Water is one of the sources of life and one of substances that kill fire. But believe it or not, the town of Sta. Barbara in central Iloilo has been gaining attention because of its “burning” and, yes, drinking water the folks have been fetching on its “flaming” faucets.
The pressurized free-flowing water, when sparked by a match or lighter, catches a fire enough to light a cigarette. On instances, the water flows from the faucet with bubbles, and one only have to do proper timing to ignite it when the bubbles disappear, shared Ken Junsay of Iloilo Tour Guides Cooperative (I-Guides).
Ken said they are introducing the “flaming” faucet situated inside the campus of Sta. Barbara Central Elementary School (SBCES) as a point of interest to tourists and visitors.
Word of the mouth has it that “it is methane gas that causes poso water to burn.”
A check over the Internet has yet to yield results of detailed analysis whether the poso has been assessed or will be subjected to studies since residents have already been used to drinking this potable water for so long a time.
“While most places take pride on native delicacies and dishes, Sta. Barbara has a drink that can actually do more than quench one’s thirst,” stressed food blogger Jorry Palada of Flavours of Iloilo.
“The water doesn’t stop flowing even during summer, it is colored like tea and it ‘burns.’ But before you take out your white hankies and start waving it or line-up, bathe or take a sip in the hopes of curing physical pains, it’s not actually that ‘miraculous’ in that sense,” said Jorry who hails from the town.
Locally known as poso, this has been the drinking water of most Sta. Barbaranhons since time immemorial, he agreed.
There are at least five poso water stations around the town and the most popular and biggest is known as Sulbod just behind the public market, noted Jorry.
Others are found along Montinola Street, within SBCES compound, one known as “Licup” bearing the family name of owner of site where it sits, and an already defunct one near municipal hall and other poso wells in some villages.
“Its hue alone is most interesting. With just one look it can be mistaken as tea or even whisky, but one sip of this odorless liquid one can sense how smooth it slides down the throat,” Jorry said.
For some, the reddish brown water has a bit salty aftertaste.
It is noted that “it comes from a natural underground source, much deeper than most water tables.”
“Most households still prefer drinking poso and request pedicab water peddlers for delivery at their doorsteps at a minimal P10 for every 5-galloon plastic container,” Jorry said.
“Instinctively, if you check out the back of the wall where the tube protrudes, you will find just a cemented block where a pipe might have been installed but as gravity or anti-gravity works, there is no need to pump as the water flows out freely,” he added.
Concerns were also raised whether or not poso’s gas content might build up and blow up its closed facility – but until then – this “miracle” water truly does wonders.