February 13, 2017

The Dolphins, the Fishes, the Corals and the Virgin Island of Panglao Bohol

There are fairy tales that last for a lifetime. We often dream of these magical creatures in a utopic-European-like-kingdom when we were still ought to believe that Sta. Clause is real. Mine is different. I thought of elements living in the forest protecting their kinds from predators of other kind. That includes us human.
When we were in Bohol I felt these magical creatures, alive and speaking to me. From the dolphins playing in the waters of Panglao to the man-made forest of Bilar to the mystical beauty of the Chocolate Hills, they thought of one thing during our stay, they all spoke to me in the senses only me can understand. I think they also do spoke to all of us because nature always speaks to us.
The calm waters of Panglao was a sign of a grand welcome of the sea. The clouds were smiling at 6 o'clock in the morning. The sun was still shy but there was a promise of sunshine. Even the pump of the boat was like a melody of our grand entrance to the kingdom of the dolphins.

The boat stopped and caught my heartbeat and the calm deep blue water.
...and silence among the four of us in the boat.
We moved forward when the captain saw a school of dolphins jumping in the air...

...and the calmness of my heart slowly brought smile in my face.
They were not shy to show their prowess. They were jumping like us when we were kids playing in our own playground.
Their fins which you will see first in their body when they jump in the air brought excitement in me. I saw the innocence in their eye and wildness in their beak.
These wild dolphins are small compared to what we saw on American films and big adventure parks. These are wild dolphins free in the waters of Bohol.
I feel that they were free and contented. They were saying,
"...allow us to be here forever for this is our home"
...afraid that human O"beast"ity would hunt them down for survival or greedily.
It’s their home and we should actively protect their home in our own little ways. What are these? By simply not throwing your plastic garbage in the sea is an active participation.
Balisacag Island was 20 minutes away from the spot where we watched the dolphins playing for our pleasure. The sea was still calm when the boat maneuvered. The stillness and the roar of the boat engine engulf my mood to stay in front of the boat and think of whatever comes in my mind.
Few minutes had passed when the boat man tapped me and points me into the island with a white lighthouse. He told me that the island is our destination.
After the calmness and serenity, there was a sudden shift to commercialism. When I stepped into rocky shore of the island, there was a man who approached me and asked if we wanted to hire a boat to watch the sea turtles in one of the sanctuary. I turned my eye to our boatman because we rented the boat for a package meaning they will cover everything.
Then I was told that our package includes only the snorkeling in the marine sanctuary and sea turtle watching is not included in the package. We prepared our stuff for the snorkeling then we boarded a small boat going to the marine sanctuary. A few minutes later the boatman told me to jump on the water with my snorkeling gear on.
Underwater is a different world. If the calmness of the sea will make your mood, the view under it will hypnotize you till you lost track of time. There were a lot of kinds of fish, colorful rocks, beautiful corals and damage ones.
It was not my first time to snorkel but the excitement is always the same. I’m living in an archipelago - most family outing and getaway with friends involves the sea and everything in it. But the first dip of my feet into the water is always like a first kiss, sweet and tender then later you'll dive into the wholeness of it.
The water in the marine sanctuary is just almost my height thus I can stand on the sea floor. I was careful not to step on the corals. I felt like I am in big aquarium swimming with a school of fish and communing with other underwater species.
These are cheap rubber shoes for us. But in Balicasag Island, they are renting this out as aqua shoes.
Our next stop was the famous Virgin Island of Panglao Bohol. To tell you honestly, I did not like it there.
Virgin island is a sandbar with sea grasses and some commerce on it. The sand is white but not that fine per our standard of a fine white sand. You can deep in the waters surrounding the Virgin Island no doubt. But we opt to just seat on the sand and think of forever in the sand under the sun the clear sky.
What I did not like about the Virgin Island is the smell and the dried sea grass that looks like a garbage. Yeah, there are some garbage too in the island mainly because of the little commerce in the sandbar.
After a few minutes of staying on the Virgin Island, we decided to go back at the BE Grand Resort in Panglao and prepare for our afternoon activities – the country side tour.