Mystical, Maniacal Reefer Madness at Apo Reef

The best thing about our Apo Reef trip was the opportunity to just chill in one place without worrying about moving to the next destination. It's about getting lost in the moment relaxing under the sun. It reminded me of what Tim Robbins' character in Shawshank Redemption would do once he experienced  boundless freedom.  Feeling the fine white sands as I lay down feeling the rays of the sun kiss my skin while humming Weezer's "Island in the Sun", sounds like what island living is all about. 

"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)....

Jamie Fournier

Despite a lengthy boat trip (2 hours), we arrived on the island feeling energized looking forward to spending time away from the real world. After setting up our camp, we napped our fatigued body to recover. Waking up before lunch, we set out to explore the rest of Apo Reef. We climbed the lighthouse and kayaked through the thick mangrove forest and saw our boat-mates (a quartet of scuba divers) set out to the ocean to view some of Apo Reef's famed wonders: its underwater gems.  

Levy Amosin

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 find and still enjoyed the peace reigning on the island. If I stayed here for a month, I just might finish a kick ass novel before loneliness and madness overcomes me — or maybe the beautiful nature that surround Apo Reef even improve my mental health. Looking around, I think the latter would happen. 

Koryn Iledan

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 protected from the hands of stupid morons. Here, exists a magical formation of Earth's various lifeforms converging on and at the bottom of the ocean around it. 

pitch a tent at Apo Reef

Yachts and boats from far away resorts up to Coron, Palawan passes by Apo Reef for divers to explore the surrounding 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".

Sophie Gianan

In our case we were tent bound for two days. We cooked meals in between, laid around, slept and exchanged banters. 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.

Sophie Gianan

A weekend at Apo Reef is like what my imaginary shrink prescribed for me that day. By night time, the "Super-Moon" made its appearance. It was like an eye opened up in the sky and never blinked. It illuminated the supposed to be pitch-black island with neon-like light showers from the moon. It was freaking Mystical if you ask me.

Marky Ramone Go

I was so tired from the long commute from Manila the previous day which comprised of a three hour bus ride to Batangas Port, a 2 and a half hour 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.

Sophie Gianan

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. Rejuvenated with a superman-like feeling, 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