Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Caramoan Adventure:
The Mysterious Milkfish
of Matukad Island

       The second stop in our Caramoan island-hopping adventure is the Island of Matukad. Another place to enjoy nature it its pure form. If you are done swimming in the pristine turquoise waters or sunbathing in the island's expansive sandy front yard,  well there's another thing you can (or must) do in this tropical paradise...

       Something's special about this island and you have to go far off the ground to see it. The word "matukad" is Bicolano for "steep" and a steep climb  is what you will do alright. It's like scaling a 3-storey building.

     At the top you will first be rewarded with an awesome view of the island. That's mainland Caramoan you see way back over there in this picture which is about 1.25 kilometers away.

     You will come to realize that you've just climbed the wall that hides this shallow lagoon. We had to climb down a little to this ledge to get a good view. In this photo, it may not look like but the lagoon is farther down like maybe 8 meters or more.  This is as close as we can get. The tour guides will not allow anyone to go beyond this point.

      So, okay it's another body of water in a small island. What about it?

     You will find here a  large lone milkfish that is maybe 30 inches long or even longer. Yeah it's "bangus" as we call it here. It swims calmly among smaller fishes and I could't tell they are bangus also. The locals say that there used to be a pair of large bangus in the lagoon and that they are more than a hundred years old. A fisherman went to the lagoon, caught one and fed it to his family, and they all died of poisoning. Freaky huh?

      If the tale is true, then the bangus I saw in this island is one very very old fish. How did it get there? How was it able to live that long? Is it the water in the lagoon? Could this lagoon lead to the fabled fountain of youth???


     Well anyway, I didn't want to think too much about the mysterious Matukad Milkfish in this vacation. Thryke, Chogie, Dennis and I climbed back down to the beach to meet our heavier friends (hehe) who were sunbathing while we were checking out the fish. So onto our little boat we went and headed for our third destination - Kagbalinad Island.

      Kagbalinad is another rock island with a relatively small beach area. We didn't set foot on the island but instead jumped off the boat into the water for a swim.

     I'm so glad I brought my diving mask and snorkel with me because  under this part of the waters of Caramoan is a thriving community of marine life. I saw a lot of beautiful corals  and colorful fishes down there. So I really recommend that you bring a diving mask and snorkel, or at least swimming goggles, if you want to see the beauty that not everybody gets to see here.

      While I was enjoying the nice view at the bottom, the rest of my friends are just floating around in their life-vests, chatting the afternoon away until it was time to head back for the mainland.

     And so that, my dear readers, sums up Day One of our Caramoan Adventure. Three islands that day: Lahos, Matukad and Kagbalindad. Watch out for the next! ^_^   

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