By Vic Reyes
“We are lucky our city is near famous islands from all sides and just half a day away,” my uncle told us as we drove to the island province of Camiguin last week.
Early morning before the sun rose we were on our way negotiating the mainland’s coastal highway and sailed to Camiguin, where we excitedly talked about the White Island, a sand bar and said to be the number one destination. We were not disappointed when we went there the next morning.
Two weeks earlier we went to Siargao Island and swam the beaches facing the Pacific Ocean, the biggest ocean in the world. There was a mild earthquake that we felt once and I prayed there won’t be another. There was none so my cousin who studied in Manila said, “tuloy ang saya.”
I was thinking we are lucky indeed that we live in the city not so far from the islands of neighboring provinces where we can get away for awhile to have outdoor fun and bonding in summer. I like the driving going there as we see other sites like Lake Mainit in Surigao del Norte and fishing towns offering fresh sea foods along the coast of Misamis Oriental.
I cannot forget the restaurants on stilts where we even catch the fish ourselves and if we get one or two we inform the staff and pay. Isn’t that a thrill?
Going to Siargao was a different thrill too. Earlier as we were sailing my cousins warned me to prepare for the whirlpools our boat would encounter just a distance away from Surigao City.I was scared but thrilled and curios.
There were a few whirlpools alright but not so huge or violent the boat cut through it. No sweat I thought. What I didn’t like to see were two islands we’ve sailed by that’s clearly been destroyed and rendered lifeless. A huge portion of land and mountains were bald and leveled off. I wondered if there is environment consciousness in this part of the world.
As we were nearing the coastal town called Dapa we saw mangrove forest welcoming us. I remember our science teacher said these trees give food and is a breeding ground of all kinds of sea creatures.
In another town at the other side, crocodiles are said to live there. OMG! That is definitely a big thrill. I was told we will ride on a pump boat to see them safe and sound in their habitat. But sadly we did not go there because it was not in our original itinerary. Maybe next time, I must insist.
A visit to these islands in three days separately is perfect enough. Can’t wait to explore other islands just near us. How lucky we can get.