Petra | Jordan. A rose-red city half as old as time
San Vicente | Palawan. Counting solitary strides.
Taj Mahal | India. A teardrop on the cheek of time
Catanduanes Island. Postcard-pretty slideshow.
Keep Kalm (at Kalanggaman Island | Leyte).
Nikko | Japan. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil in this UNESCO heritage town.
Counting temples in Bagan | Myanmar.
Chasing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.
Where to Stay? | Luxury, Backpacking & Glamping
Inaul Festival | Maguindanao. In homage of a weaving tradition

Dead Sea Floating | Israel

 

I can’t remember how young I am when I first learned about the Dead Sea. I recall having a sense of dread about its name. “Do you die when you swim in that sea?” I recall asking my older brother. His explanation escaped my interest that time as I remain fixated at its morbid reputation. As I grow older, it occupied the top-tier of my mental bucket list of places I desire to tick off one by one. Therefore, when I was assigned to join a Holy Land trip for a travel writing gig and saw our itinerary; two places other than the Walled City of Jerusalem stood out to me: the Petra in Jordan and the Dead Sea.


Marky Ramone Go_Sandra Santiago

Not the End of Fascination Street


Our journey to the Dead Sea happened on the later half of our 12-day Holy Land trip. I thought whatever curiosity and fascination I’ve left are all but reserved for the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Feeling spiritually overwhelmed by my experience tracing Jesus Christ’s Way of the Cross in Old Jerusalem and the bounteous amazement I’ve had staring at the marvels of Petra and the vastness of Wadi Rum, I thought I’d be able to taper off my sense of wonder during this tail-end part of our trip.


Kim Treasure Desdichado

As our bus rolled into the deserted city of Jericho, said to be the oldest and lowest city in the world, my fascination gauge started ticking upward. Suddenly, I am reminded of my childhood captivation of the Dead Sea. While I now know that you aren’t going to die when you dip your toe in this unique body of water, my interest grew at what sensation I would feel once I waded through the saltiest body of water on Earth.


Sara Abdollahi

"Because it is 9 times saltier than the normal ocean, you will float effortlessly here" said our tour guide. He also told us—which I've already learned in the past—that the salinity of the sea makes it impossible for any plants, animals and other living things to live, hence it’s given name: The Dead Sea.


Float your Worries Away


After a brief stop-over at a small bazaar in Jericho, our bus drove into a resort tucked in the middle of a desert in the West Bank of Israel. Across the lake, the rolling golden hills of Jordan is clearly visible under the blue skies while the scorching sun swelters the ground that day.


Armi Valdez

The Dead Sea is a lake bordered by Jordan in the east and by Israel in the west. Situated in the Jordan Valley Rift, it connects to its main tributary which is the Jordan River.


Celine Murillo, Gretchen Filart and Levy Amosin

Changing into swimming clothes, I joined my companions to head out to the water. But before that, I opted to leave my slippers near our stuff in the resort’s tent. It was a decision I regret seconds later, as the baking pavement stab through my soles as if I’m walking over burned charcoals.


Koryn Iledan and Sophie Gianan

Running gimpy mouthing “Ooohhs” and “Aahhhs”, I almost jumped into the muddy sand near the water. Wasting no time, I splashed into the water recklessly thereby getting a mouthful gargle of the world’s saltiest water. It felt like downing a bottle of gin as it made a tracing sweltering sensation in my throat and my eyes felt like it was being stabbed by needles.


Kaye Floriano and Marky Ramone Go

Forgetting about the pain, I relaxed my body facing the sky and lo and behold, I started floating naturally. As I let my physical body drift along the slow current of the lake, I also let go of my worldly worries. For the first time, the sheer amount of wonderful experience of visiting the Holy Land dawned on me. I’m not only floating in the waters of the Dead Sea, I’ve also journeyed a long way and seen the places where Jesus Christ and even Moses walked through during their time.


Marky Ramone Go

As I milk our brief time in the Dead Sea, I savored each second and relished at the image of King David frolicking in the same manner on one of his retreats to the Dead Sea back during his olden biblical time.