January 21, 2015

There is Life in White Island

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The sun was shy to set in Camiguin. Looking afar was the stunning view of clouds hiding the sun from the folks traveling to the Island Born of Fire. It was dark and cold but the vista of orange sky was illuminating on the sea. It will soon fade, the darkness will rule the night just like He like it to remind us of tomorrow.


As the boat docked in Camiguin the temporary darkness dominates the sky. Immediately a mob of porters and habal-habal drivers stood on the dock as if ready to race for a piece of us. I wasn't scared though. I told my girlfriend Lana to just walk straight to the gate and there we will haggle for our transportation down to Mambajao the capital of Camiguin Island. Outside the port we haggle for PhP150 from PhP200 habal-habal ride but afterwards upon realizing the distance and of travel, I still gave the PhP200 initial rate.

Our first agenda in the morning was the world's famous White Island in Mambajao. We decided that we would go there early morning to avoid the crowd and enjoy the sunrise. Never mind the sunset, though I heard that White Island is a great spot for sunset watching, we chose to got early morning to enjoy the pristine waters of the white beach with less people. 


Upon reaching the jump off beside Paras Beach Resort a local welcomed us with his snorkel for rent. I wasn't sure then if White Island is good for snorkeling. It wasn't in the beach area but I am not sure in the farther area from the beach. After renting a snorkel we immediately went to the registration booth and payed for our boat and the environmental fee. From there I noticed that the local government did a good job organizing the town folks who rely on tourism as their livelihood. They issue official receipts in which I found so rare in many tourist spots in the Philippines. Boat men need not to fight for their spot as they have their own sequence depending on tourist arrivals. 



After more or less 10 minutes we reached the White Island. It was mesmerizing seeing the pristine waters and its fine white sand. Pictures really cannot justify the actual scenery of the White Island. Though sometimes pictures are overly edited. But with the White Island, it is really mesmerizing. It will take your breath away for a seconds then you will say God is really an artist and this country is so blessed because we have the White Island.  



Tables with umbrellas, refreshments, snacks and even lunch are available in White Island for a price. So if you went there on impulse or unprepared you do not have to worry. I saw two stores selling those in the island. 


 We jumped for joy

After we settled in our rented table with umbrella and regained our consciousness cause by the awe in the island, we did some walk and I took some pictures that will remind us of our kind of White Island stay. I murmured, the island has a soul. Its not just a white island dotted near Camiguin. It is inhabited not by men but of many species to whom we share earth. 



There was a sand art brought by the waves that brings white particles that made up the so called “White Island”. Its hard to understand that White Island is specially created for Camiguin to form the island's characteristics. It is uniquely there not just for us to appreciate (and hopefully not to destroy) but rather for a purpose only known to God. It has a soul I should know. Even though it is not inhabited by men, White Island has a life. 

Sea Urchins for Sale
Lana swam in the family-friendly beach of the White Island. It is not so deep even though you are so far away from the shore. Its a living beach we share with occasional little fishes that swim with the fans of the island. Me, I enjoyed my December beach bumming lying on the shore napping under the sun. That is my kind of beachineering.






Looking afar the sea gives me relaxation and zen moment. Looking at my left was the green face of Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Mt. Vulcan; gives me assurance that life is indeed beautiful. Scratching my foot and my hands with the white sand is like a massage. I was like a kid again playing with sand. Why not all of us can be a kid again. 



Sad to say the the horseshoe shaped sand bar cannot accommodate its guest overnight. Good things sometimes do not last but you can always repeat it by choice. We have to say goodbye no matter how we wanted to stay. Did I say goodbye? I should have said 'till we meet again White Island' :)

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