El Nido Series

El Nido | Tour C Part 5: Ipil Beach

Monday, February 04, 2013Ryan Mach

Ipil Beach was dominated by young and energetic holidaymakers that lazy afternoon. You could see them having swell time by simply lazing on the sand, reading books and listening to music. I think our arrival on the island might have momentarily disturbed their reverie. Like beavers peeking out from their lodge, they looked at us with faint interest and once the engine had died, they went back to what they were doing, doing nothing, that is.

The beach was ideal for this type of activity or more aptly, the lack thereof. You can take a spot on the beach, just sit or lie there, do absolutely nothing and you'd still feel great. I tried mimicking what the others were doing but the ADHD in me simply couldn't stay put in one place. The less crowded part of the beach looked interesting and worth-venturing out.

With my ever-reliable camera for company, I walked slowly toward the area, past sleeping beach-combers. All day tour hopping seemed to conk them out.
Ipil Beach was the last order of business for the day. We had to go back to Bacuit Bay in 30 minutes because some of our companions had to do some important transaction at the bank which would close at five. It didn't make sense to me since it was Sunday. Regardless, I became conscious of the time and I'd glance at our boat every now and then to make sure it hadn't left without me.
[Our boat, and the young, beautiful beach-combers]

Beautiful Tree, Interesting Bloke
[Lovely tree]

I was looking up at a tree, admiring its beautiful flowers, when a young foreign guy approached me and started telling me about the monkey he spotted earlier. Whether he's just pulling my leg or wanted to while the time away by talking to a complete stranger, I had no idea. But his unusual discovery seemed authentic.

"Spotted two monkeys right there," he told me enthusiastically, pointing at the nice-looking tree.
"Oh yeah? Where did they go?" I asked, intrigued.

"Hid away, I guess. Took some photos though on my iPhone."

"I wish they'd show up again," I said, hopeful.

"Yeah, I guess they got shy or scared."
The bloke's name was Daniel, a Scottish in his early twenties who had just graduated from college. He's on a month-long vacation in the Philippines traveling with friends. He asked me about interesting spots around the country. The first destination that came to mind was Caramoan. He was meaning to go to Donsol to see the whale sharks so I told him he could perhaps do a side-trip in Caramoan. Our conversation ended with him scribbling my travel blog on his iPhone.
[Saying goodbye to a place as beautiful as this was a hard thing to do]

I saw our guide waving at us, a signal that our stay on Ipil Island had come to an end. Going back to the boat felt like a very difficult ordeal. Our island hopping tour was over, which meant my vacation was going to end too. My fellow tour-hoppers seemed to mirror what I was feeling as we're fast approaching Bacuit Bay. Everyone looked rather downcast.
So when the boat had finally halted on the shore, no one wanted to move. We stayed there for about 3 minutes. Our guide had to advise us a few times that we could go down. I found the whole thing funny and sad at the same time.

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