October 30, 2016.
And thus continues our Iloilo escapade.
After a tiring day of travel, we finally got the chance to explore the North Gigantes Island. Our wake up time was 5 AM. However, things weren’t looking up as the rains started dampening our soaring spirits. Dark clouds and moderate to heavy rains greeted us upon waking up. The island hopping, which is the highlight of the package, is scheduled today.
The entire pack of travelers we are with began fervently praying for the clouds to clear up, to give us a chance to accomplish what we came for. Unfortunately, as fate have it, we aren’t going to get a positive answer any sooner.
Nonplussed by the weather, we braved the on and off rains to go to our first stop of the day, the lighthouse at the tip of the island. It wasn’t until we reached the drop off point that the rain picked up. We rode at the back of the motorcycle to reach our destination which is about 15 minutes from our lodging. As the rain started to fall heavily, we sought refuge on the shades of the trees.
When the rain started to slow down, we descended to the lighthouse. Due to the rains, the path is slippery and muddy, thus caution is imperative. But then the rain started picking up, again. The tour guide of a pair of our fellow travelers improvised and cut the leaf of the banana to serve as umbrella for his ward. My friend and I, on the other hand, just braved the rain, not caring the least if we’ll end up soaking wet.
And just when we thought that there was no reprieve, we reached our destination. Luckily, the lighthouse is open. We now have a legitimate shelter from the rain. When we got there, some of our fellow travelers apparently got stuck because of the rain. For an hour or so, the rain wrecked havoc on our opening salvo.
While waiting for the rain to stop, we toured around the old lighthouse. The old lighthouse is an 18th century Spanish structure and is currently being renovated into a museum. A major broadcasting network is extending help to rehabilitate and renovate the old lighthouse.
Inside the lighthouse, we saw trinkets made from shells. One can immediately distinguish how intricately these were prepared. I am not sure, however, if these handicrafts are for sale. When the rain subsided, we took the opportunity to take pictures outside.
Once we’ve had our fair share of photos, we climbed back up to the drop off point. Thankfully, the rain has relented and the skies started opening up. Besides, we need to return to our lodge to have our breakfast before embarking on our adventures for the rest of the day..
On our way back, we saw again trinkets made of seashells. To our great surprise, we learned that these trinkets were handcrafted by the children residing in the area. They the seashells, including some conch shells, from the seashore then turn them into intricate handicrafts. This is how the children here spend their free time, quite a disparity from how the children in the urban areas spend theirs.
On the way back to our lodging, I noted how the pathways were made of discarded shells. It became evident, it was from scallops that the residents of the island earn their income. Vestiges of scallops are evident anywhere we step in the island. Who’d have thought that one can make a pathway primarily of the scallop’s discarded shells?
Before my imagination draws me further away, we reached our lodge where my friend and I heartily shared our pre-prepared breakfast. Unsurprisingly, our menu is comprised mainly of harvests from the deep. Uhm.
To be continued.