Thursday, February 28, 2013

Panglao Chronicle: Island Hopping

Chasing the Dolphins 

Day 3, we woke up early as we wanted to catch and watch the dolphins swim. We were advice that we will be fetch by 5:50am but our boatman was late and apologize for the delay. It was low tide and said they find it hard to pulled the boat to the shore but before the sun showed up entirely  we were already at the open sea. When we reached the area were the dolphins usually seen, we saw a lot of boat already waiting for dolphins to appear.  We thought that as we reach the dolphins territory, we will not be waiting for long for them to appear but we were wrong.  It appears that you have to have a lot of patience to wait for them to show and when they appear you have to chased them, hahaha! It was hard to distinguish them in the ocean as they are blending in the color of the water.  We were thrilled to see them in front of our boat and they swam in front of us. Some tourists were not fortunate  to witness them. When the chasing ends, we headed to Balicasag Island.

Balicasag Island 

is the haven for diving and snorkeling. It is a sanctuary for maritime life. The underwater view is amazing as you can see the different kind of fishes and corals. Some says it's the 2nd best diving spot in the Philippines. The Balicasag reef was amazing. The reef  is large. A Polish tourist said that it is better than the Apo reef. We swam in the reef without using the snorkels because Pepsi, Raff and I were not used of using one. We tried but we all felt uncomfortable and felt better off without it. We chose to used only our goggles. We also tried to look for the turtles and braved the big waves of Balicasag Island. We saw a lot of divers in full gears while the three of us just have our fins and goggles and we laugh about it.  We made fool out of ourselves, hahaha! Unfortunately, for me, I only saw the turtles when I was onto the boat but Raff and Pepsi were able to chased and swam with the small turtle.  After awhile, I felt sick because of the big waves and asked them that we should go back in the island. The lunch was ready when we got back.  We had sea food, sinigang dalagang bukid, grilled dalagang bukid and grilled squid. If you have time to prepare your lunch before heading in island hopping before, please do so at it was very expensive to have sea food lunch in Balicasag Island.

Balicasag Island has the magnificent reef

Next destination is the Virgin Island.  As we were preparing to sail, a Polish girl shouted at us if she and her bf can ride with us to get back to Alona Beach. They said, they were looking for more than 2hrs for someone to ride them back to Alona Beach. We cordially invited them to hopped in. We said, we were still heading to Virgin Island first. They agreed to tag along in our trip to the island.

Virgin Island

We didn’t know what to expect in this island as we hopped onto our boat. At far we saw a long white sandbar and as we go nearer, it was like a crescent shape island. Our boat slowed down when we reached the shallow water. You can see the sea floor covered by sea grass and corals and the water is crystal clear. The island is not advisable for swimming as it has shallow water and with lots of sea urchins but the island is perfect for picture taking :)
Virgin Island
Crescent Sand Bar 
Cart Wheeling
By 3pm, we were heading back to Alona beach and in the middle of our way, an unfortunate thing happened. Our boat got tangled by the fish net. We were forced to stop. Our boatmen find it hard cutting the thick net. While we were waiting to get it fix, Pepsi jump off the boat to swim a bit. We reached Alona beach at around 4pm.  Since, we still have enough time to go to Hinagdanan Cave, we commissioned a tricycle that will take us to the cave and to The Bee Farm.  At first, the tricycle drivers were charging us 300/pax one way to Hinagdanan cave and 200 each for the Bee Farm one way. We asked if how much for package, Hinagdanan and Bee Farm and they told us that it’s 500php for two way! That was a big discount! 

Our Ride :)

Hinagdanan Cave

The cave has a naturally lighted cavern with an underground lagoon.  The lake was popular  for swimming spot until it has been advised not to go dip into the lagoon because of the high levels of various pollutants presents in the water but saw two  tourists swimming in the lagoon. Hinagdanan Cave is made from limestone and many stalagmites and stalactites.

Hanagdaan Cave
After the visit in Hanagdanan Cave, we went straight to The Bee Farm.  Here, we bought the spread that we tasted in the cafe at ICM.  We found a lot of organic products to choose from. Raff and I bought the malungay pesto, mango spread and honey for pasalubong.  Raff also tried their ice cream.

Mr. Bee waiting!

Organic Herbs

Organic Spread
Heading back to our hotel, it was already dark. We had a long day. We maximize our  remaining time in the island.

Last suffer at Graziella, a Filipino/Italian cuisine. We were a bit late so, we waited for awhile to get a table. It seems that this restaurant served good food also when a lot of customers patiently waiting to get a table.  Raff and I ordered their Menu of the Day, the Rigotto with Blue Marlin while Pepsi ordered Shrimp Gambas in Coconut.  

The last activity in our itinerary was to check the cocktails offered in Alona beach.  We hang out at Oasis Beach and Bar Resort and over hearing the music at the neighbor's bar. Pepsi had Apple flavor San Mig while again Raff and I had the same order, The Alona cocktail drink.
Alona drink

We all went to bed happy.

Related posts -

Panglao Chronicle: The Adventure Begins (Day 1)

Panglao Chronicle: Discovering the Countryside (Day 2)

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