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27 December 2010

Day 4 - Apo Island

Day 4 - October 3, 2008, Friday

Apo Island Day

Before going to Dumaguete, I was not that excited to see Apo Island. It's ideal for divers daw. Nge, ano ba naman tawag mo sa kin? Hehe. But when we got to Dumaguete, Harold told us that we must see the island because it's really nice. So sige, sayang naman eh. He told us to call the dive shops in the city and ask if they have trips scheduled during our stay.

We were lucky to find Glen of Diveworks. He had a trip scheduled for Friday. Foreigners daw usually ang kasama niya mag-dive. He charges P500/person for the boat ride to and from Apo Island. He can also serve lunch at P250/head. I think the usual set up is for him to meet his clients at the Private Residence Spa and Resort in the town of Dauin. But because he's nice, he agreed to pick us up from Harold's. At least libre pamasahe na. Hehe.

He picked us up at 6:30 in the morning. Since it was so early, we had to skip breakfast again. Keri lang, we had our crackers. Hehe.

Before going to Dauin, we had a few stops to pick up charcoal for the lunch food and then the tanks for the divers. Grabe, ang dami.

Private Residence was nice. Private din talaga although there were resorts beside it too. Pangit nga lang yung beach in front of it. Medyo di siya good for swimming. Mukhang take off point lang talaga siya going to Apo Island. Most of the clients were foreigners.

After everyone was ready it was time for us to go to Apo Island. We were with a bunch of Korean friends (7 guys and 1 lady ata) and a Chinese couple from Hong Kong. Coolness. Parang ang saya siguro mag-dive. Hehe.

When we got to Apo Island, we didn't go directly to the village. The divers had their first dive. Hintay kami for less than an hour. We were stuck in the boat with Mrs. Korea. Hehe. Tulog-tulog. Then off to the village.

Once you get to the village, you have to register and pay an entrance fee of P100. You pay additional amounts depending on the activities you're going to do in the island. I don't know how much you're supposed to pay for diving but we paid P50 for snorkelling (as if! haha!).

Afterwards, it was time to explore the island. We decided to go up the lighthouse first. Nagmamagaling kasi kami eh. Hehe. The people were giving us different numbers, pero mga around 320 steps siguro yung paakyat nung lighthouse. Hindi lang siya puro steps ha. May road part din siya. So hingal to the max talaga. When we finally reached the lighthouse, we were disappointed. Pangit. May abandoned and vandalized houses lang plus may duyan. It was so not worth it. After resting for around 30 minutes, we decided to go down.

Siyempre ang daming tubig ang naubos namin. Naku, don't buy water from the restaurant there. They charge P50 for 1 liter of mineral water. Samantalang P25 lang dun sa malapit na sari-sari store. Tsktsk. I got post cards from the restaurant for P25/piece.

We then looked for the cottage where Glen was serving lunch. Kami una dun. Kahiya naman manguna kumain. Ayun, nauto kami ng mga ate. They sold Apo Island shirts for P200. We were able to make tawad dahil sabi ni Andrew di naman kami foreigners. Hehe. They sold it for P180/shirt. I bought shirts for Mam and Toto.

When the divers arrived, kainan na. We had grilled fish, shrimps, barbecue and rice. Sprite and Coke for the drinks. Mangoes for dessert. Heaven. Lamon galore talaga. Nakakatuwa yung mga Koreans. Sobrang cowboy. Nakatayo lang sila. Kain lang. Di maarte. And they were nice to us too.

After lunch, nagpamasahe yung ibang Koreans. Kami, we decided to check out the Marine Sanctuary. Sabi ni Glen we should be back by 2:15. Okay. Hehe.

On the way to the Marine Sanctuary, we passed by a garbage-filled lagoon/pond. Tsktsk. Andrew took pictures. Sayang yung place. Turns out that it's privately-owned. The residents of the island made it but the person tasked to register it under the island's name registered it under his name alone. Tsktsk. The people tried to get it back but the case won't prosper because that person still has a permit. The island residents report the unsanitary maintenance fo the place to the Bureau of Forestry (?) but the caretakers manage to clean it up before the inspectors arrive. Tsktsk, I smell lagayan here.

O diba ang dami naming nalaman. We had a great time talking to the 2 dive rangers in charge of watching over the marine sanctuary. Napasarap ang kwentuhan kasi we thought the water was so deep na di namin kakayanin. They had another funny story. The owners of the pond allowed the island residents to put fingerlings in the pond. Bangus ata. The owners assured the people that they will be allowed to harvest the fish. Come harvest time, the owners watched the people harvest their fish. Picture-picture pa with their fishnets and fish. Aba, afterwards, the people were charged with qualified theft. Ginamit pang ebidensya yung mga picture nilang nakangiti. Some of these people were imprisoned because of that. Riot talaga.

I really love talking to strangers. I love hearing their stories, opinions, views, etc. Lalo na sa probinsya. We tend to think that life's way too simple for them. But when you talk to them you'll realize that a lot of things go on in their lives as well.

Anyway, another batch of tourists arrived. Aba, nagswimming sila. And that's when we realized that the water's not that deep. Hehe. So yun, mga 45 minutes before our scheduled time of departure, we decided to swim and snorkel. I'm so glad we did it. Nakakatuwa. Kahit sa mababaw na part ng tubig, may makikita ka ng fish. Lovely talaga. Medyo madulas nga lang yung bato pero kaya naman. Basta nice talaga.

We left the marine sanctuary at 2:15. Hihi, tigas ulo. When we got to the sort of pier, wala na yung bangka. Huhu. Pero nasa malapit lang sila. Hehe. They came back for us a few minutes later. The divers were still under water for their third and final dive. Again, we were left with Mrs. Korea. After around 30 minutes, the divers emerged from the water and it was time for us to go back to Dauin. Huhu.

Rough seas again on our way back. Umulan pa. Tsktsk.

Glen was not going back to Dumaguete yet so we had to take the jeep instead. P13 ata yung pamasahe per person. Malapit lang kaya keri. We took the trike from the jeepney terminal to Harold's.

Andrew surfed the net after taking a bath. He read a blog which recommended the Panda Ice Cream Haus, popular for its fried ice cream. Shemps we had to try it too.

We had dinner first. The trike dropped us off in the ice cream house and we decided to look for restaurants near the place. Aba, we found Hayahay. We've read good reviews about the place but we were avoiding it kasi ma-seafood ata and Andrew's not into seafoods. Hmpf. But the name of the place was Hayahay Gourmet Pizza. Aba, eh pizza naman pala. We decided to eat there.

Hayahay serves good food. Siyempre mas expensive sa Neva's pero sulit pa din. We had the meatlover's pizza. 8 slices siya. Spaghetti yung pandagdag namin. Masarap din. They also sell Havaianas in their restaurant. Hehe.

Dessert time na. It was our first time to try the fried ice cream so we didn't know what to expect. Excited medyo. We also ordered Chocolate Parfait. Hmpf. Bagsak pareho. The ice cream's not really fried. May coating siya na fried. Hehe. Di bagay for me. I'll eat ice cream if I want ice cream, and I'll eat prito if I want prito. Ayaw ko magkasama sila. The parfait was not delicious din. Tsktsk.

Although we had no more activity scheduled for the following day so we didn't really need to wake up early, plakda pa rin kami because we were too tired. And too full din siguro. Haha.

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