Coron, International, Philippines, Travel

Island Hopping in The Philippines

The last tour that we took during our visit to Busuanga was an island hopping tour.  This is what you do when you go to Palawan–you island hop.  Some people–mostly a lot younger than us–take a more care-free approach to it, and charter a boat for a few days, stopping at whatever island strikes their fancy and staying a day, a night, however long they want.  This sounds fabulous in theory.  I’d love to be that kind of person, but I like an actual bed, and I like to be served while I’m on holiday.  So if there’s no one fixing my dinner, no bed to sleep in, no bathroom, and no A/C, I’m probably not going to enjoy myself as much as I could.  I mean, this hair can’t do without a proper blow dry.  I think that if you don’t need that stuff for a few days, then this is absolutely the way to experience all Palawan has to offer–and at a fraction of the price.

I previously wrote about our Philippines trip in a few separate posts.  (You can catch up  by reading about Tagaytay/Ta’al Volcano, Pagsanhan Falls, where we stayed, and the Coron Island tour by clicking on the links.)  And by the way, it’s my second post in 3 days, which must be some kind of record somewhere.

OK, so back to the island hopping…..we booked this tour through the resort, because, well, it was the only way at this secluded resort!  It was great though.  We were the only ones on this trip, and the guide took us to a couple of different islands not too far from our resort.  The Philippines is made up of about 7000 islands, so we didn’t have to travel far to find one with a beach and a reef.

The area was full of pearl farms.  That floating hut in the picture below is for security.  Armed guards are watching around the clock to make sure no one disturbs the rows of oysters below the floats.

 

Chloe’s in the back, enjoying the view.

 

The cool thing about this tour was its flexibility.  For example, we went to one island, there were two boats there, so he took us to another place.  We appreciated how they tried to maximize our fun.

The first island we stopped at had a huge reef, and a sunken WWII Japanese fighter plane in this little cove.  They said that the men survived and lived on this island undetected for years.

We had this place to ourselves, save one sailboat anchored in the cove.

The water was smooth as glass, and as we approached the shoreline, the size of the reef was revealed.  At first glance it was just gorgeous.  I couldn’t wait to get in the water and explore.

Even in this state, I find it beautiful, but I am just so saddened to see so much of it dead or dying.  There were a lot of fish there, but not as many as you’d expect judging by the size of the reef.

Sunscreen is a major cause for dead or dying coral!  Check your sunscreen for oxybenzone and octinoxate.  Those two chemicals are seriously harmful to both baby coral and mature coral.

OK, I’m done with my PSA for now, but don’t you think those chemicals are probably not that great for humans, too?!

From there we headed for a totally different kind of island.

 

I’M ON A BOAT, MF!!

 

 

 

 

We pulled up to this next island and I was really excited to get out and take some pictures.  Chris is a better photographer than I, so a lot of these are from his iPhone 6S. (It’s funny how that was the most advanced iPhone less than a year ago, isn’t it?)

 

 

 

The clouds made for pretty dramatic scenes.

It was nice just relaxing in the water.  It really was our own private island for a time!

 

This was my favorite view.

 

So, on our way home from this very trip, we saw the below ad in the airport in Phoenix.  It is THE SAME ISLAND!!  I’m convinced, although I don’t have a picture from this same angle.  Our boat was parked off to the left, just where the “L” in travel is located, and those rocks to the right are oriented the same as the island we were on, and Chloe can be seen climbing on them in the pictures above.

I guess this island is no big secret, but it’s so tiny, it’s really amazing to me that AMEX used the same island we were on, among 7000 other islands in The Philippines.

All right, I am milking this trip for every post possible, huh?  I have one more to close out this series–from Makati, the Beverly Hills of Manila.  It’ll be short.

Again, thanks so much for stopping by!

 

Joan

 

 

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