Day 3: Over the Waves and Under the Sea

Panglao Island Travel Blog

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the water at 6AM

Part 1: Chasing Dolphins

I woke up at 5AM because I'd like to watch the sunrise. However, looking out the window, I realized that it's raining outside. I started to worry that our dolphin-watching might be canceled if the waves were too big, and if they were, I'd be scared to push through with it because I couldn't swim (in case the boat capsized). What a dilemma at such an early time! Anyway, I'd have to scrap the whole sunrise thing, apparently, and Ross and I just waited for the banca that will take us to the open seas to see some dolphins.

Finally, at exactly 6AM, Mang Celso (the man we made a deal with for the island-hopping) knocked at our door and told us it's time. Normally, boats leave the island at 5-5:30AM, but Mang Celso said it's better to leave at 6AM so that we didn't have to wait very long for the dolphins to appear.
leaving Panglao
Well, he's the expert, so we just said "Aye, captain!" He then introduced us to his 'cousins' who would be our boatmen/tour guide/dolphin-watching experts for the day. He then dropped the bomb: aside from the P1,200 that we both agreed upon, we have to pay an additional 300 for the snorkeling gears that we'd be using in Balicasag Island. Oh boy. Well, we woke up early, the boat was there ready to leave any minute, and we really want to see them dolphins, so what can we do but agree. But of course, we later made a resolution not to say yes right away to a seemingly better deal and always ask if there's any additional (or should I say 'hidden') charges. Lesson learned, time to get going.

So, 30 minutes later, we're out in the open seas with the other boats (and tourists) waiting for the dolphins to steal the scene and make our day.
excited!!!
Apparently, we arrived just in time. When we saw the first group of dolphins skim the water (we just saw their fins), all of us went wild, and the chase began! Round and round we went and followed where the dolphins went (or may have gone). It was nuts! I was smiling and laughing like a child on his first trip to the zoo. The other tourists were whistling and shouting with excitement. Needless to say, we're all busy taking pics while holding on to our boat as it sped along chasing the dolphins. Minutes later, one of the moments I'd been waiting for: a dolphin jumped out of the water! Wooopeee! Then more dolphins followed suit! I totally lost it then. I was in heaven - a heaven made up of water, boats, men, and dolphins. It was surreal.

I also remembered the part when a group of 4 dolphins swam next to our boat.
and it jumped out of the waves yaaay!!!
We can see them submerged in the water swimming alongside us, but it was hard to capture them on cam. Two of them did jumped out and did a show only for me (if I say so myself hehehe). A whole 20 minutes passed, but we didn't noticed because we didn't want it to end. We want more dolphins! We'd watch them all day! But of course, eventually our dear friends moved on and we couldn't catch up with them anymore, and so we left with big smiles on our faces.

Les dauphins, a bientot!


Part 2: Finding Nemo

Our next stop for the day was Balicasag Island, one of the small islands dotting the Bohol Sea. Balicasag is actually famous for its protected fish sanctuary where people can snorkel and be up close and personal with the fishes.
approaching Balicasag Island
The journey took another 15 minutes, but we were still recovering from our over-excitement with seeing the dolphins that we didn't even mind where we're going or what we're supposed to do/see there. But more surprises awaited us...

Before getting too close to Balicasag Island, our boat stopped and smaller ones being rowed by young men approached us. We were then informed that the motor boat weren't allowed to get too close to the fish sanctuary to avoid damaging the corals and disturbing the peace, I mean, fishes, so we need to use the smaller ones. Then, being numb to 'financial' surprises already, we were told that we have to pay P150 each for the small boat. Fine. So, we left our stuff on our big boat, hopped on to the smaller one, and taken to the part of the sea where we can find Nemo. The water was very shallow (only went up to my torso) so I was fine with snorkeling and testing my camera under water, although I had to hold on to the boat the whole time for fear of being carried further away by the current hehehe.
why so blue?
What a chicken.

Our boatman (il s'appelle Luther) had with him some bread crumbs to attract the fishes, so we took some and threw them in the water. In a nanosecond, we were surrounded by fishes of all shapes and sizes! Actually, they kinda have the same size and shape hehehe. But they're very colorful and amusing. So the fishes got their stomachs full while I got busy taking pics of them underwater. Very photogenic, those fishes! The corals were also nice so I took pics of those as well. Pretty soon, we ran out of bread crumbs (next time I'd bring a loaf hehehe), and the fishes, being ingrates that they were, left us wanting more :D Then, more problem - my cam's battery got depleted! Oh no! Then, ironically, the bigger, more 'Animal Planet' type of fishes began swimming our way. Bummer!!! I should've brought extra battery, I should've! Somebody help! But nobody did, of course not, so yeah, another shoulda-woulda-coulda for me.
beaucoup des poissons
Gggrrr...

So, after more than an hour with the fishes, it's time to go. Luther rowed us back to the bigger boat, we got his number (we will be back), paid him P500 because Ross used flippers which cost an additional P150 (we had a P50 change but we decided to forego it), and left Balicasag. The ride back to Panglao was a bit bumpy because of the bigger waves, and since we've seen what we came for and were already heading back, we were more conscious of the time and how far the islands actually were from one another. Mang Tony, our driver/tour guide from Tagbilaran, would be picking us up at 11AM, so we had to be at the resort by 10AM to shower and pack.
just like a big-ass aquarium...
Our boatman even offered to take us to another island (supposedly a 'virgin' island that we glimpsed on our way back to Panglao), but after all our experience with dealing with Mang Celso and company, plus the time constraints, we refused. And so, at exactly a quarter to 10, we arrived in Panglao.

We had enough time to shower and pack, so we took it slowly. I also took pics of the resort to show other friends what it looked like in case they go to Bohol someday. Mang Tony arrived before 11AM, so we made him wait a bit hehehe. Next, we paid our bill, said our goodbyes to the resort crew, got inside the car, then drove away. I almost asked Mang Tony to stop because I forgot something very important in Alona Beach - my heart...

Got cheese? :D




JeAr says:
yeah, go to Bohol, it's beautiful down there! :)
Posted on: Mar 12, 2008
bcalma says:
Wow, I can't wait to visit the Philippines again and make a trip to Bohol--looks lovely!
Posted on: Mar 11, 2008
JeAr says:
isa lang siyang hamak na digicam :) Pentax W10 ata un? o di ba hindi ako sure wahahaha! meron din ata ang Olympus na underwater pero mejo mas mahal :)
Posted on: Mar 11, 2008
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the water at 6AM
the water at 6AM
leaving Panglao
leaving Panglao
excited!!!
excited!!!
and it jumped out of the waves yaa…
and it jumped out of the waves ya…
approaching Balicasag Island
approaching Balicasag Island
why so blue?
why so blue?
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
just like a big-ass aquarium...
just like a big-ass aquarium...
to the open sea
to the open sea
smile!
smile!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
were very close!
we're very close!
were very close!
we're very close!
were very close!
we're very close!
were very close!
we're very close!
were very close!
we're very close!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
were very close!
we're very close!
were very close!
we're very close!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
the chasers...
the chasers...
the chasers...
the chasers...
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
dolphins!!!
beh! :P
beh! :P
our boatmen/dolphin experts...
our boatmen/dolphin experts...
smile!
smile!
Siquijor as seen from the Bohol Se…
Siquijor as seen from the Bohol S…
Siquijor as seen from the Bohol Se…
Siquijor as seen from the Bohol S…
almost there...
almost there...
almost there...
almost there...
clear waters
clear waters
clear waters
clear waters
washing my feet
washing my feet
clear waters
clear waters
clear waters
clear waters
the morning sun...
the morning sun...
our friendly (and understanding) b…
our friendly (and understanding) …
the morning sun...
the morning sun...
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
coral
coral
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
coral
coral
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
feeding the hungry...
feeding the hungry...
feeding the hungry...
feeding the hungry...
very rare species... scary!!! =D
very rare species... scary!!! =D
very rare species... scary!!! =D
very rare species... scary!!! =D
beaucoup des poissons (plus un hom…
beaucoup des poissons (plus un ho…
beaucoup des poissons (plus un hom…
beaucoup des poissons (plus un ho…
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
yes, Ross was wearing slippers whi…
yes, Ross was wearing slippers wh…
beaucoup des poissons
beaucoup des poissons
one of the BIG ones before my cam …
one of the BIG ones before my cam…
Panglao Island
photo by: JeAr