“…Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.”—Joyce Kilmer
Words were not enough to describe how grateful I was to see the wonders of Coron Island. I felt so blessed. God made my day perfect! Thank you Lord! It was an answered prayer.
Nov. 17, 2010
Happy Birthday! I woke up from the greetings and messages of family and friends. The sun greeted me too with its warm rays. I looked up and saw the clear blue skies. This would be one great day!
After eating breakfast at the Village Lodge Restaurant, we went to the port and met the DIY joiners of our trip: Gina, Dennis, Mai, and Abi.
Perfect weather! The sea was calm as we made our way to our first stop in the itinerary–Siete Pecados Marine Sanctuary. We snorkeled here for 30 minutes.
Good thing, I had Wish (my Canon D10) with me. I captured the beauty of the marine life underwater. But still, I was not satisfied with my shots. It would have been better if I got closer to the subjects… and the only way to do that is to dive—And that I have to learn. Haha.
This blue fish (sorry, I don’t know the name of the specie) was the most decent shot that I got.
Our boatman, Kuya Eli, told us that before, coral reefs in Siete Pecados were destroyed by cyanide fishing. And when the site became protected, the colorful marine life returned.
Snorkeling was followed by swimming at the fantastic, amazing, breath-taking Kayangan Lake.
Kayangan Lake deserved all those adjectives and more. It was truly a hidden gem. Its’ beauty was not easy to see but it was worth the sweat.
We climbed 100 plus steps. Thanks to the makeshift stairs which made the climb easier and less scary. Kuya Eli led us to a narrow rocky path, where we found this famous picturesque view.
I’ve seen it in pictures. But seeing the real thing made me utter, Wow! The Philippines is really blessed!
There’s also a small cave from where we stood but we hesitated to get in since we didn’t have any spelunking lights. After taking photos, we returned to the original path and found another stairs going down to the lake.
The struggle and sweat to climb was worth the serene scenery! The crystal clear blue-green water surrounded by the greens draped in the limestones was like a scene in a dream. But everything was real. It was not a dream.
A school of fish was also swimming in Kayangan Lake, which was said to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines. It was refreshing to plunge into the waters.
It’s really best for swimming since the water was not that salty. Kuya Eli told us that the lake has brackish water: 70% fresh water and 30% salty water.
After spending around three hours in the lake, we returned to our boat for the next destination—Barracuda Lake.
Unlike Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake can be reached by just 37 steps. But lo and behold, the make-shift stairs were built in between the sharp and steep limestones. One should really be extra careful with the steps. From the stairs, the deep blue waters can be seen already.
We found a French couple (I forgot their names) dipping in the Barracuda Lake. The French woman said, “Beautiful country!” and the French guy seconded, “and good people!”
I smiled and thanked them. Despite the recent travel advisory by some European countries, tourists like them still visit our country. I can see hope in our tourism industry but first, the Department of Tourism should really listen to its stakeholders and change the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” slogan. Foreign tourists would have a hard time understanding it.
Anyway, Barracuda Lake was named after the barracuda fish. Kuya Eli told us that divers visit this place to see a cave deep down, where the barracudas are. Another reason too was the thermocline, a transition layer between the mixed layer at the surface and the deep water layer where the temperature changes.
The limestones underneath the water looked like shimmering gold. Since I can’t dive yet, these were the only shots that I got.
After exercising our muscles, I heard my grumbling stomach. It’s lunch time! Our boatmen grilled the tuna and squids in our boat.
We also had grilled liempo and crabs. Ang sarap sarap! Bountiful lunch for my birthday! Ang saya saya! Mmm…
This post is getting longer. I’ll tell the next part of our trip to Twin Lagoon, Banol Beach, Skeleton Wreck and CYC Island in my next post.