This post, I realized, will be super long that I could easily make it a short story since I like going into details about stuff. The solution: write about it in 3 parts. So, here’s part 1! I’ll keep it short and suhweet! 🙂
It was past 12 when I got home from our office team’s episode in Star City. I was feeling tired and haven’t packed a single shirt for our weekend trip. So, I mustered every last drop of energy I had and shoved stuff in my bag and hauled myself into a cab and left for the bus station.
I met with the kids at 3 AM feeling woozy and tired. I was not alone. Everyone came from a party, work or whatever so it was easy for us to sleep through the 4 hour trip from Quezon City to Lucena, Quezon Province.
Plus, the bus’ wifi was busted, so, no one was glued to their phones. We woke up at Lucena Grand Terminal and were clueless on how to get to the pier from there. At the terminal, a kuya dispatcher offered to take us to the pier via private air conditioned van for 70 pesos each – compared to riding a 50-peso non-aircon bus, this was sulit!
After an hour of driving down a familiar road (I think we took this route on our Maniuaya trip), we got to the cozy pier of Brgy Aplaya. Before boarding the boat, we had the chance to shop for food and other supplies while at the pier. As per experience, prices double or triple when anything is bought in an island. It is wise to shop for stuff at the pier or market before heading out. So, when we were sure we had everything we needed to survive
overnight in a remote island, we boarded the bang boat to Dampalitan Island. Here we go!
We got to Dampalitan Island a little after 8 AM. We had the island caretaker prepare lunch for us with the seafood we bought at the market. We also started setting up camp but ended up renting a hut with a papag (bamboo slatted floor that doubles as a bed). We feared that it might rain (there was a typhoon in Manila) and the hut was surprisingly cheap. As soon as all the bags, food, and what-not have been set, out came the tequila! Yes!
After a few rounds, lunch came and we couldn’t be happier. We haven’t eaten anything filling since we left Manila. The island lady served us rice, Sinampalukang Halaan (clams in tamarind broth) and Grilled Bangus (milkfish). We had some Grilled Squid, too, but that came like 3 hours later. Why?
After we had our stomachs lined with something, it was back to the hut to carry on with our bottles. Kurt brought this shisha thing, too. It was fun – something new to do while chilling. 🙂
When the sun wasn’t so harsh anymore, we thought we should go out and enjoy the beach. That’s what we were there for after all!
This is the part where Kurt and his camera comes in. Being the vain girlies that we are, he had to endure our every “Kurt! Picture!” We just had to take pictures! pictures! pictures!
But I’m not posting everything, lest you get sick of our faces. :p
Dampalitan was awesome! The sand wasn’t very fine but it wouldn’t scrape you should you decide to dive and roll in it. The place is virginal, almost deserted. Aside from the island lady’s fam, it was just us and another small group of campers. The rock formations looked great, too. The water was clear but crushed corals lined the shallow part which is why we didn’t really chill in the water. I was afraid of the jellyfishies, too. I love beaches like this, no electricity, not crowded, clean and serene. Like you’re stuck in an island with friends and all you gotta do is bum it ’til rescue finds us!
Anyhoo….when we were finally, totally, completely, thoroughly sure that we have captured every moment, pose, facial expression, jump shot height and angle that we wanted to, it was time for dinner. Dinner was quick because we had to finish before the sun completely went down. We were in an island with no electricity. We could only rely on the sky and a bonfire if we ever had the skill to make one. And, you know what, we do! I can’t believe we made our own bonfire this time. Usually, we ask a local to make one for us, but this time, we managed. 10000 points for us!
We got up very early the next day – 5:30 AM. Wow. Well, I always thought that people who live near nature wake up early. I think that it’s just natural when the distractions of city life aren’t there to keep you up late at night or lul you to sleep ’til late in the afternoon. We slumber and rise in accordance to the Sun and Mother Nature’s body clock. Again, wow.. was that deep thinking or hippie philosophy?
The boat we rented for the day came at around 7 AM. They came bearing fresh, drinking water. Perfect! because we were dying of dehydration and we had nothing to brush our teeth with. We were just having breakfast then so we invited Kuya Bankero (boatman) 1 and 2 to join us.
After an hour or two of us scampering around, packing our stuff, taking more pictures (did I mention that we are cam harlots?), and paying the island lady our dues..
We set sail for our next destination. Deets on it here!
BUT before you go there, here are more photos of the beach….aaand of us.