SANTA FILOMENA BEACH. Probably, the most popular beach spot in my hometown Cateel, Davao Oriental situated in Barangay Santa Filomena, a 10 minute drive from Poblacion. BARANGAY SANTA FILOMENA features an old wharf called MUELLE, a Spanish term for seaport. Long time ago when national roads and highways were merely just a dream for every Cateeleño, Muelle De Santa Filomena was the gateway to reach to coastal town of Cateel.
I, for one, was born in a time where pump boats were the only means of transportation to reach the neighboring town of Lingig, Surigao del Sur where national roads going to Davao City and other key towns were already constructed. Having played a vital role as the key wharf in the whole town, Muelle De Santa Filomena witnessed the hopes and frustrations of many Cateeleños leaving and coming back to Cateel. I grew up learning many stories about the Muelle; some were even tragic. For some, the Muelle is a place of great memories. There were love stories created around the Muelle. No one can deny that at one point Muelle became the most popular place in town. Ask those people of my age and perhaps the older than I am, we all have memories to share about Muelle De Santa Filomena. Some were good, some were sad. Those were memories that have shaped us to be who we are today.
As years gone by, Cateel was finally linked to the world. Three major national roads and highways were constructed to come in and out of the town. People come and go. Buses, private vehicles and the likes become the means to reach and travel in and outside of Cateel. Slowly, Muelle De Santa Filomena was forgotten. Slowly, its popularity faded. Its golden days were over. Its importance to the lives of Cateeleños was bit by bit forgotten. What are left are remnants of its past glory.
Every time I am home, I never missed a chance to visit the Muelle. It one of the best places in my hometown Cateel I will never get tired to see and visit. It has an innate charm until now I can never resist liking. Yes, its golden days are over but its reminiscences are there. Gaily I say, happy are those Cateeleños like me who was born witnessing the golden times of Muelle De Santa Filomena. I can truly appreciate what we have become because we have a yesteryear full of memories to cherish.