There's a volcanic island near Dumaguete that we've been wanting to visit for some time. It's called "Apo Island" which (according to Wikipedia) is derived from the Filipino translation "Grandchild". We were all there for one reason--to see sea turtles! Unfortunately, I don't have an underwater camera so I can't post any pictures of the turtles here. Our friends were able to capture a video of the turtles we saw though.
Like most bus trips, we took a bus at around 3am at the South Bus Terminal. Jeremie, Vince, and I stayed up all night at Starbucks talking about outer space, games, parallel universe, and other far-fetched stories. Thank God for 24-hour shops.
When we got to the bus, it was freezing cold and I realized I didn't bring any jacket or blanket with me. Doh! But I eventually dozed off and the entire ride consisted of me shifting so I don't get a stiff neck, adjusting my legs so it wouldn't feel numb, and waking up every now and then to see where we were already.
The morning sunlight woke me. The scene on the bus looked too surreal partly because it was too quiet and everyone was asleep and partly because I was still groggy from lack of sleep. I looked outside and saw the sea connect with the sky seamlessly. The sea was calm and there were no waves in sight making the scene look infinite.
When we got to the port at the tip of Cebu, we took a ferry, then took a tricycle, then took a jeep to another little port where we waited for our small boat.
That right there is the island viewed from the boat. It didn't take long before we got there.
This rock formation is probably the result of the waves constantly clashing on to it.
More rock formation. It seems like the island used to be mostly submerged in water from the looks of this.
There was a staircase that led to a small cave-like pathway. The resort we were staying is secluded on one side of the island hidden away by rocks.
The small bar/restaurant that was for me too pricy but we had no choice since there are only 2 known resorts in the island.
The dive shop.
And then we realized our room was on top of a dive shop. Cool!
View of Dumaguete's peaks from the island.
The water was too inviting if it weren't for the venomous sea snakes and lion fish floating around. We took a swim and were surprised that this was really deep despite the low tide. We had such an adventure snorkeling around and watching the corals. Submerged in water felt like being in a dream. There were air bubbles coming out from the rocks. The corals and fish looked pretty healthy.
When the sun wasn't too hot anymore, we decided to take a walk around the island.
Our guide, who went with us throughout the hike. He even waited for us before proceeding forward.
The marine sanctuary that's been temporarily closed due to the damages caused by the storm that passed by the island a few months or years ago.
We reached the top!
How lovely it looked from up there. I wanted to stay longer but it was getting dark and we had to navigate through the pathway quickly before we got lost in the darkness.
The next day, we set off to see the turtles. I don't have proof of the creatures but we saw several of them--probably 5 or 6 swimming in the shallow water and eating seaweeds. They were very gentle and were not afraid of us humans. We just had to make sure we didn't violate their space or touch them.
Fishermen catching fish in the early morning.
They gave us one! It was still alive when it boarded the boat.
The group photo.
Lunch was lovely. Nothing like freshly grilled fish while enjoying the beach view.
And while we were talking with the locals who cooked for us, this pig was making a lot of noise. He looked too funny peeking from his little window. He eventually piped down after the owner gave him some water.
Back in the main land, we enjoyed some lovely fresh mango and banana shakes.
Waiting for a bus to take us back to the city.
And the day ended in a view of a wonderful sunset.