Just when you thought civilization was racing ahead at warp speed… you knew somewhere, somehow there were plenty of places on this earth where time stands still. The small island named Virgin Island near Bantayan Island in the Philippines fits the bill and it remains pristine and unspoiled….nearly the same as the original discovery. There are actually many islands named Virgin Island throughout our geography and in the Philippines I know of at least two more Virgin Islands…one located in Bohol, and one in Palawan.
We hired a local pump boat to take us from Santa Fe, Bantayan Island to the nearby island named Virgin Island! My friend Perla, a native of Santa Fe, made arrangements with one of the locals to take us there. As a great escape getaway trip we spent five hours swimming and snorkeling and just relaxing on the beach. We packed our own lunch and ate on one of the shaded table areas on the beach. Since they don’t have any facilities other than its natural beauty… its advisable to bring some extra drinks and food for the pumpboat crew… which normally consists of the boat captain and his mate.
The trip over was exhilarating as we skimmed across the clear blue waters in the direction of Virgin Island! We saw several pods of flying fish, cascading like water droplets, in front of our native pump boat! We wondered what was chasing them and immediately conjured up big tuna as we were already getting hungry with the salt air and hot sun.
We learned from one of the native guides that the island was purchased by a wealthy Japanese man many years ago and the island has very limited facilities with no overnight lodging. You can make arrangements to have your fish dinner cooked in the cooking hut (bring your own fish) ….which will cost you 50 pesos to use the facilities.
The other money matters included 700 pesos to hire the boat, plus 300 pesos entrance fee to go to the island.You can make arrangements with local pump boat operators in front of Santa Fe Beach Club or in front of St. Bernard Beach Resort. All in all… since we were two couples, Van and Perla from Santa Fe and Daniele and Babette from Switzerland …this is a great way to spend a day on an island that looks like it is straight out of a movie scene. You can bring your own snorkel gear or rent some from Santa Fe before leaving! Also be sure to bring either an umbrella or very strong sun block more than 30 factor …as the sun is so extremely strong you can be burned to a crisp in nano seconds.
Bring a good book or plan on doing nothing… since this is a no frills island with a built in laid back attitude, which for many in this fast paced world… is just what the doctor ordered. The owners Japanese style native house is slightly elevated with rows of large clay pots for collecting water situated at ground level like a Zen landscape. As you traverse the island there are some rocky ledge areas and amazing white sand beaches. The waters literally shimmer with brilliant blue hues as you head out toward the corals, where you can witness colorful tropical fish, swimming around the corals and close to shore. On a bright sunny day the water is brilliant, displaying multi-colored tones of bright blue… superimposed against the white sand.
If I were to be marooned on an island and didn’t want to do anything other than live off the coconut and eat local fish this island fits the bill. Anyone who wants to sign on to become a survivor this would be a good place to start!
So there you have it! Why not take a trip to Virgin Island in the Bantayan Island area and see for yourself what it is like to experience a totally unspoiled island with a very small carbon footprint. It takes less than an hour by boat and you can make your arrangements with one of the local pumpboat operators and witness for yourself a small piece of paradise…. yet to be ruined by tourism, logging, population explosion, or mans efforts.
QUOTE: “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.” Ghandi
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Earth is home to over 100,000 islands. The 150 largest alone have a landmass equal to the size of Europe. One in every ten people on Earth is an islander. More than 600 million people live on islands.
Because of their isolation, islands have a disproportionately high number of endemic species. For example, the island of Madagascar has 8,000 endemic plant species, twice the number of the entire United States. The Philippines’ 7,100 islands contain more endemic vertebrate species (460) than anywhere else on Earth.
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Small Islands! With global warming heating up many of these small islands will be off the map and out of sight.
ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Its all in zee travel! If you have Island fever you may be incurable an just need to keep searching and traveling the globe…. after all Jacques Cousteau the famous French explorer said: “Life is a journey.”
From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.
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