|The trek was exhilarating under the sweltering heat of the sun. Each step forcing its own among rugged roads and vines penetrated across vales lined with unforgiving roots. From trees whose branches becomes houses for birds poised for flight the road becomes less traveled day by day by critters. |
Derek an American 30 years old, 6’2 medium built chose to walk among the natives, they welcome him as they wave from their huts perhaps wondering how tall his 3 year old child would be. The trek is coming to an end he can almost taste the salt from the sea. Approaching the clearing the beach gleamed like a thousand diamonds strewn beside a vast blue blanket that’s the sea. The waves melt as they continually lash upon the shore where lost shells become accessories for fishermen hauling their nets from their boats.
Derek made ready his equipment, but first tried to take in as much as he can of his surroundings. “There surely ain’t nothing like this in the city” he said. The wind lambastes gigantic trees as the suns rays’ permeates each fiber of his being. “Indeed it is hot, but it is more than justified” he said to himself. Kids having brown hair from constant bleaching from the sun ran along the beach some are holding kites while some are just enjoying the water and the waves it gave him a sense of nostalgia.
He looked for the shanty along the beach his contact said that there is where he could rent a small boat. He was greeted by a native, short in stature yet having a proud look in his eyes asked him in accented English “What can I do for you Joe?” Derek realized that after World War II all Americans were called Joe he laughed the thought away. “I need a boat” Derek said. The native was relieved that the person knows English he thought he would have to use his pseudo sign language skills to communicate. The native explained his prices and services and eventually they agreed.
Paying the rent for the boat the native gave him an assuring look as if saying “you will experience what you will remember for a lifetime” then helped Derek with his bags and proceeded to load them in the boat.
The water, translucent in its fullness reflects the sun while fishes like pastel colors jot from corner to corner amidst corals of changing hue.
Today is mid April in Leyte, Philippines a good time to look at Whale sharks up close, Derek made sure that his thirst for underwater adventure shall come true in this country.
Derek can see the Whale shark as their boat loomed nearer to it. The native took caution to approach the creature subtly and with gentle strokes kept his distance while signaling Derek to make himself ready. Derek balancing himself readied his equipment and prepared for the dive.
He sat upon the side of the boat and signaled a thumbs-up to the native, the native laughed and signaled back then Derek made the dive.
That was just for today he thought while moving closer to the Whale shark, tomorrow he will travel to Malapascua, Cebu a distant island off the mid-east of the Philippines to see a school of resident Thresher Sharks. “Damn I love sharks” he said to himself.
Then the day after that he will travel to Bohol a neighboring Island of Cebu and again he will dive.
And at that moment while he glided beside the massive Whale shark Derek realized that this country truly deserves to be called the center for diving expeditions.
By: floyd gumpal buenavente
an internet savvy that writes about almost anything
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