08 February 2012

DAY 4- Hop-hop-hopping around Guimaras' Islands! (The Bacolod-Guimaras-Iloilo Trip)

The 4th day and final day of our Bacolod-Guimaras-Iloilo trip. This morning of island-hopping is definitely not the last because it is the 2nd to the last in our itinerary set. It's not the end yet. Our flight was at 7:30pm later this day. But that is still a long way to go and still so many hours to spend enjoying what's left of our Visayas trip.

But in actuality, what I said was not the truth. We just have like 3hrs to do the island hopping. I have planned a quickie itinerary in Iloilo that reaches far in the province. This trip of ours is really fast-paced! Action-packed! We woke up early, it rained hard during the night and when we looked outside our room, it was so serene. After having coffee, we immediately started the boat trip.

So here's what happened, see photos below:

From this distance, I thought this was just one island. And it resembles a turtle or lizard so I initially thought, this was already Turtle Island. 
But it's not. That whole length was 3 islands all in all, with some small inlets  sprinkling at the sides. Amazing!
This is TURTLE ISLAND! Look at that water! And the sand! So inviting. 
See these gentle sea creatures? Let's help protect them so they could still be appreciated by more generations to come.  If I remember correctly, we paid an 'entrance' fee here of P5 or P10. A very low price in return for the experience of being close to them and to actually touch them.
Don't be deceived. He/She was heavy and it kept on wagging its head and legs. I'm not going to hurt you, just wanted to have my photo taken with you. =) My best picture with him/her. 
Next stop: AVE MARIA ISLAND. Since we arrived very early, we were the first visitors, I think. We had the island to ourselves. We tested the waters and it was a bit rocky but still the water was so clear. I just sat in the water near the shore and small fishes were taking a bite of my legs. It actually hurts, those very small bites. But it was okay, the experience is branded in my mind. =)

No one taking our pic so we just propped the camera on top of a small boulder and voila! Best effort! 
Still in the vicinity of Ave Maria Island. My friends wanted to snorkle, which they did.  I did not  join them as  I was feeling a bit under the weather so not to spoil the day for us if I got sick, I just volunteered to man the boat and be their photog. 
I'm actually envious of their experience. Haha! 
Not a lot of fishes that day but there were still some Nemos around, they said. Our  bangkero  informed us that we have to  move on to the next destination and leave Ave Maria as the tides are lowering down fast which will make it difficult for them to manoeuvre the boat. 
At this point, we were on to our next destination. There are lots of small islands in this province. 

A shallow part. See the sea plants?
Next stop: SEAFDEC (Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center)
The skies got darker the moment we arrived at SEAFDEC and we knew that rain was  fast approaching so we have to make the most out of this place. There was Kuya Ramil who gave us quick lessons on what SEAFDEC's purpose is which is to study aquaculture in this region. He gave us a tour of the fish pens here. He is so knowledgeable that it was hard to believe that he does not have a degree on this study. But since he spends most of his time here, he got very well-acquainted with the matters-at-hand. 
The first and most marvelous study..this very large Lapu-Lapu! It was said to be so heavy, around more than a hundred kilos and this fish is already a carnivore. When you see this in personal, it's really huge! Kuya Ramil said that this fish can still be eaten , however, it's not that tasty compared to its more normal-sized kin. 
Penned together with the giant Lapu-Lapu but the huge fish does not touch this one because it is poisonous so he is very safe from the jaws of the Lapu-Lapu. 
Watching the Lapu-Lapu. It was hard to veer away from this fish as he is the most magnificent in the whole area. 
Other fishes that were abundant in their pens. I remember that there was a turtle here but he was deep in hiding below. We just caught a glimpse of him about once or twice. 
Very attentive students! That's us. =)
Feeding time! Takaw
Fishes here, there and everywhere! Hope it stays that way forever! =)
Kuya was so tireless in explaining the basics to us. For sure he does this to all visitors. Kudos to you for having the kind patience to answer all our queries. 
Before conclusion of the lessons for the day, Kuya informed us about this strange  sea creature that fetches a high price in the market. I find it yucky-looking but I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to touch it so I had it placed in my palm. It was soft and squishy and slimy. Kuya said we can taste it. Now that is something I could not do, yet. But for 2 of my companions, they did it! They popped it in their mouths and ate it. Eeew but so cool of them for having the guts to do it. 

My facial expression says what I think about this creature (too bad I forgot its name). =)
Overall take: Even if we just had a few hours to do this island-hopping trip, it was so fun and worth it. It's always like this when you're having fun, time flies so fast. Tempus Fugit! It was very hard to say we had to go back to the resort to prep ourselves in going back to Iloilo but well, we still had so many places to go to in Iloilo so that is still something to look forward to. I really did my research well in this trip and Iloilo is the conclusion. Love it! =)

For more posts on this trip, check these out: 
Day 1-Jomabo Island (Escalante City)
Day 1-Silay's Ancestral houses & San Diego Pro-Cathedral Church 
Day 1-Silay's El Ideal Bakery 
Day 1-The Ruins..Talisay's pride 
Day1-Bacolod's food feasts 
Day2-Mambukal Mountain Resort 
Day 2-Bacolod's famous Chicken Inasal 
Day 2-Iloilo's nightlife at Smallville 
Day 3-Guimaras Day Tour 
Day 3-Ziplining at Camp Alfredo 
Day 3-Guimaras' Villa Igang Resort at Alubihod Beach 
Day 4-Iloilo's Heritage Churches 
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