Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Caramoan Adventure:
The Beguiling Island of Bagieng

      This island is the first destination for Day 2 of my Caramoan island-hopping adventure, with 6 of my friends, that took place early in May this year. We set out early that day from  Bikal Boat Terminal and arrived at Bagieng Island around 10 AM and that gave us plenty of time to enjoy nature... such as  feeling the warmth of the morning sun while sitting on a big rock facing an aquamarine sea.

     Bagieng Island is relatively large compared to the 3 islands we visited on our first day. This island has an expansive low terrain that's covered with grass, bushes and small trees. If you love hiking, then this island is for you. It's also a good place for camping, says Mike our tour guide, he has spent some nights here with his friends.

     If I'm not mistaken, Sabitang Laya is the rocky islet that is attached  to the Eastern corner of Bagieng Island. The rock formations here are quite interesting, in one area you will find massive rocks that stands vertically, like ancient monoliths. The name "sabitang laya", by the way, means "net hanger". Mike said  that this used to be a place where fisherman hang their nets to prepare it for usage or storage.

     When we got here we saw a white guy carrying a palm tree trunk. Our eyes followed him and saw that there are people building a cabin and a ledge, also a high scaffolding at the water.  We realized that they are the production crew of Survivor, the American competitive reality TV series that introduced our beautiful Caramoan Islands to the world.

      Some areas are already off-limits to visitors, like Gota Beach, a cove in the mainland Caramoan. I guess we're lucky Sabitang Laya is still open for tourists that day. It would be a shame not to allow a local to have full access to the islands of his own country because of a foreign game show.

     Anyway, me and my friends had our own Survivor Games LOL. Really. We had predetermined games in every island. There were 7 of us, so 2 groups with 3 members and one host - Thryke, it was all his (bright) idea haha. Games include some puzzles, like deciphering a riddle written in Alibata; some races, like first to fill a cup with sea water using just your hands; and other challenges, like longest to keep balance in a human pyramid.

     We actually even have our own Immunity Idol (which is just a wooden statuette I grabbed at home), and of course our own Immunity Necklace which I made from mahogany pods and large wood beads. No, we're not too serious about this game LOL.

     This certainly isn't a place to be serious unless it's about serious fun and awesomeness. And what's really awesome is that we seem to have this beach all for ourselves that time. Where were the other tourists? Maybe on the other side of Bagieng Island?

Up next: Where all the other tourists were.

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