Mystical, Maniacal Reefer Madness at Apo Reef

One of the best things in going to a place like Apo Reef is it gives me the chance to remain on one place for an extended time and not worry bout hitting other places. Just relaxing under the sun like a convict with time in his hand but has a boundless freedom as far as the journey that brought us here, while humming along with Weezer's "Island in the Sun"

"When you're on a holiday, you can't find the words to say. All the things that come to you. And I wanna feel it too....No, No, we'll never feel bad anymore" (hip) (hip)....


So, we did just that. We camped for the night at Apo Reef slept our fatigued body after lunch and mesmerized our eyes like maniacal coming of age dudes about to see a cabaret show in a mystical and sometimes lurching presence of Apo Reef. They say, the best part of Apo Reef can be seen in the bottom of the surrounding coral reef formations. 

A fact that makes Apo Reef a haven for scuba divers. Being a non-scuba diver, I wasn't able to witness that spectacle underwater. But that never dampened my spirit as I've found a place so peaceful and inviting I just might have able to write a kick ass novel if I stayed there for a month. I'm pretty sure the madness will reign in the loneliness of the place but the creative burst will supplement it and make things pretty outstanding even vacant from the usual failures of being pressured in the big city.

The Apo Reef is manned by a dozen members of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Rangers. Being a maritime national park it is protected from all sorts of environment abuse. The trees and the mangrove forest remain untouched and unhinged from the abuse from the hands of stupid morons. A magical formation and existence of Earth's lifeforms converging in one place and more of that at the bottom.

Yachts and boats from far away resorts up to Coron, Palawan passes by Apo Reef for divers to explore the surrounding bottom of the sea. Some of them would stop over to camp for the night while others just hang out on their yacht in what they call as "live aboard".

In our case we were tent bound for two days. We cooked meals in between, lie around, sleep, talk. A lazy kind of life but nevertheless a welcome reprieve from the staggering, 'trying hard to be geniuses' in the corporate world where I came from.

A weekend at Apo Reef is like what my imaginary shrink ordered for me that day. By night time, the so called "Super-Moon" made its appearance, It was like an eye opened up in the sky though it never blinked, it made the supposed to be under a blanket of darkness island become illuminated by a neon like golden rays from the moon. It was fucking Mystical if you ask me.

I was so tired from the long commute from Manila the previous day which comprised of a three hour bus to Batangas Port, a 2 and a half ferry ride to Abra de Ilog another 2 hour bus ride to Sablayan, a 10 minute trike ride to the beach and lastly, a 2 hour boat ride to Apo Reef.

My mind was ecstatic but my body yelled for rest like a stoner afflicted with reefer madness. I had a wonderful rest and with the company of great friends Gael, Marcos and Darwin we woke up to a new day when the sun substituted the Super-Moon and with superman-like feeling of having a renewed energy we explored Apo Reef for one last time and went snorkeling at a nearby dive spot and saw a shipwreck about 20-30 feet below - shallow enough to be visible through our snorkeling gears. Somehow our envy of the scuba diver group diminished a bit. Just a bit though as we pledged to ourselves that we'll come back to Apo Reef with oxygen tanks and dive suits in tow.

Dive in Apo Reef - still unchecked, but it was still a great weekend spent away from home.

Related posts:

- Apo Reef: Mangrove Forest

- Apo Reef Lighthouse

- Super Moon at Apo Reef