It was only on my 4th day in the Philippines that I could finally smell the sea by walking to the shore line. Too bad, my room was not sea-view. In fact, it was far from the beach that I could not even hear the waves hitting the shore. As soon as I put in my deposit, I was ushered to what would be my hide-out for the next 3 days.
When I skewed away from paying a bomb for a sea-view with glass door luxury cottage, I did not expect my stay in a relatively cheap pension house, as commonly being referred to in the Philippines, would involve some sort of muscle stretch due to climbing a flight of stairs high up. However, along the way to my room I did peep over the dive schools for handsome dive masters. That sort of, eased the pain, really.
My room had two single beds with a bathroom inside. No TVs or desk. Just a simple room for sleeping and that’s that.
Settled and well-rested, I headed to the beach for a desired serenity. I had my camera with me, so it was impossible to dunk myself in the sea. It was the time of the year when the seaweed occupied the seabed with the dead blacky seaweed drifted to the shoreline making it looked, as if it was a polluted beach. I heard beaches in Dumaluan are better off than the in Panglao area.
Under a shady tree, I took shelter from the scorching hot sun. I was frequented by several boatmen whom I shoo-ed away uninterestedly. Then came a man with a different approach. Someone who got it right that I am a Malaysian at first attempt. He asked if I had booked island tour for the next day. He proffered a reasonable price of Php1,000.00 for one-day boat tour. That was a fair price I would not be getting from other boatman. Btw, his name is Alex.
Then I started to ask where could I best shoot sunset in Panglao. Doljo Beach. Not within a walking distance. He said he could bring me there for a photography-snorkelling trip for Php200. Oh, how could I refuse. I said yes instantly. I hopped on his motorcycle and was brought to his house first to take snorkelling mask. I mingled with the surrounding children who enjoyed having their photographs taken. They even posed for the photo.
Snorkelling at Doljo Beach took me to a higher standard of snorkelling. Having snorkelled in many Malaysian islands and Bali, this was in deed a different experience. Instead of being thrown in the middle of the sea squinting over the left-over coral reefs, we started off from the shore. With sea grass taller me, I felt as if I was trekking under water. I was asked to wear my sandal so that I would not step on urrr… Urrr-what,I asked. Urchins. Those small, spiny, round animal lying on the seabed. Those in red, black or purple in colours! They look like hedgehogs.
I was all paranoid with water so he held my hand tight convincing me he won’t let me drown. At first I had my glasses on for I did not plan to go snorkelling on the first day. When the water found its way near the tip of my glasses, I decided to put my glasses on the bamboo hut where I placed my waterproof bag.
Even when my vision was limited by half, I was mesmerized by how beautiful it was down under. The fishes, reefs, marine plants, urchins, sea stars etc. I wanted to have a diving licence straight away.
Do you know that the gonads of sea urchin i.e. sea urchin roes are culinary delicacies in many parts of the world? I am glad to inform I was lucky to have been able to eat the sea urchin roes fresh from the Philippines sea. When we made our return to the bamboo hut, Alex started to find sea urchins for me. More about sea urchins on next post.
Sunset was clouded by comulonimbus, I did not get a good picture of sunset at Doljo Beach. But Muro Ami’s Bamboo Hut was enough for me to be happy with good photos from Doljo Beach.
We used a different route by passing by a fishermen’ jetty. Managed to shoot few pictures of the sun setting down.