Friday, 25 March 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. 

DSC_6818
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.

DSC_6803
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.

DSC_6791
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.

DSC_6788
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.

DSC_6804
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. 

DSC_6782
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. 

DSC_6779
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.

DSC_6797

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.

DSC_7006
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.