It has been over a month since I came back from Singapore and started working again in Manila. For more than a month, I have not been home despite that I am already in the Philippines. Then April 7, a national holiday came, this window gave me a chance to be home for atleast three days. It was really the kind of rest that I needed. The first day, I spent sleeping, catching up with my parents lives, eating whatever was served to me. The first day there made me feel like as if I have not left my parents 16 years ago. I think I feel like am still the same person when I left this place more that a decade ago.
The second day, my mom has arranged for a bangka (a local boat) that will bring us to the nearby islands. I always wanted to do it. I have been asking my mom to prepare this days before I arrived in San Jose.
My papa and mame were hesitant and not really the type that enjoy this kind of trip. Anyway, they have no choice, it is their bunso (youngest) who wished for this. So the three of us, and the tripolantes (boatmen) sailed to the islands. The boat was not really a big one, but decent enough for the three of us. My dad cooked some food for this trip. He prepared beef caldereta, a beefstew. I bought some liters of drinks and some biscuits and chips. We didn't bring any alcohol.
So there, at seven in the morning, we went to aroma beach where the boatmen would pick us up. Then sailed unto the sea for 30 minutes, we reached then the legendy (atleast for the people who grew up in Mindoro) White Island. We decided not to dock since it was crowded and I heard there's a fee now in that island.
A Resort in Ilin Island
I said no, let's go directly to a newly sprung island of Manadi. it is shaped like a snake and could be separated into 4 or 5 portions during hightide. It was 15 to 30 minutes from White Island. When we were about to dock, a school of anchovies (dilis) swam pass us, then came a flock of seagull ready to have their meal. It was something new and a sight to be remembered. My parents surely was delighted to see that.
After few minutes, we decided to go to the bigger Island, the Ilin (pronounced as I-ling) Island. By fluke, we discovered that there are some cottages, new ones on this island. We decided to crash in without proper permission. I was a bit hesitant because we could be charged with trespassing. Anyway, to make the story short, we courteously looked for the owner who turned out to be my parent's friend.
Ilin Island Coast
A bit hesitating, the owner accepted some amount from my father as our payment for using his cottage. We had a good and peaceful lunch in that cottage. After lunch, I decided to explore the beach and the island. I was really special to me, I grew up there but never had a chance to see its beauty when I was still there. Ironic is, I am looking though a tourist eyes now that I appreciate my own backyard. Such as life I guess.
Before the tide goes totally low, we headed back to San Jose aroma beach. We went home, and we were all glad we decided to had that trip.
It was a sweet one for me...
Anyway, some facts of the islands:
Ambulong Island - Ambulong Island is a 30 km² island with fine beaches, cliffs and abundant coral formations.
Resort Under Construction
It is characterized by white sand beaches, cliffs along pillars jutting out of the water, and underwater caves. Coral gardens and tropical fish are abundant in several coves. The coral gardens and the white sand beaches are fantastic. A fisherman's village is located at the sheltered side of the island. Ambulong Island is also a jump-off point to some of the dive spots in the area, such as the Iling Point, Baniaga Reef, Ambulong Bank, Dungan Reef, Sardines Reef, Apo Reef, and Manadi Island. These dive sites are about an hour away by pumpboat from the Caminawit Port.
Ilin Island - Ilin Island has a village of shell divers, being abundant in shells and coral reefs. Mina de Oro Beach Resort (Barangay Inasakan, Ilin Island; an hour by boat from surrounding islands).
This resort serves as a jump-off point to other attractions of the island of Ilin. There are ancient burial caves of early Chinese traders, ethnic fishing villages, and numerous dive sites from which to view many tropical fishes. Lush foliage encircle the clear blue waters of the South China Sea. There are scuba diving facilities, a 6.8 CTM compressor, seaport facilities, diveboats, and PADI and NAUI-certified instructors.
White Island (Manadi, Barrio Ilin, San Jose; 15 minutes by pumpboat from Caminawit Port) - White Island has a long powdery beach where buried turtle eggs are occasionally found. It has an almost mile-long beach with smooth and powdery white sand. The tranquil and peaceful island is an ideal place for swimming, scuba diving and fishing. Turtle eggs are occasionally found buried in the sand, and visitors are cautioned to keep them undisturbed.