The day was quickly coming to a close. When I thought we were heading back to mainland we were told that we’ll visit one last island on our way back to San Pascual proper. Tinalisayan islet is only 1.5 nautical miles from mainland, roughly a 20 minute motorboat ride from town. After seeing the two islands Animasola and Sombrero Islands, I thought I wouldn’t be surprised anymore but Tinalisayan islet has a little bit of everything. A white sand beach, a scenic hill with nearby rock formations, a long sandbar off the coast and burst of sunrise and sunset colors.
Filipinos really have a knack in naming places or islands that’s easy to recall like common things like – hats! In Burias Island, Masbate, another set of islands got the monicker of Sombrero Island just because the island looks like the top of a cowboy hat. It’s funny though that the Sombrero Island Masbate in San Pascual is a set of two islands close together, fraternal twins I may say. The other island near the hat-like island has the gorgeous looking stretch of beach and sand bar. Sombrero Island Masbate is our second island destination in San Pascual, quaint and laid back.
Being one of the “35 Clearest Waters to Swim Before You Die” from the viral list site of Daily News Dig, has placed the municipality of Linapacan, Palawan in the world map. While the main photo there is a bit misleading (since that one was from El Nido), being part of the list made people curious of this set of remote islands found in between the north Palawan mainland of El Nido and south of Calamianes Archipelago. My curiosity led me to east of El Nido where I had a chance to go island hopping to the southern islands of this famed municipality to see if the claims were true. Are the waters truly clear as they claim?
My inland tour on Samal Island continues. After being amazed by the millions of bats at Monfort Bat Cave, we tracked back at the main road and proceeded to Barangay Peñaplata, where our next stop, the Hagimit Falls can be found. It is one of the well known attractions on the island and is quite accessible by the main road. We reached the entrance gate in less than an hour. There’s a Php 40 entrance fee per person for the upkeep of the resort park. There weren’t many people around since its the weekday.
I made sure I allotted a day to do an inland tour around Samal Island. The objective was to visit a couple of waterfalls and also the famed Monfort Bat Cave which has earned itself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 for having the largest colony of bats in a cave. I must admit, at first my interest wasn’t really sky high on seeing this site as I thought it would just be trivial, but being there changed my opinion of this one-of-a-kind sanctuary.
Camarines Norte has been abuzz lately simply because more people are enjoying the dazzling and fine white sands of Calaguas Islands in Vinzons. But even before Calaguas islands came into the limelight, there were other island gems in Camarines Norte. We were going to Apuao Islands, one of the seven captivating islands off the coast of Mercedes. While not really part of Daet for our #DateinDaet tour, Mercedes is a neighboring municipality, so close its like an extension of Daet at the eastern coast of the province.
It’s a sad sad moment when I was about to leave El Nido. One reason is that I will definitely miss the way of life there and the people I already know. It’s so different from the metro that I know it’ll be a major adjustment. Another is that i somehow failed in my attempt to live there longer. I was willing to live a provincial life but I guess fate has other plans. There were work and opportunities back in Manila that I can pass. And I was really slated to go back home somehow this month of March since most my relatives and siblings will be back home for a reunion. A rare time all siblings will be together.