Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 2 at Club Paradise in Busuanga

After a hearty breakfast, we waited for our 9am island hopping tour. We were supposed to take the resort's regular transport boat, but because it was sent out to pick up supplies, they had to let us use the speedboat instead. Cols was a bit apprehensive about the speedboat. I was also a bit concerned, but not because of safety reasons. Rather, I was concerned that it can get very hot during the morning and the speedboat did not have any roof.
As it turned out, our concerns were largely unfounded. In fact, it may have been a blessing-in-disguise as the speedboat probably traveled twice faster than the regular boat, allowing us to spend less time on the travel and more on swimming. Also, the heat was not as intense as one would expect from, say, Boracay. I'm not sure why considering it was not really that cloudy either.

The first stop of our half-day, 3-hour island hopping package was a privately-owned island. There was a concrete picnic table setup there. The beach itself was not that fantastic, but I guess the guide brought us there more because of the marine life. There was certainly a lot more fishes here as compared to the house reef. The guide brought some bread to draw in the fishes. Unfortunately, I was not fast enough to react and was not able to quickly take photos with my "underwater camera".
Next stop was Rock Island. The aptly named island was, well, "rocky". There was not much beach to speak of. From the shore, its all rocks and corals. But this place, by far, had the best undersea marine life ranging from all sorts of colorful fishes to giant corals and blue starfishes.

On a side note, I finally figured out how to dive with a snorkel in my mouth! Yeah, I know its pretty lame for divers. Although I've used snorkels countless of times, I've always swallowed water when I try submerging. Now I know the technique of how to keep air in the tube without sucking in water!
Our 3rd island stop was Isla Walang Lang-aw (translated "Island Without Trees"). Its a very small island just across Dimakya island. I don't know why they called it island "without trees" considering there were a couple of trees right in the middle of the island.
By this time, Cols and I had a bit too much swimming and snorkeling already. So we just mainly took photos at this island, which is the most picturesque among the 3 we visited this morning. Strange rock protrusions and a small cave provided background for some great photos.

We got back to Club Paradise by noon time. Today was the much-awaited Pacquiao vs. Cotto boxing match. The resort's Jungle Bar had a satellite TV setup which aired the fight live. The dining hall was practically empty as everyone squeezed into the bar to watch the fight. Pacquiao won a record 7th title in 7 weight divisions which brought the house down. Even though most of the guests at the resort were foreigners, they all seem to be rooting for the local hero.

We were too tired from the morning excursion. So we slept the entire afternoon off. The sole of my Reebok rubber sandals also got detached so I had housekeeping put rugby on it to make it usable again since I did not bring any backup footwear.
The evening dinner was held on the beach. It was Filipiniana night with cultural dancing show. I guess this is a "must-have" for all local resorts who cater largely to foreign guests. The usual medley of local folk dances ranging from pandango sa ilaw to tinikling were highlighted. The foreign guests were invited to join the number and many of them gamely joined adding to the fun.

It was a very starry night. Its rare to see so much stars up in the sky living in the city with lots of pollution. I wish I had the necessary photo equipment to capture the sky.

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