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Island vacation is not complete without sunsets. As my first attempt to capture sunset moments at Doljo Beach, Panglao Island was devastated by heavy clouds, Alex the boatman offered me a trip to Virgin Island when I got off boat from Balicasag-Virgin Island one day tour. He told me a group of travelers wanted to spend their last evening in Virgin Island to enjoy sunset.

My money had dwindled as my trip neared the end. I honestly told him I could not afford to pay big sum for the sunset trip. Smiling nonchalantly, he said, “No problem. Pay what you can afford”. He asked me to wait for him at 4p.m. which I did after my 1 hour nap.

Not long after I arrived, 3 Germans came. Altogether, there were 6 of us on the boat, inclusive of 2 boatmen. Virgin Island doesn’t need more explanation as the name says it all. White sandy beach, unhabitated by human beings.

When the banca pushed forward to the open sea, I could feel the sun glazing my skin turning it to a perfectly sun-kissed brown colour. The wind was so strong; there were times when we were jolted by sudden motion of the banca due to strong wind.

As soon as we arrived, the island appeared quiter than during the afternoon trip. What was left was boatman collecting sea urchins. No travelers around the beach and in fact, the small stall selling coconut fruit at a hefty price was no longer there. It was just us conquering the island. It was as if we own the island. The German travelers walked to the other side of the island while Alex and I walked to the other end of the island.

Alex pointed his finger to what appeared to be another small island within walking distance from Virgin Island. After convincing me it was safe to cross over, we walked to Balut Island for better view of sunset. On our way there, Alex catched a slipper fish using his hand for me to touch. Who wouldn’t get excited when the water bed was full with colourful starfishes?

Lucky, it was low tide. I spent practically 30 minutes for the sunset.

Going back to Bohol Divers Club was in deed an experience. The boatmen did not bring a torchlight or headlamp. Our lives were put at risk. The boat was navigated in dark and the only source of light came from Alex’s old Nokia phone. We needed light to look through the water to avoid coral reefs!

I could not speak for the rest of the travelers, but I held on for dear life. I was worried sick when our banca got stuck in between coral reefs. I tried to spot life jackets but I could not see one. After surviving the journey home, I thanked Alex for trip of my life. It was all worth the journey.