I’m glad I was staying at Peacock Garden in Baclayon and only had to wake up around 4:30am to prepare for our early morning boat ride to Pamilacan Island. I met my young host couple at the reception and they will accompany me on this island trip. Grabbing our bags of towels and packed breakfast, we rode our Van and drove for only 10 minutes (or less) to the Baclayon Baluarte (port).
Even a little past 5am the sun was already up behind the low mountain peaks of Bohol, radiating a warm glow to the port. We were quickly led to a large outrigger boat which was also used as a fishing vessel at times. It’s a great additional livelihood for local fishermen here to use their boats as a tourist vessel.
I put on my shades to shield my eyes from the harsh light. Since the boat ride would take a little over 45minutes before we reach the water of Pamilacan, we grabbed our packed breakfast. It was a large heavy serving of ham and egg sandwich and a bottle of water. A few minutes later, my head was bobbing from sleepiness as we ride the smooth ocean waves that morning.
A little commotion woke me up from my light slumber. I see the watchman pointing out on to the sea near the island. “Oh there, there! Amazing!” said Chris, a young entrepreneur with use. I squint my eyes to try to see what the heck they were excited about. I see a line of disturbance from the sea, a line of dolphins jumping causing a line of gentle splashes above the sea.
Our boat turned and headed to these pods of dolphins. No wait! It’s not just a pod, it’s a superpod of dolphins. I’ve never seen so many pods of dolphins as many as this. I noticed the precision and grace of our boat as we entered to what seemed to be a parade of a hundred dolphins on a morning feed.
The boatmen at Baclayon were trained by people of WWF themselves unlike the regular fisher folks of Panglao. They know the proper approach on a pod of dolphins. If there are a number of boats in the area, they know how to take turns of approaching as not to disturb the natural early tuna feeding of the dolphins. Hiring people at Baclayon increases one’s chance of sighting these dolphins.
“Bihira mangyari to (This is a rare event)” our boatman told us in regards to this hundreds of dolphins on parade. Most of the time people would only see pods and the sighting would last for only 4-10 minutes then they’ll be gone. But this one went on for at least 45 minutes. Just when we thought they were leaving, pods and pods of dolphins would appear around our boat. It was really amazing. Later I learned that a lot of these dolphins were the Frasier’s and the Bottlenose types.
It must have been the full moon or there were just lots of food in this waters making for an early morning feast for them at that time. I see a few young dolphins jumping out of the water in play, some old pods moving slowly behind like a pack of elders taking a leisurely ride on the waves. Now this is what I call a dolphin show. Amazing!.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.