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Friday, March 25, 2011

Apo Reef Part One: The Mangrove Forest

I once dreamed that I was a junky man in the past life, whose veins were stabbed with strife-like abandon and those veins perished with my earth body and reduced to ash. Such sad cycle of our physical body. None can be said of these trees I saw firmly planted in the roots that surrounds a scenic lagoon in Apo Reef. 

It belongs to no Junkyman, but a soil that nourished life in the largest atoll reef in the Philippines. Spread over a size of 34 square kilometers it is not only a haven for scuba divers (which we intend to become soon), snorklers (which, sadly where we belongs when we visited it) beach campers to many different marine species and a sanctuary of different types of birds.

The mangrove surrounds a calm lagoon which can be accessed after walking a short trail and unto a few meters of man-made bamboo bridge leading up to a small dock, where a bamboo raft awaits you. The raft is maneuvered by pulling a rope tied up to the opposite end of the lagoon and another rope tied across towards another dock which leads to the Apo Reef lighthouse.

Walking over the bamboo path you'll hear tweaking sounds and the different echoes of other insects and birds making their existence felt. The branches of the mangrove forests intertwined like a mass of hippies, whose arms spread over one another in a massive display of embrace in an orgy participated by thousands. The form of which, creates a painting like image, wherein you could imagine the artist's brush was stroked like a madman, but with bursts of creativity.

With Marcos, Darwin and Gael
The experience of riding over a raft in this forested mangrove was just one of the few wonderful experience I had in Apo Reef, that I decided to blog about this separately. It's fitting though, as the mangrove itself serves as the mess hall of the many marine faunas and birds who flies effortlessly, while making diving stance from the air and unto the pool of lagoon as if mimicking a fighter jet.

As our guide pulls the rope to move our raft thus creating riptides on the steady water and the green colored forests nears darkness, it created a hollowed environment and reminds me of lakes I used to see in television where people would jump and swim. 

In a ridiculously written B-movie, an alligator might come out of the water and eat us alive, but none that time as we were not inside a bad movie, rather we're coasting along freely around a quiet place that happens to have a very appealing surrounding. 

Everything conspires brilliantly, from the branches deeply rooted that will never be a vein of a Junkyman, to the thick green bush and a calm lagoon water. The raft ride was short but smooth and like a short movie it was all over. Not until I've witnessed another reminder how the world was created this way and like every part of our body should not be injected with poison, rather should be nurtured and cared for to cement its longevity.


After docking to the other side, we walked a short distance into the Apo Reef lighthouse where we climbed up a few dozen steps and was greeted by this view of the lagoon and the mangrove.

I guess, the last photograph says it all. I'm glad we're not in a horribly written B-movie, rather I was fortunate to have been in Apo Reef last weekend.


Darwin said...

Ang galing mo talaga MarkY! Diyos na kita!


Ed said...

mabuhay ang mga masipag magpost! haha.
I wish I was able to join you guys here.
great way to tell the story marky, tension is slowly building and I want to read the next post right away. aabangan ko itong series!

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

ayoko na mag-blog! haha nahiya na ako! asteeg! :)sabe ko na nga ba, yan ang inaabangan ko kung anu na naman nasa isip mu that time, galeng! :P
in fairness, dahil jan sa mangrove ride and of course the top view ng lighthouse my magaganda naman ako na masasabe sa apo reef, haha bad trip lng tlga at d tau divers, isinantabi tau dahil snorklers lng tau. tsk tsk :( let's dive soon marky boy! kunin ko ke marcos yung # nung mga taga PEX na gusto din mag-aral para sabay2 tau if ever. ;)

Vhincci Subia said...

Indeed, a wonderful place! :) - World of Vhincci

tina said...

wow.. nice pix :D

Pinoy Adventurista said...

looks like you guys had a great time! great pics! =D

Markyramone said...

@Darwin, now collect me 18 beautiful slaves haha joke...you write well too, well enough to win a Boracay trip contest - yun ang magaling.

@Ed, your Cambodia and Thailand series is a barometer of every travel blog series. Sana makapag ganun ren ako this year.

@Gael - haha, thanks. Honestly, nagandahan ako sa Apo Reef, kaya lng we got frustrated coz we weren't able to see what APo Reef offers magnificently, which were the reefs below the surrounding waters. Next time, di na tayo "team snorklers" kundi "team divers" na haha...

@Vinci, Tina and Mervs - yeah it was always fun camping by the beach and the place was small but wonderful.

lakwatsera de primera said...

Sigh, dapat kasama ako dito, sabi ko nga ba this trip is going to be a blast, great post mate!

pusang kalye said...

nalala ko na--ioto yung endless mangroves na nakita ko somewhere online dati. kala ko mangrove forest---pero nung nag PP kami---nafeel ko na di yun.:D

Ada said...

Ninosebleed ako sa first paragraph :| Kasi naman dapat kasama ako dito amf nagkasakit naman ako. Siguro naramdaman ng earth body ko na magkakatsunami hehehe

Markyramone said...

@Claire, Ada, Anton - sayang di kayo nakasama di nyo natikman luto ng Iron Chef (ako haha)...

bawi tayo sa Nagsasa Cove this weekend.

Gretch said...

Totally awesome Marky! Super ganda :)

Markyramone said...

Thanks Gretch, sama ka ulet sa susunod. Miss you :* haha

Pinoy Boy Journals said...

eh yung naka-google na ngayon sa akin yung apo reef dahil sa post na toh! How was the stay?Kumusta bonding niyo?

flipnomad said...

ayus ah... anlaki ng bakawan area... sana ma protektahan yung lugar...

Markyramone said...

@Jerik - had a comfortable stay, though with some
"niknik" bites haha.

@Flip - yeah its already a protected national park hope it stays that way for a long time

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