It’s easy to say a place is a paradise. It’s easier to say a place is overrated. Between these two characterization lies the waters of Panglao Island. Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s totally incorrect to say that’s equivalent to being ordinary. For the waters of Panglao is far from being ordinary.
The in-flight magazine on our way to Bohol featured a great view of Panglao waters. Shot on board a banca, it shows the tip of the boat against the background of a clear, beautiful sea. I thought of replicating that shot. Perfect because an island-hopping boat trip is included in our Bohol itinerary.
The morning (great sunrise in Panglao, I must add) that we’re scheduled for the dolphin-watching and island-hopping, the waves and wind were a bit inhospitable. It was not meant to be. It would be like a roller-coaster ride, plus the added weight of a hang-over from last night’s inuman session.
Drinking on the beach, just a few meters from your room, beats any drinking ambiance. The regular beat of waves sets the tempo of the senseless conversation and endless laughter. The salty scent reminds you of pulutan. Amoy pa lang pulutan na. Just relax and drink. Get drunk and just roll over Panglao’s white sand. Either crawl back to your room or your friends drag you over the white sand. Convenient and fun.
Before heading for the airport, I grabbed the camera, waded into Panglao’s clear waters, and prayed. Lord, sana ‘wag ako madulas at mababad ang camera. So with rock-solid faith (and the urgency of having just a few minutes to spare), I ventured to discover why Sebastian the lobster say life under the sea is much better than up there.
Lo and behold, I found a good spot to take photos — 10 meters into the sea, and the water was still up to my beer belly. I could have gone another 10 meters and still make it out safely with the camera, but it’s not always good to tempt fate. They say quit while ahead. So I started snapping photos.
Groups of red starfish scattered on the grassy bottom. Sea grass swaying with the underwater current. Bits of sea grass floating on the surface. White sand “desert” amidst the patches of sea grass. The glitters from the sun’s reflection dancing on the surface.
The shots are clear, you’d think I brought an underwater camera. Of course, I brought just an ordinary camera. These are illustrations of how anything ordinary turns magical when immersed in something extraordinary.