Driving to Cambugahay Falls from the Cantabon Caves, you’d have the opportunity to pass through the Bandilaan National Park, a forest reserve under the jurisdiction of DENR. It’s just a tiny patch of green on the island map; you’d be able to drive through it in a matter of minutes. The area is said to contain the best remaining forest of Siquijor, and indeed the amount of roadside greenery noticeably increases as you enter the bounds of the reserve.
A steel viewing platform has been constructed at the peak of Mt. Bandilaan, easily accessible from the road through a short uphill walk (my thigh muscles, still recovering from the 2-hour journey through Cantabon, were beginning to complain at this point). The view from the platform, alas, was partially obstructed by nearby greenery which actually rose above the structure, so you don’t get a full 360-degree view (Boo for the foresight of the builders but hurrah for the greenery. Of course, we weren’t about to demand that trees be cut down at the national park just so we could have an unobstructed view). One can still look out though, and spend a few minutes meditatively studying the sea in the horizon.
Past the Bandilaan National Park one descends upon a series of rolling hills with decidedly lesser vegetation. We encountered a group of bikers at this point, very friendly ones who actually stopped to turn and wave when they saw me trying to take pictures as our vehicle sped along.
For a couple of weeks now, my desktop wallpaper at the office has been featuring a series of photos taken during our trip to Dumaguete and Siquijor. You know, the beach, mountain sceneries type. It’s supposed to relax me, give me something pleasant to look at every once in a while during the day. On the contrary, though, it’s contributing to my stress. Every time I see the shots in all their 1280 x 1084 glory I am immediately filled with anguish. I’d sniff, and whimper, “I should be there. I don’t want to be here working on these reports. I wanna go back!”
Who wouldn’t whimper? Look!
These are the glorious kayaks that were amazingly available for free at the Coral Cay Resort in Siquijor. I think the management decided to provide the kayaks to resort customers for free (you just have to sign them out) because their while the beach is very pretty, the water actually hosts a thriving seagrass ecosystem, and unless you fancy an intimate encounter with a jellyfish or a sea urchin, swimming is not a very attractive option. Even if you snorkel to observe the marine life, tips of seagrass would reach out and tickle your belly, and there’s only so much of that you’ll be able to take. The kayaks, on the other hand, were very attractive, and saved us from regretting our choice of resort. They have a pool for swimming anyway, he he. It was my first time to try my hand at kayaking too, and I am pleased to report that no, I did not send myself tumbling among the numerous sea urchins festooning the seafloor waiting for me to make a fool out of myself.
So now I look at pictures of those kayaks and go, wouldn’t it be nice to just paddle out to sea, lie back, rest my hands under my head, and just – be?
I got C+ in this Lakbayan test on “How much of the Philippines have you visited?” Latest addition was Siquijor island just this previous weekend, on which I’ll be blogging hopefully within the week, he he.
Obvious facts: I’ve never been to Palawan, my Mindanao exposure is pathetic, and I should definitely push through with a long-delayed Aurora trip.
C plus. This score definitely needs improvement. I actually though I’d do worse. But there’s no way to go but up 🙂
My Lakbayan grade is C+!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.
(Updated. I was C+ before but apparently the system was revised so I retook the test and went up to C+. Still. I want more travel 🙂
So what’s your score?
I have been quite remiss in posting in my blog for a couple of weeks now, but in the meantime I did manage to write the introductory note and a new post in “Samu’t-Saring Buhay,” a group blog on Philippine Biodiversity. It’s still quite a young endeavor, with the first post coming out last May 22, the International Day of Biodiversity. The current crop of bloggers are composed of friends and contacts in the community of conservation workers. Some, like myself, are not even actually in conservation work full-time at the present, but are still eager for an opportunity to still be immersed in that world. On the other hand, some are not even that familiar with the blogging medium, but are eager to share their work in biodiversity conservation work and are hoping to find kindred souls and converts. I’m quite proud to be part of this new blog, and hopeful that it will do its part in helping to spread to spread awareness on biodiversity conservation.