After several days of being bed ridden, I begin to feel alive. My dad, who’s currently living in Cebu, pays us a visit at the hotel. He’s taking us on an island trip. David’s never been to the Philippines, and he wants to see the blue water-white sand cliché (this particular trip ended up being a wash, but was funny to look at in retrospect) and some wild life bird watching.
We board this 45 minute ferry ride to Olango Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Olango island. We pay the entrance fee of a few dollars equivalent, and the staff give us weird looks. It wasn’t until later we realize that 99% of the birds who normally would be all over the island have returned to their home habitats (this was April, on the cusp of spring). I don’t have the patience to wait to watch birds in scorching 1 p.m. sunny weather. Neither does David, or Roxanne. Granted the place itself is wonderful, it felt too deserted without the birds.
We head back to the island of Lapu-Lapu to formulate another short stint: to check out outlying islets in the Hilutungan channel.
Given this was a short notice impulse, we manage, or rather, my dad manages to charter a small, wooden, outrigger canoe. The locals affectionately call it “pump-boat” and not for their grace on the water or their elegance when the winds conjure giants waves against its battered sides, but because the engine used is typically from a recycled car engine minus its muffler.
After some price haggling, I am sitting next to this behemoth of an engine who could scream no less bloody murder and the sea air blowing mists on my face. I swear, Ithink my ears are still ringing after several days.
We arrive at the channel of an atol; with two islets on each side and I notice one thing wrong immediately… The water looks like about 5-6 feet deep. Perfect depth if you want to quickly get from one islet to another, but not good when the boat you’re on is too big.The boat driver forgot that it was low tide.We resort to an island away from the channel after this mishap.
David doesn’t get his white sand cliché. This island only has rocks. Lots of jagged prickly rocks.