Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stored Treasure: Dolphin Watching and the Shouts and Silence it Bring -- Dolphin Watching at Pamilacan Island, Bohol


Stored Treasure / 02 June 2010

When I first visited Bohol in 2001, I was already told to never fail to do dolphin watching at Pamilacan Island but due to time constraints then, I wasn't able to do as advised.  Nine years after, I went back to this paradise island and made sure that I together with the rest of the gang will be able to see dolphins in the wild.  We were first asked to choose between dolphin watching and snorkeling but we decided to maximize the trip and do both. =)  And fortunately, the stars alligned to our favor, and granted our wish! =) 

On May 27, 2010, at around 5:30 AM, we headed to a small boat docked at the white beach of Bohol Beach Club.  After wearing our life vests, the small boat sailed the tranquil bay with the serene blue sky and slowly rising glow of sun as the backdrop.  After less than 10 minutes, we transferred to a bigger boat that brought us to the deep blue sea where the dolphins might be patiently waiting.

Then after around 15 minutes, we heard the boat driver shouted, "Ayun! (There it is)".  And we immediately witnessed another spectacular performance orchestrated by mother nature.  And as I have always said to the Boholanos I meet, the island province is rich and blessed.

At first we saw big dolphins one by one, and about two or three of them are swimming alongside our boat!  We all shouted for joy, cheered the marine wonders and jumped in a way that we won't fall off from the boat.  Then as we moved around, we saw more dolphins, this time a little smaller than the first ones we saw, all swimming in synchrony.  A few playfully jumped and twirled as if they knew we were watching them with enjoyment and as if they were making a show sans the man made structures and animal trainors.

I guess we stayed at the dolphin area for around 45 minutes and headed to the marine sanctuary located in nearby Balicasag Island afterwards. Watching the dolphins brought out the children in us but as we sailed away from the playful sea mammals, we were again mesmerized, this time by the cool gentle breeze touching and kissing our skin and the panoramic view of the serene water, sky and horizon being photographed before our eyes.  For us who are pressed to live and survive the stressful and catastrophic life in Manila, the brief encounter with the sea and sky provided us a therapeutic relief -- it calmed our mind, cleansed our spirit and rejuvinated our body.

In my interview before with the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems, I learned that humans are deeply drawn to nature; we find joy in having picnics under the trees, walking along the beach, or simply basking in the beauty of nature. 

Well, I guess, we really are connected to the ecosystem that's why it's our instinct to always look for these kind of activities because we find and gain strength in being close to nature.

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