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Friday, October 10, 2014

Alibijaban Series [Post 5] : Around the Island

Sunset in the island
In that afternoon of my first day in the island, I excitedly asked for assistance of somebody to tour me in interesting areas around the island. Two kiddos volunteered to accompany me in what they call "Farm". They are Micheal who is a nephew of Ate Nelly and his friend John Mark. We left right after our lunch. From that first meal that I have in the island, I initially felt my host's generosity. 

That bottled goods were one that we shared.  

The simplicity of life in the island can be seen on how they spent their daily routine. There were no direct connection of electric power supply in the island. People would depend on the solar panels which was a project donated on them years ago. While well-off families have their own generators. 

This was my room for couple of  night. This is a guest room of my host, I guess. =)

We passed through a Barangay Hall and an elementary school which is fronting the sea. On my thought, "How about if happens that I studied in that kind of school location. Definitely you will frequently see me soaking on the sea after classes. Hahaha!"

After passing the school, we then walked to the cream-colored-sand-shore of the island. It was low tide that time.

The cream color sand of Alibijaban wasn't as fine as the other famous beach in the country but the sea is as clean and as blue of those. 

In the end of the front beach is forested with mangroves of the island. We walked further inland passing through the thick bakawan. The area is said to be part of DENR facility. 

A river dissecting the mangrove forest.

There were two concrete bridges that we have walked through. It was a good spot to sight-see and watch over the river teeming with marine life. Also, could give a perfect view of the mangrove areas.


Meet Micheal and John Mark, my tour guide in the island.

The landscape in the island as we walked further keeps me admiring the place. I have live in coastal barangay in my hometown and mangrove forests used to be also my playground during my childhood but this is unusual for me to see the sea floor of the sea forest sandy white instead of black plus the clear water. And the vegetation is different.

As if we were on the different world that moment.

In just few more steps, we finally reached the "Farm" which I later found out that it was the DENR facility. The late husband of Nanay Maring, my host, used to be the caretaker of the facility that's why she was so proud to show me the place. A cottage nestled in the middle of the compound can accommodate 50 - 100 visitors and one can swim to the adjacent clear water.

This sand bar could be visible during low tide. 

There was a castaway wooden ship wrecked near the sand bar that adds drama in the area.

The area was a beach and mangrove forest combined.


This make shift platform was one of the interesting spot in the facility. It stands on a crowd of mangroves right on the sea water. It looks like a bamboo raft on stilt with an opening as if a pool for dipping. During high tide, the platform is submerged in the water.

I could stay there the whole day while staring the seascape and greens of the mainland while being caressed by the cool-salty sea breeze. Ohhh, relaxing!

We stayed there for more hours until 3 pm then decided to head back to the house of Nanay Maring. 

We came across these two young man came from a catch of not a fish but a huge bat, a flying fox actually. In their local dialect, they call it Kabog.  When I saw it, it broke my heart instantly. On the back of my mind I was madly questioning, "Is the food source in the island was really that insufficient that local would end up hunting protected wildlife rather than sea creatures for meal?" No matter how I wanted to reprimand these guys, I know I'm not in the position to do it so. All I can do is understand them and blame it solely to poverty prevailing in the island. 

Disturbed flying fox by the hunters. 

After exploring the "Farm" side of the island I found my self curious of the other side of the front shore. This time I asked Ate Nelly to go with me in that part. 

The whole stretch of the other side of island was coastline of cream-sand in front of bluegreen-ish water. That was tempting for a swim but it was dusk already. I reserved that excitement for the next day.

The island wasn't spared from poverty.

There's this compound in the other side island where people according to Ate Nelly is the poorest among the residents. Just like in the cities, they gather on a single place. Perhaps, the reason is they understand one another and to live far from the main community, away from belittling populace.

Although they have quite decent abodes which they can call their own, the main problem of the residents were food and monetary resources. The sea could provide them but scarcity is steadily felt due to large fishing competition. The heads of the family still do the traditional way of fishing while compare to those anglers that have up-to-date fishing equipment. So how they can contend against them? 

In time of catch, all will have to be sold in exchange of money. In that instances, which is quite often, money is more valuable than anything else even more than food. 


Ate Nelly with a kid with cleft palate (left) and the mother (right).

The Island on Black and White



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  1. Sir, where can we find this island? In what province?

  2. Hi Benedict! =) Alibijaban Island is located in San Andres, Quezon Province. It is part of Bondoc Peninsula. Anyway, thanks for dropping by in my humble blog site. See you around.

  3. Thank, Sir Billy. In find this island very exciting to visit and to have my travel escapade.



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