The Philippines consists of 7641 islands, many disappear in high tide. So if you are on one of those, forget about the multiplication tables, memorize your tide tables. Apo island doesn’t disappear in high tide despite being very small. It’s basically a couple of pointy rocks jutting out of the ocean, with a village on each side between which one can walk in 30 minutes. There are no rivers here and therefore no drinking water. That has to be brought from the neighboring island, Negros. There are a couple of wells that fill up in the rainy season and people use their water for washing and bathing. No plumbing here; there’s a big bucket of sea water by the toilet, and a big bucket of well water by the sink. Each bucket has scoopers. After using the toilet, you scoop sea water and dump it in the toilet until it’s flushed. Want to shower? scoop and dump. That’s when you wish you had 3 hands (… besides masturbating 😜). The island has no electricity except from 6-10 PM. Otherwise, sunshine and battery power save the day. Everyone has chicken and dogs (I have a suspicion that chicken and dogs raise people here). Unlike textbook roosters who crow only at dawn, real life roosters actually crow at all times of day and night, whenever the heck they want.
There are no sandy beaches in Apo island, it’s all rocks and coral. The only reasons people come here are snorkeling and diving. The underwater life is rich and fascinating with coral reefs as far as the eyes could see (visibility is typically 15 meters). There are several Marine sanctuaries to guarantee the continuity of tourism income. One may also go hiking to the top of the two rocks, which is mostly climbing up and down stairs. The views from the top are totally worth it. Apo village is the busy commercial center with accommodation, restaurants, schools and shops, Cogon is a tiny village where pigs, chicken, dogs and cats keep some humans to feed them but no commerce of any kind. Even in this tiny spit of an island, people speak very good English.
To get to and from Apo island, prepare to get wet. The fishing boats that carry people and cargo back and forth have no docks on either side of their route. You pull up your clothes, carry your luggage on your head (local boys will help), walk to the boat and climb on the wooden plank. Waves are unavoidable and will often be up to your hips. Even if you pull a Jesus trick and get on and off without getting too wet, the boat ride will definitely get you as the waves splash onboard the shallow deck. Luckily they stow away the luggage and goods in the hull so they stay dry. If you’re going to be on a tiny little island with nothing to do but snorkel and dive, you better be fit and willing to get wet. Getting there is the fitness and endurance test. Welcome to Apo!
#travel #travelblog #apo #apoisland #philippines #unconditionallove #westandinlove