Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The sweet water of Manila Bay

Manila Yacht Club - late Sunday afternoon
During the early American colonial period, a fisherman noticed bubbles like a string of pearls on the surface of Manila Bay. His curiosity led him to get a taste of it and much to his surprise, he found it to be sweet. He returned to the spot with a priest in tow who was quick to proclaim it a miracle.

Word soon got out about this sweet water; prompting boatloads of people from the nearby Tondo district to come. Most were indeed awed by the sweet-tasting water on the spot where the bubbles were now forming the shape of a cross. They filled bottles with the sweet miraculous water to take home and share with neighbors. Two days later, a major cholera outbreak hit Tondo.

An American physician, Dr. Victor Heiser, investigated the possible cause of the epidemic which led him to the site of the bubbles on the surface of Manila Bay; discovering soon thereafter the cause and what made the surrounding water taste sweet: a busted sewage pipe.

Manila Bay - late Sunday afternoon

Story source:

The Miracle of the Water and the Cross
an essay by Ambeth Ocampo
Bonifacio's Bolo
Anvil Publishing, Inc.

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  1. Replies
    1. And funny, too, but I feel bad for those stricken with cholera. Oddly enough, 100 years hence, we are now converting seage into potable water. I will post an article about it tomorrow.

  2. Interesting. I never heard about this story. Happy RT2.

    Mine's here.

    1. Neither have I, Maria, until I came across a compilation of Ambeth Ocampo's essays.