Surprise Paradise

Water. Islands. Fish. Water. White Sand. Pink Sand and…more Water.

I grew up in a place near the Pacific Ocean (Gubat, Sorsogon, Phiippines), where people who seldom go to beaches find themselves suddenly appreciating why the earth is called the “little blue planet”. But for me, it’s just a part of my life that I got used to and eventually didn’t appreciate it as much as tourists do. To point out what I’m trying to say, I grew up getting used to beaches and sand and shells and more sand, that being in the city amazes me more than staying back home and sitting by the shore literally a sitting duck like what I’ve been doing on weekends while I was growing up.

When I started to be ‘urbanized’, there were times where the beach near our home became a refuge for me, a place to retreat and be in respite from anything unpleasant. It became a sanctuary.

Now that I live in the city for college, any place where wind is blowing in a gentle breeze and the color blue is emphasized, I suddenly feel like I miss the beach. I realized how much the sea calms my nerves and gives me a kind of adventure where I start being curious to what lies down under the sea. I want to dive. I want to feel the ocean at my feet while I walk by the shore. These are the things that I seldom do now, especially now that I’m far away from this rural yet heavenly paradise.

Since it’s summertime, me and my family felt the need for a vacation. Though sudden, we went to a place we’ve never been to; a paradise that’s been hiding under our noses this whole time while I was growing up.

It’s at a place a couple of kilometers away from our hometown, familiar among tourists nowadays and acclaimed to be ‘one of the best places to spend the summer’. I took some photos for you to see.

The boat can carry about a dozen people. The whole trip would be worth it if you carried a whole bunch of friends or family.
The boat can carry about a dozen people. The whole trip would be worth it if you carried a whole bunch of friends or family.

The town that owned the island paradises we went to is called, Matnog. Matnog is a place at the end of South Luzon (for everyone’s information, the Philippines has three large islands: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao), so naturally, these are where the ports are that can take you to the next big island, that is ‘Visayas’. But within the town’s vicinity, there are islands near and a bit far away from the coastal area that now, are being advertised to tourists because they discovered how beautiful these virgin islands were with there sandy white beaches and the rock formations and the clear blue water near those islands. The photo above was the boat that took us to the islands and it could carry at least a dozen people.

The transition of the blue colors by the shore is breathtaking in person.
The transition of the blue colors by the shore is breathtaking in person.
The rock formations on some of the islands are really impressive.
The rock formations on some of the islands are really impressive.

The travel by sea on a boat almost seemed like forever. But I had fun and didn’t feel seasick at all. But not all of us were enjoying the rhythm of the ocean. But when we saw an island being hidden by another one, we came across this:

Even from afar, you can see how white the sand is by the beach. Wait till you see how PINK it really is.
Even from afar, you can see how white the sand is by the beach. Wait till you see how PINK it really is.

As far as I’ve heard from other people who visited this place already, there was an island with, they said, had pink sand. At first I was skeptical. So when the boatman mentioned this was the island with pink sand, it became an opportunity for me to investigate whether or not this ‘pink sand’ is authentic or not, because as I far I see when I was in the boat, it was WHITE sand, not pink. But when we came closer, I dropped my jaw at how real it really was. It wasn’t that pink, but among the natural white sand, were pink particles mixed along with it that when wet, the water and the sand turns literally, PINK.

It was amazing. It may not be really visible on the photos but probably in-person, you might drop your jaw too.

The sand, in general, was still white. But the amazing part is, there were pink particles mixed into the sand glistening that when wet, the shore becomes literally pink.
The sand, in general, was still white. But the amazing part is, there were pink particles mixed into the sand glistening that when wet, the shore becomes literally pink.

Let me tell you, I took a dive at the beach and I’ll tell you, the water was amazing to feel. The water was cool enough to feel under the summer sun and swimming there felt exhilarating. The water was clear and blue like the sky. The fee to pay was worth a day of sight-seeing, swimming and island-hopping, as some may call it. But because of my dad’s knowledge of what the place offers, he said to the boatman to take us where the fish sanctuaries are. So we went there and had fun feeding the fishes.

This is where the boat took us next after swimming and diving by the other island. This is the entrance to the fish sanctuaries near another island.
This is where the boat took us next after swimming and diving by the other island. This is the entrance to the fish sanctuaries near another island.
There were a variety of fish by the fish sanctuaries on one of the islands.
There were a variety of fish by the fish sanctuaries on one of the islands.
There were edible fishes, but no tourist is allowed to get one or catch one. It's for viewing purposes only.
There were edible fishes, but no tourist is allowed to get one or catch one. It’s for viewing purposes only.
The place has this mini-piers where you can stand on and look at the fishes. Tourists can feed the fishes with fish food provided by the entrance of the fish sanctuary.
The place has this mini-piers where you can stand on and look at the fishes. Tourists can feed the fishes with fish food provided by the entrance of the fish sanctuary.

After a fun day doing all this for at least 3 hours, we had a little side-trip down by the lake by the volcano. Yup, a volcano. Google, “Mt. Bulusan”. There’s a lake there that’s popular when it comes to boat riding or renting canoes and those pedal boats.

We took a side-trip on the way home to a lake. We passed by the Bulusan lake that's just by the foot of the volcano, Mt. Bulusan.
We took a side-trip on the way home to a lake. We passed by the Bulusan lake that’s just by the foot of the volcano, Mt. Bulusan. This is my dad, by the way.

One of the things I love is nature. I love hiking and appreciating the green and blue stuff that make the world beautiful as it is. Probably why I didn’t get seasick so much because I enjoyed the waves and the boat going along or against it; the water splashing over you, the boat’s engine as it goes to the islands and a lot more to appreciate.

I’m an adventurous person, and I enjoy being on water, getting exhausted with hiking, the wet rock that almost gave you a slip…that’s how you appreciate nature: not in photos or advertisements, but going there to see it for yourself, where danger is present but everything is worth it.

You just gotta love the earth. And I’m hoping for the next trip in probably, Caramoan or hiking by the volcano in Bulusan. That’s going to be one hell of a ride. 🙂

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