Braved Holy Week rush queues resemblant to the crossing of the red sea. Endured hours of physical discomfort in a bus illegally overloaded bound for a delayed quasi muro-ami ferry transfer due to the low waters. The penitential rites had indeed started without any form of introduction. After 1000 years in the making, our epic sojourn came into form as islets slowly revealed itself into our exhausted travellers eyes. As we set foot in the Heart of the Philippines, we unhesitatingly embarked onto another expedition to explore the neighboring islets to reward our exhausted selves with white sandy beaches, sun and clear waters.
Gaspar Island (Tres Reyes group of islets), the target destination disappointed me as it looked unsatisfactory from afar. The boatman started the engine and we hopped in to the banca, started to drizzle, caressed my fingers into the warm waters, few meters upon docking, the water suddenly changed its color. The island was beyond my expectation so I had to eat what Melanie Marquez said. Who am I to judge? Is this island a book?
Dumbfounded, I find myself taking photographs incessantly and later indulging in the clear turquoise waters like a happy yet struggling dog. I managed and I can say I can now brave the sea only with the help of this fancy oversized underwater glasses I bought in Greenhills. After basking in this paradise trying to get an installment of my first degree burn, we headed back to the main island to cleanse our salinated bodies in hot springs and sulfur baths. End of Day 1
Marinduque; Heart of the Philippines
Rambling in this Moriones Festival (just google it) the next day amidst the crowded streets of Boac under the scorching heat of the sun getting our 2nd installment of our never ending degree burn was one of the highlights of this trip. Traveled the east side of the Island exploring Kaamon Cave, watching a horse mate (yes!), top loading a jeep was like a Universal Studios ride only with fantastic views, realtime cuts and hits from these forthright tree branches that will carelessly hit your face and electricity cables that could transmigrate your soul instantly. We managed a quick visit at their Freedom Park that had unproportioned mermaid figurines by the sea just like in Copenhagen before we ended up in Poctoy White beach that was not that really white for some relaxation.
Next Days' Morion Costume fitting definitely was the cherry on top. Thanks to the benevolence of our gracious host Kuya Ryan and his wife, who knew no one yet welcomed us bunch of crazy couchsurfers into his home. Walked around the town in Morion costume trying to get our photos taken with tourist fans. We succeeded.
That trip to Luzon Datum was E for effort. The reference point of all geological surveys in the Philippines, only to find out that it was a small rock amidst a great view. It didn't disappoint as I reckon, the ascent and descent paved the way making our colors transform into a Pocahontas-like skin tone.. After hours of riding a jeepney that seemed like riding a rodeo, we finally find ourselves at the port bound for our next destination, Maniwaya Island.
Crystal clear waters, sea urchin, white sand, beautiful sunset and a floating restaurant that was quite expensive welcomed us. Spent the night partying with the locals in a yearly celebration they stage known as Pasiklab. The not-so-short walk towards the party venue sparked paranoia as the trails were like of blair witch project and of the such. It was a night of embarrassment, hilariousness, and awkwardness all in a good way as you really rarely get to be invited in this kind of party right?
Last day to get our ultimate degree burns, we headed out early to experience Palad Sand Bar and Mongpong Island. Cliff jumping, snorkeling, photoshoot and me trying to brave the waters to affirm myself that I can float was the goal. After days of communing with mother nature, we all went home with a Marinduqueño skin tone, as Kuya Ryan would describe it not to mention the adrenaline rush heading back to Manila.