This is My Psychosis
Finally! I got the chance to go to a place that I love… The Beach! It was a long weekend and I have been dreaming of the sand, sea and waves. Plans before have never pushed through and I was really feeling like an albino (even though, I’m not even white-skinned) but finally, the heavens opened up and declared it a beach day! What’s even better is that it was decreed to be a 2 day love affair with the sea! So, where to go? Well, since we had our own transportation, we decided to try the remote, secluded and far beach cove named Cannibad.
I have always been curious of how it looked like and since I have been hearing nothing but praises for it, I decided to suggest the place and everyone agreed. We decided to do a bit of research, relying on trusted Google to show us the specs and photos. We “oohed” and “aahed” at the spectacular pictures we found. We even read a blog that told us of a person’s experience and what we should not forget to bring. Of course, we took the advice to heart and we felt that we were prepared enough for our excursion.
The day started with us waking up to our LSS (Last Song Syndrome) “Someone Like You” by Adele. We brushed our teeth, ate an apple for breakfast (er…other way around) and waited for our very nice and wonderful “driver!” Finally, with everything ready, we decided to hit the market -but changed our minds since someone had to get something at the mall. Hence, we went a little over budget on the food! However, we still were in high spirits. Excited and thrilled because of the adventure. We were pretty eager to get lost and find the cove without a map or a guide. It was everyone’s first time…and we got lost. Yes, we have not even left Davao -we already got lost! It was my bad since we were quite distracted by a convoy of annoying SUV’s with dignitaries, speeding off (120 KM?) to the airport. Our wise driver decided to follow since our vehicle fit right in -we were riding in a White Pajero- which fits nicely with the SUV convoy. So, instead of taking the Lanang-Sasa route, we took the diversion road…and made a wrong left turn. We were headed to PANABO instead of Sasa Wharf. Long story short, we blame everybody else but not ourselves!
Finally, we did a U-turn and ended up at Sasa Warf where we took the barge. The barge ride costs around 250 and then there’s a 10 pesos fee for the passengers. All in all, we paid 290Php. Once we landed on the island, we decided to ask one of the authorities on the wharf for directions. He confidently told us to go left and just head straight and follow the signs. After thanking him profusely, we proceeded to getting lost.
Yes, he gave us the wrong direction! At least, partially. One, there were no SIGNS! The left turn was accurate but the rest was not! Fortunately, there were people we could ask along the way. Let’s just say we asked about around 5 or so people -tricycle drivers, store owners and passers-by. Finally, on the right track, we proceeded in finding this remote island paradise. It was a freaking long, long, long winding road! I did not expect it to be that far and that the road was going to be filled with sharp rocks and a slippery slope. We were so grateful and thankful that it did not rain since it would have added more difficulty for us. My advice to those who are bringing their own vehicles for this kind of adventure is that they should bring an SUV and they should have good tires! Keep an eye on your vehicles temperature as it might overheat because of the inclines. Slow, steady and safe will get you there alive -a bit longer, but it’s safer.
Finally, we saw a curled or twisted up sign that said Welcome to Cannibad Island. We rejoiced and readied ourselves for the 10 minute descent that we read about. We thought it was going to be a pretty easy way down but then again, we were never right on most of our assumptions. Yes, it was a treacherous, dangerous, X-factor-type-of-stairway! The cliff was steep and the make-shift stairs (made of rocks, shells and wood) was not going to make things any easier. However, our concern was not really on the fact that we might slip, fall down and break every bone in our body -no, we were actually thinking of how it would be like to trek back up when it was time to go home.
We touched base which is made of sand and a lot of smooth stones! It was wonderful and highly secluded. We were in our own little paradise! It was worth the rolling and life-and-death scenario! The beach was heavenly and it was untouched by civilization (at least, that’s what we feel about it!) We wanted to jump in and soak in the salt water but we had to prep for the night!
We had two options – 1,000php cottage or the 200php. Of course, we were on a budget so we chose the latter. It was okay since we were not planning on doing some real “sleeping” at all. There were other cottages by the other end of the shoreline and the place looked more “up to date” but we preferred the remoteness and the “Survivor” feel of where we were situated. Let’s just say one of us wanted to do some hacking and burning and fishing for our own food type of scenario! (And hack he did!) We would not have survived without his “Boy scout skills!”
We were still waiting for our other friends but we decided to just go ahead and try the water. It was divine! Although, you just have to be careful since the land is quite steep. The rock and sand bottom quickly descends downwards where there are really nice corrals and fishes. We got there late in the afternoon so it was a bit scary and we did not dare venture further since the caretaker told us that the sea current can pull you down without any warning. After a few hours in the water, we decided to start building our campfire so we can barbecue pork chops and fish. You can actually get the caretakers to cook your rice for you. It’s 30php for every batch!
I suggest that you learn bonfire lighting skills if you plan to sleep overnight. You can get the kids to help you gather dried coconut leaves and start one but where’s the fun in that, right? Do like we did! Scavenged! Hacked! Blow! Use Alcohol (when all else fails LOL!) After the mumbo-jumbo about fire, we finally got the perfect heat (combination of charcoal, dried palm leaves, coconut husk and some bamboo) We wanted to keep it natural and not use the plastic bags. Soon, we were roasting my perfectly marinated pork chops! Let’s just say it disappeared like the wind carried it!
It is unwise to go there during night time. Although you can get motorcycle drivers to take you to the place, it is quite scary and dangerous -not to mention expensive. A motorcycle ride can cost a minimum of 200php. Plus, the stairway going to the shore is pretty tricky in the dark. A funny thing happened because our boys had to go up and fetch the late comers. They had a flashlight, unfortunately, it lost battery power in the middle of the climb. The caretaker shouted “Crawl! Crawl! Don’t go near the edges, just crawl!” He then lit a match stick and said “Memorize the way!” When the match sizzled off, he then shouted “Crawl!” Yes, it seems really funny and hysterical but it is highly dangerous. Good thing nothing bad happened to them. So, if you are planning to visit the place, make sure you arrive while the sunlight is strong to avoid accidents.
We then had fun and we lit a lantern and sent it up to the sky. Soon, we were telling ghost stories and laughing like loons. We took our mats and lay down the stony beach (it was not uncomfortable at all -trust me! But if you want, you can also bring your own tent -they only charge 50php for it!) The stars were awesome and we saw a couple of falling ones. We did what friends do best -bonded! We were lulled into a lazy state by the wind and the sound of the crashing waves. We drifted off to sleep but woke up at dawn to laugh and make jokes. Unfortunately, we could not watch the sun rise since it was a cloudy day. But I bet it would have been glorious!
The day was spent swimming and meeting our untimely discomfort due to jellyfish! We were foolish enough to take a dip around 6:30 am and with the current pretty strong, the jellyfish were floating just near the shore. We encountered some and got stung but it was okay and nobody was injured or anything. We just decided to wait it out until the water was a little less crazy. We then decided to go boating! We rented small boats and paddles for 100php/hour! It was fun! We had to steer and paddle on our own and learn how at the same time! We were able to see huge corrals and different fishes as we paddled out to the open pacific sea! It was a workout to remember but so much fun!
Finally, our hour was up but the owners of the small boat decided to give us an extension and we took it to Mermaid’s cove. There we enjoyed the sanctuary and just had fun in the water. Finally, we decided to take another tour a little further around the island, just paddling and exploring. We never expected to have so much fun! Since the water was just the right depth and distance, we decided to return the boat and go snorkeling. It was pure bliss! We saw a whole new world with different sea creatures! We were able to wade into the deep parts where the corrals thrived and the sea current seemed to be cooperating as all of us enjoyed the scenery below. Sigh! The wonders of God’s creation indeed!
It was truly a great experience not just because of the beauty and wonders of nature but because I was with great people!
My next blog will probably be about what and what not to bring … so, this is quite long -it’s time to quit!
Until the next adventure!
P.S. I Love You