Curious eyes stare as we step down the motorcycle. Kids who were playing around suddenly stopped and proceeded in caution to look who came. Fishermen by the shore securing their boat gave a quick glance. It seems the people here at Lele Beach in Culion Island don’t to see many visitors donning cameras and tripods that often. Thanks to our guide Hermie, there was a familiar face they can get comfortable with. He informed the small community that we’ll be hanging around their beach for the sunset.
On the Western Side
It’s not often visitors of Culion venture to the southwestern side of the island. After seeing the map at the lobby of Hotel Maya, we knew the town was just a tip of the iceberg. Hermie whetted our appetite for exploration by describing some of the natural wonders found in the area not often visited by people. With our limited time, we can only go to a few. The Cabulihan Mangroves was one of them and as we head back up, we veered left to the small Baranggay Lele with a small stretch of brown and almost desolate Lele Beach with the occasional kids, locals and dogs going around. Along the thick growth of coconut trees, don’t be surprised to see squirrels scuttering from tree to tree.
Sundown at Lele Beach
There were the usual curiosities from the locals. Some asking if we were part of a crew from a TV station or just plain curious as to what I’m getting in my camera. The kids got comfortable, too comfortable that they started dancing and doing summersaults in front of the camera. Much to my delight, I wasn’t doing a video to capture their comic moments. Amusing little place but big on character and amazing hues from the afternoon light. The beach may not be the best around but the scenery was another captivating moment as the sky exploded with pink hues. Another fascinating place, it feels good sometimes to be a stranger in a place. To not feel like a tourist but a curious explorer who stumbled upon someone’s abode unexpectedly and interrupting their lives even for a brief moment.
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.