25 February 2011 | coron island, phillipines
I like to ride the local bus. Wherever I go I think ‘screw the air con’ and the very westernly concept of ‘one person, one seat’ and I bear with most of asia’s insane, chaotic organization of public transport. Then I experience what I like to think of as the ‘randomness of it all’. But randomness doesn’t only occur while trying to figure out if me and the rest of the passengers on a crammed colorful bus will eventually make it or if the next cliff will end our trip. And so, the randomness magic struck again about a week ago, in Boracay, the Philippines’ Disneyland. So that night I met Alex and his kick ass crew, witnessed some karaoke talents and an epic version of ‘Light my fire’ thanks to Ben, dragged myself to a few clubs and the next morning I raced to be on time and meet Alex. Got there late but hey, here goes, I made it and hopped on Bubbles with my tiny backpack.
As I had never sailed before, I was given a crash course, a little boat tour, and off we go before the sun goes down. My first sailing night would be to sleepless, cold, rainy and awwww that endless rocking from right to left and back, and again, and higher, and the smell of the engines’s fumes and well the thought that hell, what was I thinking?! But we sailed (well the guys mostly haha) and gladly reached the small port of Coron to enjoy a well deserved morning nap. My memory is a little blurred but I don t quite remember ever being that happy and relieved simply to have my feet touch the ground! So that day I discovered some of Bubbles’ s tricks (the shot glass tied to the swinging stove to apply some pressure and keep the gas running) and the hidden compartments, and let me tell you, Bubbles has nothing to envy to some of Ikea’s ‘frokenlurftag impossible to pronounce weird as Swedish names’ smart piece of furniture! But do not get fooled, getting used to life on a sailing boat ain t that easy! I even had to yell through the toilet hatch for help as I couldn’t open the freaking door and I guess I got a hold of it now, but I ve spend a fair bit of time stuck in there (the ‘head’ as alex call it) , thinking that well at least the view isn t too bad!
From then on, everything just went pretty smooth, apart from the goddam bruises, blame it on my lousy balance, its looks like I am about to turn into a smurf. Anyway, back to Coron where we decided to head to some Hot springs for a relaxing night swim. We survived the hectic and bumpy tricycle ride only to realize that the hot springs had been invaded by Chinese tourists, and had a good laugh while watching them struggle on the slippery rocks, with the exclusive commentaries of our insider, Kirk. However the ‘real shit’ was for the next day when we headed to barracuda and banyan Lakes for a snorkeling session. I am not kidding when I say that it is hard to find places that stunning beautiful, with turquoise waters, surrounded by these gigantic, rugged and yet lush chunks of dark rock but even better was yet to be found. One of nature’s masterpiece, an imperial city under the water, shaped in the rocks throughout the centuries. And we gazed at the miniature castles, amazed at the resemblance between these rocks and the designs of some of the finest architects of history, there was a dream like feeling about it. So I began fantasizing about this under the water city and let my imagination go wild for a little bit, just like when I was a kid and used to day dream about some other galaxies and parallel worlds only this time there was no cranky math teacher to grab me by the arm and shake me awake!! Man that was just awesome, pure bliss.
That same evening, as we were just chilling on Bubbles a few locals waiting for their ferry to depart grew curious about that little sail boat and came to say hi. Alex invited them onboard but the ladies were a bit reluctant, the good thing about it is that philippinos have a very special way of saying no, its hard to describe but it is hilarious and adorable. The other good thing about it is that eventually they jumped in and joined us onboard. I think they liked the boat and they were quite impressed as well that one could actually live on a sailboat, a lady even offered to do our laundry! And then, they invited us on their ferry for a little tour and I think Alex and Kirk had a few thoughts about captaining that liner but no luck, the sailing gear was labeled in Chinese! Ahh the randomness of it all huh!