I will be riding a different mode of transport today. A small boat that will take me to different islands on the last sitio in Bordeos, which is San Rafael. I was fortunate enough to meet a family who went out of their way for me to experience this.
After arriving at the lodge, I asked the owner on how to get to the different islands. This place is unlike other popular destinations in the PH. Actually it is not popular at all, nor well developed. Island hopping is something that you have to actively ask rather than being offered to you.
The owner of the lodge we will now call “Nanay” told me that her family can take me out island hopping tomorrow. She then introduced me to her daughter, I told them about why I’m here and that got them really excited, apparently they like travellign as well so, we then swapped travel stories. Then they told me that they are looking forward to take me to those islands and show me how beautiful it is to be there.
I woke up early the next morning to prepare everything that I would need for this once in a lifetime experience. I made sure all the batteries were charged, the memory cards formatted and all my camera’s to be on their top condition. I walked up to “Nanay’s” store to greet her good morning and ask her if it’s ok to leave now. She said sure my grandson will take to the port. I thought it would just be a short travel to where I’m staying but turns out it was a good 40 mins rainy and bumpy ride.
Before going to the port, I was introduced to “Nanay’s” daughter’s husband, he told me about how much everything is going to cost, I asked them if it’s going to be ok for them to also bring food I will just add a certain amount for it, gladly he said yes. So on we went. Upon arriving I was greeted by a group of fishermen.
They were a happy bunch, I started to ask some questions first they answered then they told me stories about the islands. “Tatay” told me about visiting the islands when he was much younger. Telling me that they can travel unrestricted to anywhere as no one really owns it. They told me that not a lot of touris go there but once they do, it really leaves them with a lasting memory of the place as it is really unique.
Off we went. I have to admit I was really excited. I don’t know what to expect, in front of me is a vast ocean and behind me are two very experienced fishermen or are they?
I came to find out that this is really not their line of work, to them this is more like a hobby than a source of income. Apparently they own pockets of land in Bordeos which they farm and they also have some small businesses which is their real livelihood. They told me that boat that we are currently riding is their means of entertainment, a way to unwind, they told me stories of “Tulingan” fishing and how exciting it is to do.
Lolo said “You have to watch the waters, see those little things that suddenly glisten as they jump out of the water? Those are little fishes, that’s a good sign that there are Tulingan’s nearby. They are jumping out of the water because they are being chased by bigger fishes. Now is not really the season for fishing them, but when its in season there’s a fishing frenzy here. It’s like a race everyone is trying to catch them, bumping boats with each other is quite common. It’s good fun and exciting.” I was amazed at what he said I could just picture it on my mind, its like a water based extreme sport.
We arrived at the first island, from a far it just looks like a rock sticking out of the ocean. As we came closer that’s when I got to see it’s real beauty. Two big rocks surrounded by sand that’s it! And it was amazing to look at! I liked the feeling of how deserted it it is and everything seems to be so minimal. But the island is full of activity there are children running around and a family that’s having their lunch. I started to wonder what all the commotion is all about.
This man came up to me as I was taking some photo’s and asked why I was there after that I asked him about the island. He then told me that someone’s going to get married here tomorrow and they are here to prepare the island for it. I asked if I could take his photo and he just stood there posed and here is the outcome. I swear I haven’t taken a portrait of a person that’s as perfect as this, by far he is the most photogenic fisherman that I have ever met.