Monday, November 14, 2011

Island Hopping Caramoan

Alright folksie folks! So there I was on an island hopping tour of my own! As in, I was the sole passenger with the boatman and his boathand or assistant, whatever he’s called. Just three of us hopping from one island to another. I am just not good at names or did not care to remember them, so I cant tell which island was what. In fact, I even forgot, or did not care too about taking pictures of some places we went to as I got carried away enjoying the scenery, wading, swimming or just lazing around - which should have been the case anyway, right? But I do have a few shots if only to tell you how grand this place is. Here we go…

Those are 3 foreign girls baking in the sun!

You can see the big lizard, right?

The boathand, assistant whatever and at times my photographer!
The boatman, owner, tourguide, adviser and also at times my photographer!

Folks take note of this:
Boatmen (even if mine was a good English speaker and college grad) are not formally trained tourguides so they are not strict with dividing time evenly on each of the spots being visited. So the default is, they just become the ever hospitable Filipinos. Meaning? If they see you having a good grand time, they will let you be and would seldom bother you with “lets go, its time to move” or anything like that. You will certainly not hear a la “you have 10 minutes to explore this island and be back at your seats at exactly bla-bla-blah”! None of that! Thus, you might run out of time and end up not being able to visit all that you have planned to. This is what happened to me! Not that I regret it however! It only means, one day is not enough touring these islands!

Let’s cite an example, and don’t laugh at me when you get to the last paragraph, okay?! Well you can ridicule me instead hahaha!

I was enjoying a little island with white sandy beach, alone with boatman and boathand. There was a time I was swimming in the clear green waters, laying flat on the sand and there was even a time I wandered off to some newly built shack by the rocky foliage. The ‘wall’ was still fresh woven coconut leaves, roof was of the usual nipa hut and there were even provisions like canned goods, thermos bottle, table, towels etc. Quite a comfy shack for a day’s picnic and I wondered who would build such an ‘almost permanent’ hut. Then came a manong who had a gun and a walkie-talkie! But my boatman immediately recognized him as one of the Survivor shoot guards so he asked him what was the shack for this time. Guard answered that it was some kind of a prized award (a rest area, I cant remember the exact term he used). I immediately recognized they were talking about “Survivor Israel”.

I butted in with ‘wasn’t this island/area supposed to be off-limits’? He said “not yet, but tomorrow it might be – if someone in the ‘tribes’ qualifies”. Then that person would be living the life on this island, and they’d ask approaching boats (fishermen or tourists) to detour to other islands. Guard and boatman talked more as I took the few steps to the sand and laid flat on my back again but still listening to them. I asked if there were really no people on this island we were on. Guard said that at that very moment there were just four – him, me, boatman and boathand! Gosh again hehe! I asked if he’d also scram when the “occupant” comes to this island. He said yes and will stay at a nearby island with other TV crews. And that if they must be on the island they’d have to hide from whoever the ‘occupant’ will be.

Talk talk talk, laugh laugh laugh and it was getting late so I said let’s go. Boatman obliged. However, I noticed we were heading beyond Bikal Port. I asked the boatman where we were going. He said ‘to the rest of the islands’. And I exclaimed “ha? meron pa?”! He smiled saying, we probably was just a little over half of what we were supposed to see! Awk! And it was already sunset… so I said, ‘wag na, pagod na ako, uwi na tayo’! He hesitated on that and told me “lugi naman yun binayad mo sir kung babalik na tayo”. But I told him it was okay, and that I would just probably make another tour to those remaining places tomorrow. He agreed but said let’s pass by that one more island as a last stop. And we did! In almost exactly 24 hours, I encountered that rare incident again... the tourguide asking me if I wanted to see more (3rd paragraph of this previous story)! Hmm, only in Caramoan, so far!

Listening to the boatman at what other places were we supposed to visit, some voice in me was saying “you going to climb to that grotto this time? The nerve! You going to climb those rocks for the bats? Get real!” Hehehe. Maybe those were my leg muscles screaming? Just maybe!

It’s a wide ‘archipelago’ with a myriad of places to see and experience! One day is not enough… or I am getting old! I choose to believe the former but you can take your pick hehe! Oh well…

Hey am not done just yet. There are more stories to this Caramoan series. But let’s do that next…

For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers:
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12   13   14   15
16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30


  1. When I was taking tours in Palawan it was so easy to lose track of time. Luckily there were a few of us on the boat, so there was more reason to keep going. Great pics!

  2. ive personally experienced these boatsmen as well. I agree, its both good and bad lol you can get caught up in one island and totally lose track of time.

  3. hi! magkano rent mo nung boat? punta kasi kame sa wednesday. thanks

  4. Sir, magkano yung rent mo sa boat? will be there this thursday - friday.. dalawa lng kme kaya mejo hesitant aq mag island hopping kz bka mahal... thanks!!!

  5. Grabe ganda po ng mga pictures... Parang pang postcard...:)