2015 had been so amazing (and so swift); even I am still caught in a whirlwind. But one that has been personally and professionally rewarding. I shall then start off 2 0 1 6 here, fresh from where I trailed off... I too am aware of the backlog of stories I can't wait to share! Right now I'm hurting my back a little from the chilly winter weather and spending too much time in front of the computer. Which takes me back to where I'd rather be - in the water, feeling the warmth of the sun, chasing whalesharks.
Honestly, it's been in my long bucketlist to "swim with the butanding" in Oslob, Cebu. But a wishlist is just a list until you actually make it come to life and becomes one. hell. of an adventure. Plus the amazing people you are with and making new friends. Cebu wouldn't be complete without having their famous lechon for dinner upon arriving the city. We took a 3 hour bus ride and spent the night in Argao Bureau of Fire Protection Station (Yes, you read that right! Thanks to AteYan ) Finding a one-night-only shelter in the barracks of our fire fighters. We didn't waste any time and set off again way before sunrise for another 3 hour bus ride from Argao down South of Cebu to Oslob. And there we were, at the MB's Sunrise View Resort. But first, a briefing before getting too close with the giants.
The encounter with these wonderful creatures is a lifetime worth of experience forever etched in my memory. It was terrifying, at first, seeing them in all their glory (I had a photo that looks like a clip from the Jaws movie!) But then, it was too magical to be scary. I felt happy and alive swimming right next to them and they don't even mind you being there. Just letting you be. A true gentle giant.
I had to catch and hold my breath for a few seconds chasing them around. Then realizing that you are surrounded by a number of them. Props to our team of boat men who I know are so hard working and kind (shoutout to Kuya Ryan!) who just took my camera and started taking our pictures which came out so beautifully! I'd have to say, don't just try to take pictures with them but swim with them. Time and again, I am so proud of what we have in our very own backyard. How there is so much in our own home! (Ato ni 'bai! Atin 'to!) I am so thankful to my fellow "backpacker", mermaid and Ate Ann for this dream come true She is truly deserving of the "Travel Buddy of the Year" Award. Haha! Thank you also Mr. Butanding for your life and making my love for the ocean even bigger! When the time came for us to go, I couldn't help but look back.