The beauty of the 7000 plus islands of the Philippines is not just in the palm trees, white sand, blue blue waters, it’s also under the water. There is a whole world that exists buts a few feet below the surface.
You can take a day or two to hire a Bangka, get some people together and spend the day snorkelling off the islands or from the boat, as you do some island hopping. The boat will bring food, make a fire on a deserted island and you can eat by the sea having already enjoyed some of the joys of the water. Eating like that is great feeling, sitting out of the heat of the sun but in the open air, a breeze, good Filipino food and exquisite scenery. If you want you can stay alone on the island overnight and feel the Robinson Crusoe desert island feeling.
If you can swim you can snorkel. There are plenty of places for serious divers to enjoy the oceans but if you are not at that level snorkelling is an equally enlightening and enervating way to spend the day. The boatmen have all the experience necessary to show you the best places and to guide the nervous. A girl I saw who was nervous, just had a line attached to her and the boatman guided her through underwater world.
Anyone who has looked under water will tell you that the surface is like a ceiling, that lets in light, but that it’s is also a barrier to the world you have come from and enables you to feel ensconced in the new world you are discovering. The colours below the surface different but they merge and exist according to an order that nature intended.
The silence and sense of being encased in water, makes you conscious only of your own movement and that of the water around you. It’s a place where you can feel that ignorance really is bliss, because despite what may be a complete lack of any knowledge of what is there, of any names or description, you can marvel at the beauty, the novelty, undersea brilliance, the shapes, the relationship of one thing to another and watch tiny fish of myriad special colours find their way in their world.
The world of the tiny camera means we can bring some of those memories home with us and, if really interested, start to find out what its all about, but if not they remind you that you have been to a completely other world which is around us all the time