It has been a tradition for most Filipinos to escape somewhere during the annual observance of Holy Week. Some go on religious excursions and take part of traditions observed by their church. Admittedly, I am not much of a religious lot so instead of going to church, I mostly go out-of-town and relax on the beach. This year, I tagged along with some friends on a trip to Polillo Island.

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The first half of our group went ahead on Holy Thursday. I was flying home from my Indochina trip on the dawn of Good Friday so Chris had to wait for me and we would just travel a day behind. Upon landing, I went home, swapped backpacks and made my way to Quezon.

Now, Good Friday in the Philippines is called “patay na araw” which literally translates to A DEAD DAY. Everything stops – shops close, malls close, and worse, no transportation. We overlooked this fact and that led to a lot of misadventures. Long story short: we were not allowed by the Coast Guard to travel to Polillo that day.

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Through all the commotion, we met a bunch of surfers who were kind enough to take us back to their surf camp. It ended up as a happy accident after all, will tell you the story in a separate post. We spent the night in tents and made our way back to the port at the crack of dawn. We finally made it on the first boat out to the island and literally met the rising sun.

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The boat had an upper seating area and as if by some magic, everyone in our group gravitated towards the front deck. We put on some reggae music, dangled our feet down and watched the rising sun. It was so calm, a stark difference from the previous day’s chaos.

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After over an hour, we finally reached Polillo. We reunited with our other friends and sadly had to part ways with our new-found surfer friends. They were in search for waves and weren’t really interested with island hopping. Our group continued on with more travel and rented tricyles that would take us to the town of Burdeos where we would board another boat to take us to the islands. When we got to the pier, I got super excited to get back to the water upon seeing another huge boat.

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Imagine my disappointment when the boatmen insisted that we take the small ones instead.

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See what I mean?!? We got the dinky, little boats instead of the fancy looking bigger one. Oh well…

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We spent quite a while in the ocean, circumnavigating island after island after island. I was honestly getting bored after some time and I was just itching to be on land. Finally, we moored on the shores of Anilon Island.

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According to our boatman, Anilon Island is the best beach in the area and a favorite place of many locals for picnic and beach excursions.

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It is a beautiful island surrounded by fine sugary sand. Its waters were calm and had the most beautiful shades of blue. The other side of the beach was much more rocky and the ocean floor dropped down more abruptly.

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The part where our boats were docked was much more friendly for an easy swim. I spent a sizable amount of time here after lunch, wading in its clear water. I was enjoying myself too much that the sun bearing down didn’t bother me at all.

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When the sun was about to set, we piled ourselves back to the boats and made our way to another island. The setting sun gave the beach a different kind of charm.

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At this point, I actually didn’t care anymore where we go next so I missed the name of our next stop. This is where we watched the sun set.

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When it got dark, we gathered up some dry branches and built our small bonfire. We passed the time swapping stories with our boatman and his wife,  sipping on hot coffee.

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When the last embers of our bonfire died down, we bid goodbye to the island and headed back to mainland. Sailing in the middle of the ocean at pitch dark with only the moon guiding us was part terrifying and mostly enchanting. The water glistens like silver as boat cuts into it. What a great way to end our unforgettable Polillo experience.

 

 

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Comments
  1. […] out at the port and wait til the Coast Guard raises the sailing ban. However, given my previous mishap with Quezon’s Coast Guard, I insisted we settle with a different beach. Our Plan B was Kuwebang Lampas and that is where we […]

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