Monday, November 23, 2015

BORAWAN ISLAND: More Than Expected

There was much excitement as the third week of November ushered in. With the height of the APEC Summit held in Manila, came the indulgence of having four days of vacation. This is to reduce traffic especially along the places where meetings are to be held (or did it really reduce?). Syempre, because it's vacation time, people working in the Metro went to different places to enjoy the once-in-a-while vacation. For us teachers, it was more of another Sem Break, so we really spent it going somewhere and taking four days-off.
After thinking where to go, my friends persuaded me to join them in going on a trip down south. I even thought of not joining them to save money, pero ang ending, I called them a few hours before departure. I joined them for four days of sun and sand along the beaches of Quezon.

And so, we have the island beaches of Borawan, Puting Buhangin and Dampalitan in Padre Burgos, Quezon. This was actually my first time to join them in their adventures. And for an unplanned trip as this, it was more than expected.

We left on the early afternoon of November 18 by bus to Lucena City. We arrived at the Grand Terminal at 7:00 PM or so. That's approximately five hours of sitting down and looking nowhere than traffic jams and buildings (especially along San Pablo Laguna entering Quezon). We forgot that the holiday is only for NCR; other provinces still had work and classes during the holiday.

Upon arriving at Lucena, we were welcomed by food stalls inviting us to eat dinner. Everything was lutong-bahay, but they taste enough for our hungry tummies. They sell a special delicacy with shark meat, which passed my gastronomic standards (as in swak!)

According to blogs, there are shuttle buses which would take us to Borawan, however, because it was already dark, we asked for an alternative mode of transportation. The people there directed us to a Barney Bus which was about to leave at that moment. An hour had passed, and we were able to reach Padre Burgos, after entering the Bondoc Peninsula. We were welcomed by our cheerful guide who looked after us and our provisions during our stay there.

After a tricycle took us to the seashore, we had a short boat ride which took us to our first destination: Borawan Island. We pitched camp there, and we slept in total darkness, amid the brilliant stars and shooting stars above us. It was a wonder to behold, and it lulled us to sleep. Really, a wonder to behold (except for the fact that it rained a few hours later and we struggled because our not-so-waterproof tent got wet).

When sun rose the following day (Nov 19), we had a little stroll along Borawan. It was really like Boracay because of its white sand, and Palawan because of its cliffs. Nga lang, we were not able to climb the cliffs because the guide was not there, and it was only open during summer. And yes, there were lots of people there who visited just to have a little vacay.

We had our breakfast there, before going by boat to our next destination: Puting Buhangin Island. As the journey was exciting, so was the view upon reaching the Island. True to its name, the sand there was very fine white, and the water very clear. The rock formations were also wonderful, especially the Kuwebang Butas which was actually was a passageway to the other side of the beach. However, visitors are not allowed to enter the inmost of the island because it was a private property, and there is an ongoing construction of a power plant (or is it? am not sure) in the heart of the island. Well, the beach for itself is enough for us to enjoy.

After having lunch and staying there for a few hours, we went back to Borawan to wash ourselves and pack up. And because sea water is capable of clearing out toxins from our lungs, I started sneezing out all the mucus inside me. My cold was severe that it lasted way after our vacation. Nevertheless, it helped clear out the things I don't need inside my body.

So, we took another boat ride to our final destination, Dampalitan Island. Of all the three islands, this is the silent one. Upon reaching there, we found only a little number of visitors, but there's more reasons to be there, especially when you're staying for the night. Actually, tourists are allowed to light a camp fire there. So, under the night sky, with the warm fire around us, we shared our stories and ideals. It was a night which we wish never to end.

One thing I noticed about the people there was their hospitality towards their visitors. As we were sleeping, rain poured again. We were struggling because there was nowhere to stay, however, the people there noticed our need and they allowed us to stay in one of the cottages. Despite the fact that I felt so cold because I have no blanket and cold wind was seeping on all corners of the cottage, at least, I was able to tuck in and sleep that night.

For the first time, my survival skills were tested, especially on dealing with things away from your comfort zone. As a newbie, I realized many things, but one thing's for sure: I must be prepared for our trip next time. I was not able to bring important things, especially a blanket for the cold night. Oh well, much more to be learned.

After fixing things up, we need to go home. But before we reach Manila, we decided to stop over and take a little banlaw (rinse) at Pandin Lake in San Pablo City, Laguna. It provided what we need at that time, good food, a little trek, and much water to take off the salts in us. Because of its unknown depth, we were required to wear life vests once we take a dip. The view around us was very close to nature. There was more than the usual Laguna we know.

In all, it was worth an unplanned beach-out. It taught me many things, from treasuring time and friends, to being prepared in untold situations and circumstances. It was actually the start of the adventurous in me, as it ushered in many opportunities for me to go out and sail more seas, climb more peaks and explore new places.

It's more than expected. :)

Thanks to Jaycel Magaling for some of the shots used here. ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment