up behind me as civilized people do, there are people appearing beside me and even ahead of me? PUSH! The same when I walking toward a door or stairs people pushing in front of me. There are a number of times where I have had to tell them to move back, even fuck off. It’s really frustrating, but built in to the mentality.


Door Entrances.

Where and when I was growing up I was taught to open the door for others, especially the elderly. Here I tried it a few time and for fucks sake they keep flowing in even push me out of the way. PUSH I’ll never forget the door entrance of an internet café. I did it once and learned my lesson. Now I open the door and walk right through any one who is in my way. The ignorant don’t even notice.



You’ve heard it. Full blast and non-stop for hours. It’s not sing a song and take a break, it’s the same person non-stop for sometimes twelve hours, wtf? It’s like take a break you moron. They just go on and on like it’s the last day of their life. Wish it was ahhhhhhhhhhhh. And the volume not low or so they can hear it, it always has to be max so the whole fucking barangay can hear, oh there’s dai singing again isn’t she wonderful? The same goes for TV and radio max vibration volume. Even when they’re talking the music is max so they have to shout over the top of it. Wtf PUSH.



This is one you all will have experience with no matter where and what you drive.

You’re approaching an intersection of a single lane road. You line up behind the vehicle in front and what you would naturally do is wait for him to go through. Wrong! Suddenly there are assholes coming on all sides making a jammed up mess and chaos. PUSH. No logic or reasoning needed.

Starting to pass. They don’t wait for the fucking oncoming vehicle to pass! The left wheel is over the line and as soon as you get close there out missing you by inches. Drives me crazy! PUSH.

How many times I have had to almost go off the road on my motor bike because the oncoming vehicle is passing right into my face, PUSH.

Honking and flashing lights, which means get out of my way, I’m coming, this is my fucking road. Right my tail, assholes.

They don’t follow the right of way rules, anything goes here, I’m coming mentality, PUSH.

They don’t have a comfort zone cruising speed! It is so much easier to know your comfort zone of speed and how far to stay back right? Wrong, it’s ride that bumper all the way. I take a bus into the city and instead of staying in one lane and following the speed limit it’s swerve from lane to lane honking and PUSHING but not really getting ahead, just making a jammed up mess, I call it pack driving, it’s so stupid.





I often swim at a resort and therefore have time to observe some of their habits. Invariably no matter what time it is, or regardless that they probably just finished a meal, the first thing they always do upon arrival at the resort is out comes the mountains of rice and lechon baboi and emperador and the feast starts. PUSH. The adults continue all day and rarely move except to maybe go stand in the water, none of them swim? Pushing themselves to an early death from obesity and diabetes. Ha land of seven thousand islands and not a swimmer to be seen in these tropical temps.


Can you add anything to this list? Phew!

Do you have a similar problem?


I live on Samal Island, Davao. I am a retired biology teacher.

When I purchased the property here I had no idea what I was in for! The north and south sides of the property are both mango orchards. On one side they have been spraying once sometimes twice a week with a mixture of chemicals, they just started on the north side. I looked at some of the chemical containers that they leave behind and was shocked to see what they were using. Non of them wear masks or any protection and of course it drenches my house and garden and my wife and I with the spray. They are using systemic pesticides of three different kinds, surface insecticides, hormones, herbicides and others. All of them are dangerous chemicals that can cause birth defects, cancer, skin irritation, asthma, hypertension to say a few.

Can anything be done about this? Is it legal? They are all angry at me and threatening me!

If nothing can be done we will have to sell and move.

I didn’t get any replies from the two people I emailed at the DENR.

Here are a list of the chemicals they use. I googled them and this is what I found.

Mango Spraying

Almost all of the sprays used are extremely posinous.

They can cause: cancer, birth defects, hypertension, skin irritation, lung problems such as cough and asthma, irritability. The long term effects of continuous exposure leaves a person with multiple physical and mental problems.


Denominator Systemic Insecticide.

Chronic Toxicity

Chronic toxicity refers to harmful effects produced by long-term exposure to pesticides. Less is known about the chronic toxicity of pesticides than is known about their acute toxicity, not because it is of less importance, but because chronic toxicity is gradual rather than immediate and is revealed in much more complex and subtle ways. While situations resulting in acute exposure (a single large exposure) do occur, they are nearly always the result of an accident or careless handling. On the other hand, persons may be routinely exposed to pesticides while mixing, loading, and applying pesticides or by working in fields after pesticides have been applied.

Carcinogenesis (oncogenesis)

Carcinogenesis means the production of malignant tumors or cancer. Oncogenesis is a generic term meaning the production of tumors which may or may not be carcinogenic. The terms tumor, cancer, or neoplasm are all used to mean an uncontrolled progressive growth of cells. In medical terminology, a cancer is considered a malignant (potentially lethal) neoplasm. Carcinogenic or oncogenic substances are substances that can cause the production of tumors. Examples are asbestos and cigarette smoke.

2.Home run 250 EC Systemic Fungicide


KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Causes moderate eye irritation. Do NOT get in eyes. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, and clothing. May irritate the skin. Avoid breathing vapor or spray mist. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling and before eating, drinking, or smoking. If product comes in contact with clothing, remove all contaminated clothing, wash skin with soap and water and dress in clean clothing. Launder applicator clothing separate from other laundry. DO NOT re-enter treated fields until 12 hours post-application. Apply only when the potential for drift to areas of human habitation or areas of human activity such as houses, cottages, schools and recreational areas is minimal. Take into consideration wind speed, wind direction, temperature inversions, application equipment and sprayer settings. If this pest control product is to be used on a commodity that may be exported to the U.S. and you require information on acceptable residue levels in the U.S., visit CropLife Canada’s website at www.croplife.ca.

3.Selecron Insecticide


Harmful if swallowed.

Irritating to eyes and skin.

May cause sensitization by skin contact.

Harmful: may cause lung damage if swallowed.Very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environmentPERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Protective measures

: The use of technical measures should always have priority

over the use of personal protective equipment.

When selecting personal protective equipment, seek

appropriate professional advice.

Personal protective equipment should be certified to

appropriate standards.

Respiratory protection

: No personal respiratory protective equipment normally


A particulate filter respirator may be necessary until effective

technical measures are installed.

Hand protection

: Chemical resistant gloves should be used.

Gloves should be certified to an appropriate standard.

Gloves should have a minimum breakthrough time that is

appropriate to the duration of exposure.

4.Malathion Insecticide.

What are some signs and symptoms from a brief exposure to malathion?

People who were exposed to enough malathion to become sick felt nauseated or vomited, had muscle tremors, cramps, weakness, shortness of breath, a slowed heart rate, headache, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Petscould be exposed to malathion if they get into a product by accident, or touch or eat plants that have just been sprayed. Pets will be affected by malathion like other animals. The nervous system is very similar in people and other animals, so animals poisoned by malathion may show signs similar to those observed in people.

Is malathion likely to contribute to the development of cancer?

Researchers fed malathion to rats for up to two years and to mice for a year and a half. They found no evidence of increased cancer in the treated animals. Other studies using higher doses of malathion in rats and mice found that they developed liver cancer. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has determined that there is "suggestive evidence of carcinogenicity but not sufficient to assess human carcinogenic potential by all routes of exposure," for malathion.

Are children more sensitive to malathion than adults?

While children may be especially sensitive to pesticidescompared to adults, there are currently no data showing that children have increased sensitivity specifically to malathion.

What happens to malathion in the environment?

Bacteria in the soil may break down malathion and sunlight can break down malathion in the air. Malathion will mix with water and can move quickly through soil. Because of these properties, malathion can be found in surface waters such as streams, and sometimes it is found in well water. The time it takes for malathion to break down to half of the original amount in soil is about 17 days, depending on the soil type. This length of time is known as the half-life. In water, malathion has a half-life between 2 and 18 days, depending on conditions like temperature and pH. Malathion vapor may also move long distances in air or fog.

Can malathion affect birds, fish, or other wildlife?

Malathion is highly toxic to bees and other beneficial insects, some fish, and other aquatic life. Malathion is moderately toxic to other fish and birds, and is considered low in toxicity to mammals.


5.Applaud 10 WP Buprofezin

Do not apply by air. Do not apply more than twice a year on any crop. Harmful if inhaled.

6.Supercartap Systemic Insecticide. Cartaphydrochloride.

Cartap hydrochloride, a nereistoxin analog, is a commonly used low toxicity insecticide. We describe a patient who presented to the emergency department with alleged history of ingestion of Cartap hydrochloride as an act of deliberate self-harm. The patient was managed conservatively. To our knowledge this is the first case report of Cartap hydrochloride suicidal poisoning. Cartap toxicity has been considered to be minimal, but a number of animal models have shown significant neuromuscular toxicity resulting in respiratory failure. It is hypothesized that the primary effect of Cartap hydrochloride is through inhibition of the [3H]-ryanodine binding to the Ca2+release channel in the sarcoplasmic reticulum in a dose-dependent manner and promotion of extracellular Ca2+influx and induction of internal Ca2+release. This results in tonic diaphragmatic contraction rather than paralysis. This is the basis of the clinical presentation of acute Cartap poisoning as well as the treatment with chelators namely British Anti Lewisite and sodium dimercaptopropane sulfonate.


Cartap hydrochloride, nereistoxin, respiratory depression


7.Vondozeb Broad Spectrum fungicide


IF SWALLOWED: • Call a poison control center or doctor immediately for treatment advice.

• Have person sip a glass of water if able to swallow.

• Do not induce vomiting unless told to do so by a poison control center

or doctor.

• Do not give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.



• Take off contaminated clothing.

• Rinse skin immediately with plenty of water for 15 to 20 minutes.

• Call a poison control center or doctor for treatment advice.

IF IN EYES: • Hold eye open and rinse slowly and gently with water for 15 to 20


• Remove contact lenses, if present, after the first 5 minutes; then

continue rinsing eye.

• Call a poison control center or doctor for treatment advice.

Have the product container or label with you when calling a poison control center or doctor

or going for treatment. You may also contact SafetyCall® International for emergency medical

treatment at (866) 897-8050.



CAUTION. Harmful if swallowed, and absorbed through skin. Causes moderate eye irritation.

Avoid contact with skin, eyes, or clothing. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling and

before eating, drinking, chewing gum, using tobacco, or using the toilet.


Some materials that are chemical resistant to this product are listed below. If you want more

options, follow the instructions for Category A on an EPA chemical resistance category selection


8.123 Household Insecticide with Carbaryl Sevin


Carbaryl is moderately to very toxic, and is labeled with a WARNING signal word. It can produce adverse effects in humans by skin contact, inhalation or ingestion. The symptoms of acute toxicity are typical of the other carbamates. Direct contact of the skin or eyes with moderate levels of this pesticide can cause burns. Inhalation or ingestion of very large amounts can be toxic to the nervous and respiratory systems resulting in nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea and excessive salivation. Other symptoms at high doses include sweating, blurring of vision, incoordination, and convulsions. About fifty cases of occupational or accidental illnesses due to exposure to carbaryl have been reported, but no fatalities have been documented. The only documented fatality from carbaryl was through intentional ingestion.

Occupational workers have the greatest potential for exposure through inhalation or through the skin. The general public's highest risk of exposure is through ingestion of contaminated food (14).


Athough it may cause minor skin and eye irritation, carbaryl does not appear to be a significant chronic health risk at or below occupational levels. Male volunteers who consumed low doses of carbaryl for six weeks did not show symptoms, but tests indicated slight changes in their body chemistry (12).

Organ Toxicity

Ingestion of carbaryl affects the lungs, kidneys and liver. Inhalation will also affect the lungs (14, 17). Nerve damage can occur after administration of high doses for 50 days in rats and pigs (12). Several studies indicate that carbaryl can affect the immune system in animals and insects. These effects however have not been documented in humans.











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