The mention of Philippines makes me visualize isolated green mysterious tropical islands and a world full of unexplored natural beauties and marine life. So I set on, excited and ready for an exhilarating experience
I wondered what I was looking at down below as the flight entered Luzon which is the largest and the most populous island in the Philippines. Seemed like a massive river drying up. I guessed this would be the Abra river. There are direct flights to Cebu, but I had to stop by in Manila and take the flight from Manila to Cebu .
I started imagining life in isolated islands like the one I saw here. Away from the other world. Here there are no worries and no hurries. You are at peace in the middle of the big blue. There must be so many paces on earth which are so different from our city lives we lead.
Flying right over the runways of Cebu airport where I was going to land in a short while
After about 2 hours drive through Cebu, I reached the beautiful Alegre beach resort – highly recommend if you are into snorkeling. This resort is a huge marine sanctuary teaming with sea life
"What are you doing ?" - I heard a voice as I floated looking down about 10 feet from the shore line. "Let me help you go deeper where you should see some real marine life" . Within a couple of minutes I saw a stout man approach me in the water. "You don't need to pay, I can guide you" - he said. "But I don't know how to swim" - I said. "Well, do as I say and you should be fine" - he said. I regret not having an underwater camera in this trip. The snorkeling experience was my first and simply out of the world. When you don’t know how to swim , a dare one kilometer from the shore in about thirty feet water ( of course with a life jacket on ) makes you feel completely at the mercy of mother nature . The beautiful colours of hundreds of fishes all around you , deep blue coloured star fishes , living shells on the sea bed that close when you touch - an unforgettable experience. In this moment, you are part of another world, you are at peace with the marine world.
As I snorkeled along I lost track of time , totally engrossed and felt being part of this world. I held out a piece of bread in my hand and was surrounded with an explosion of colourful fish all around me. Then, I noticed something change. The water felt colder and there was a gradual change in the colour of the water about ten feet ahead of me. Crystal clear transparent water suddenly blended into a deep blue black. I looked down and noticed I was at the edge of the coral reef which then plummeted down into the deep blue. My heart raced. I felt it pound . For a moment, I felt paralysed, contemplating my vulnerable position, floating in thirty feet deep water at the edge of a coral reef with bread in hand. Sharks are not attracted to bread, are they ? I wanted to turn back. This is it. I signaled to my guide. I wanted to turn back. At that very moment, my hand touched something hard. I felt my stomach churn as a surge of adrenaline pumped through my body. I put my head up and had a look at what I had touched.The perimeter of the marine sanctuary is marked by white floats which bob on the water. I was at the edge and had touched one of the white floats ! Time to go. As I swam along back towards the shore, I did not look down. I breathed a sigh of relief when I could stand with my feet touching the sand. But what a rush..it had been. I had to do it again.
Back in he resort I sat down overlooking the vast expansive ocean from the restaurant. Reminiscing my experience over a delicious sea food lunch... wondering was there a chance of me becoming someone elses lunch instead ?
Greenery at Alegre
Cozy cabana at Alegre
With some References to Wikipedia