The Captain

Documentary, Film

Ricardo looks out for the safety of his people at Pangapasan Island, where he has been elected as the leader or “captain”. He ensures their prompt evacuation to the mainland, especially whenever weather disturbances such as tropical depression Queenie coincide with tidal flooding. Unable to grow mangroves, their island is so vulnerable to waves that even passing ferries could damage the coral piles on which they built their homes.
In 2014, Pangapasan suffered from heavy damages from Queenie, despite the fact that it was only a tropical depression with relatively weak winds. From this experience, the island communities learned that even weak weather disturbances can be destructive whenever they happen during high tides. Now, at the time of deciding whether to evacuate, people do not only consider typhoon strength and timing of land fall, but also the height and timing of peak tide.