We Filipinos used to eat rice with viand food. Viand serves as the pair of our meal. For me personally, I think it's hard to eat boiled rice without viand food. Boiled rice seems normal for us like it doesn't add something to have a good appetite. I remember long ago when we didn't have a single cent. I ate "salt" as the viand food of the boiled rice. It's not easy to chew boiled rice without a viand. That's why even though salt wasn't delicious. I paired it with my rice just to taste different while eating it. Now you know that a viand for us Filipinos is a big deal.
Maybe it's the same for these children I saw in the sea. The sea was low as it's going lower. The children could freely walk without worrying to get wet. Probably it's fine to get wet as long as they can see clearly under the sea. It's important since it's not easy to find the sea urchins. When the sea is deep it's not visible searching it above the sea. But during low tide it's different. It will be easier when the level of the sea from the sand was just 12 foot.
I didn't approach them or came nearer to them. I just saw them from a distance with my phone. I could tell that the type of sea urchins they were looking in was a "dapaw-dapaw." This type of sea urchin is easy to find but it will be hard for those who had no idea. There are signs, landmarks must be noticed to find them. These children were always on the sea. They were with their families so of course, they had an idea what were those signs they needed to find.
The "dapaw-dapaw" type of sea urchins can be found under the sand. For you to know that it will be in that part of the land. You should search for a mountain-like form of the sand. A few small stones joining together. This is where your hands or hard materials of digging it. It's not that deep, maybe just 3 centimetres from above the sand to under. Just easy as that if you will keep in mind what you need to know to find them.
They knew what to do as I saw them from a distance. I saw them picking "dapaw-dapaw" and placed it on their basin. This type of sea urchin is the easiest one to find and there are several of them. Unlike the other types of sea urchins where it's hard to find and at the same time. The few numbers you can find along the sea. No wonder that these children were searching this sea urchin without the adult.
There were many children I saw doing the same when it's low tide. Most of them are those children who are below the middle-class household. Where the viand food is hard to buy because rice should be prioritised. Of course, rice is the basic food so it should be on the top priority in buying food. Without it, for sure hunger will be in the family.
Thank you for reading
images are mine