Apo Reef: The Mangrove Forest

I dreamed of having a dream that I was a junky man in my past life. My veins stabbed with strife-like abandon and when my earthly body was reduced to ash. It grew to become a forest. That longtime ago fantasy-of-a-dream of mine, reminded me of the mangrove forest at Apo Reef. 

Astrid Alvarez

It doesn't resemble a Junky man's arms, because the mangrove forest is nourished by a thriving eco-system. Life of all forms, blossoms on this largest atoll reef in the Philippines. Spread over a size of 34 square kilometres, 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) and beach campers to many different marine species and a sanctuary of different types of birds.

Gael Hilotin

The mangrove surrounds a tranquil lagoon which can be accessed after walking over 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  to the opposite end of the lagoon, and another rope tied across towards another dock leading to the Apo Reef lighthouse.

Marky Ramone Go with Gael Hilotin, Marcos Caratao and Darwin Cayetano

As you walk over the bamboo bridge you'll hear tweaking sounds and the different echoes of other insects and birds pleading for some love-making action. Then run your imagination, as you may. Soon, you will notice the branches of the mangrove forests intertwining like arms of hippies, spread over one another in a continuous loop of embrace during an orgy participated by thousands. The form of which, creates an abstract image, wherein you could imagine the artist's brush was stroked like a madman, but with bursts of creativity.

Gael Hilotin

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.

Marcos Caratao

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 reminding myself of lakes I used to see in television.

Ara Juan

In a ridiculously written B-movie, an alligator might come out of the water and eat us alive, but none happening here as fortunately, we were not inside a bad movie, rather we're cruising on quiet body of water in a place that teeming with nature delight. 

Lilliane Cobiao

Everything conspires brilliantly, from deeply rooted branches, to thick green bush and a calm lagoon water. The raft ride was short but smooth. But 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 guarantee its longevity.

Claire Raborar

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.

Catherine Iblan

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.