Another weekend for the books has been flipped over. You see, every weekend just gets better and better as I go on for a new adventure. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just enough to get by and have the purest fun.
For the past few weeks, I have gone to Kawasan Falls, Gilutungan Island, climb Osmeña Peak and Sirao Peak via Budlaan Falls. Everything fell into its places as I have wanted to go to places I haven’t gone to within the province of Cebu.
Last month, I have been craving to go to this island up north of Cebu. Thankfully, I found people who are so much willing to explore these places with me. My friend May, whom I met through Couchsurfing and I have finally agreed on a date when we’re going. I have also invited Jammy my climbing buddy, Erlend who’s been wanting to go to places outside the city and do something else aside from drinking, Alejandro who has no hope of waking up as early as 5AM and Inah whom I’ve wondered why our paths never crossed each other years ago because we actually get along well right now.
So, after a few days of (trying to) prepare for this big trip, we found each other taking the bus going up north. I just came from work and didn’t have sleep at all yet I was so full of energy then off we went! It was a long trip but we weren’t interested about getting some sleep because we were just so excited to get things started.
Alas, after 4 hours, we arrived in the port area where we could get a banca going to Carnaza. We had our first meal together for the day and when we were ready to go, we were told by the locals that no banca was going to the island today because of the big waves. Then we realized there was actually a typhoon within the Philippine area of responsibility that very moment. We tried to look for a banca but no one was just there. Empty. Nada.
The group sat down and could only do so much by looking at the faraway island. Erlend opened a bottle of beer and passed it on for everyone else to drink while we were trying to figure out what to do. I started to feel not so well because I couldn’t just take that we won’t be able to go to Carnaza.
After deliberation, the group decided to go to Malapascua Island which is equally beautiful. We took a tricycle to bring us to the next port area. A boatman then approached us saying that the only banca available had to have 26 passengers to actually go to the island. But if we could pay more than the normal rate, we wouldn’t have to wait for more people. As if we had a choice that time… unless we wanted to come back here in the city after what we went through, we accepted their offer of P150/head.
While waiting for us to leave, the group opened each of our preferred liquor – Erlend was too curious about the local drink “Fighter Wine” until he realized it tasted so bad, he settled with the beer May had opened for the group. On the other hand, I had Emperador brandy for myself.
After a few minutes, we were already on our way to Malapascua when big waves welcomed us across the sea which everyone had to endure for more or less an hour trip.
However, as soon as we have set our feet on the island, all the good energy were just starting to pour in. We were back in our senses and right away looked for a good spot where we could set camp for free.
We had to walk a few minutes to find a place which wasn’t part of any resorts along the shore. Right after everything was set, we took our first swim which felt so good after the long trip we had.
However after some time, a local man approached us saying that we actually needed to pay to set up a camp there. We were wondering why and he said, “Because you have to ask permission from the caretaker.”
So we asked him, “So, who’s the caretaker?”
He answered sheepishly , “It’s me.”
Okayyyy. So, we asked him how much would it be. He was thinking, not even sure of what to answer and was trying to calculate the “fee” that we needed to pay. Then he said it’s going to cost us P500 for the two tents overnight. Of course, we refused his offer right away. We weren’t willing to pay him especially that we didn’t believe he was a caretaker but we couldn’t also force ourselves to stay in that place since we didn’t know who to ask permission from. So, we had to move and find another spot. Thankfully, we were able to find a place though. It wasn’t as good as the first one yet at least no one was asking us for money.
After we’ve finally moved our crib, we were already feeling hungry. But we thought it was going to be another hassle of keeping the tents and setting them up again. So, we all agreed that we’ll leave the tents and bring our bags instead. But Erlend thought he had no important stuff in his bag – just a couple of playing balls and g-strings (yes, seriously), so he left his bag along with the bread, canned goods and the brandy we bought earlier.
We had our dinner at a simple restaurant. We ate, talked and had a few drinks. Then it started to rain heavily and we agreed it was better to stay and wait for it to stop. It could be worse if we were just going to stay inside our tents.
Alejandro and the girls didn’t drink much because they didn’t like Tanduay rhum. So, it was just me and Erlend doing the drinking while we were all waiting for the rain to stop. Right after it did, we hurriedly went back to our campsite thinking of what could happen to our stuff after the strong winds. It was a long walk and was so dark away from the resorts and restaurants where we had our camp. Thankfully, we saw our tents being moved away just a few feet away from where we placed them. We felt relieved that it didn’t fly to the sea like we imagined until we realized our groceries were missing together with Erlend’s toiletries and keys and May’s snorkel. It was the snorkel that we felt bad.
But there’s nothing that we could do but to have fun for the rest of the night. We moved on from our loss and decided to stay along the shore, talking and laughing while gazing up the beautiful full moon with a bottle of rhum and coke. And to cap the night, we went skinny dipping!
*Photos taken and consolidated by the ladies for the whole group.