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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Pandan Island x Apo Reef with Panikian Lake via g@dventuresph

It was the tour that was supposed to e cancelled/postponed due to inclement weather. A storm was ravaging Northern Luzon but Metro Manila and even as far South as Occidental Mindoro was affected. But participant couldn't find common time for reschedule so we convinced the organizer to push through with the trip despite no assurance that we could go to our main destination being Apo Reef which is 3 hours off the coast of Sablayan Occidental Mindoro.

We left Manila Friday night all praying for improved weather but it even worsened the next day. It was so rainy in the early morning we arrived in Sablayan. Our plan b was to stay in Pandan Island which is only 15 minutes away from town. It was here where we stayed for the night thus another hope for improved weather the next day. Again, it failed. But that didn't stop us from having fun.

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We left Manila 9:30 pm. Arrived in Batangas port 12:00 midnight. Everybody's asleep along the way. Boarded RoRo Ferry at 12:30 am and by then the fun started. We were like a bunch of unruly kids, noisy and play by the side of the ferry while other passengers were asleep. We were drinking tequila and chatting and listening to music using Bluetooth speaker. 

Our group was so diverse, people of different backgrounds and humor. The trip normally takes 2 hrs but our ferry was old so it took us three hours to get to Abra de Ilog port. From there our van was waiting and it was another 1.5 hrs to Sablayan. We had a quick breakfast by the public market and off we go to the island.

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Pandan Island is indeed a refuge for travelers set to go to Apo Reef who get stranded due to bad weather. It is not only because of its proximity to the mainland but because it has kubo accommodations. By kubo accommodation I mean the good kind scattered within the lush interior vegetation of the island so you wouldn't notice them from the boat on approach.

They are well spaced too and beautifully made a stay in one would feel like staying in a high-end resort. Basic provisions for electricity, (solar) and freshwater (brackish) but in an island setting like this it would already be a luxury. We brought tents with us but we were thankful for the nipa hut accommodations as it is very inconvenient to camp in a rainy weather.

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Drinking by the Sea
So what do you do if you are stuck in an island which is not your main destination? Make the most out of it! For us lot's of swimming, drinking by the beach and the sea and unlimited volleyball. Pandan Island is popular for sea turtles. The grassy and shallow portions of the island attracts sea turtles. That's supposed to be our consolation but the waters around the island are so disturbed and therefore murky we were not able to spot even one. 

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It pays joining group tours. One doesn't have to worry about cooking food. G Adventures partner in Sablayan was the one who took care of our food delivered in time for breakfast the next day. For dinner we had buffet at Panadan Island's restaurant. Decent food. Very filling. The island is very quiet at night. Sarap.mag.muni-muni. we were out drinking at our cottage and again by the beach. Went to bed around 2am wasted but very happy.

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Volleyball Tournament
But that didn't stop us from going to the sea. We were swimming even when it was raining. It was so fun. We had charades and games in the water, kayaking too! We even set up a table by the shore and and got drunk. Our travel buddies were so funny our jaws got tired laughing. The stormy weather didn't stop us from enjoying.

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Volleyball photos below courtesy of g@dventuresph ^^
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The weather significantly improved the next day but we learned that Coast Guard suspended allowing trips to Apo Reef the whole week due to lingering bad weather. We were to leave after lunch so we had ample time to play volleyball again. To me this was one of the most memorable part of the trip. I learned that I can still play volleyball and I enjoyed it so much. It was not just volleyball, it was playing with lots of laughter in between each hit to the ball. Iba talaga kung subrang kwela ng mga kasama mo.

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Panikian Lake
A bit frustrated but still very happy, we set off to the mainland. Our van was waiting at the market when we arrived. Our tour partner in Sablayan bid us goodbye and we were off to Abra de Ilog port. Along the way we dropped by Panikian Lake. That's where we had a simple meal of pansit and had another round of group photo with the lake as thr setting. Lakas maka-Lake Sebu ng lake na to. Still water. Water lilies all over. A few floating cottages and the serene environment makes for a feel-good beautiful place.

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Photo Courtesy of g@dventuresph ^^
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Back to Manila

The fun didn't stop there. Back to Manila we were again bundled together in the ferry chatting endlessly and drinking again. It is always nice meeting new friends and nurturing old ones. I am looking forward to more trips like this with this group.


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1 comment:

  1. salamat sa pag share sa mga larawan..naka pag volleyball pa...ayos ah..

    ReplyDelete

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