Virgin Island

On our third day at Bantayan Island we took a pump boat to Virgin Island. One may ask why they call them a pump boat. Someone asked me and I had forgot the answer but I thought it was because they have to pump the water out of them. I was correct, that is exactly why they are called pump boats.

As a kid I use to go fishing in old wooden boats. Probably built by my grandfather. I sure would like to revisit those times. However, sometimes it is best to let the memory be. Those boats leaked but we didn’t have a pump. From time to time we used a can to scoop up the water and put it back into the pond. I sure wish there were some photos of those. My mother had some but they were destroyed.

Virgin Island HoppingSo pumping the water out of the boat is not all that unusual to me and it isn’t unusual to pump boat crews but they have a bit more sophisticated way of doing it. they use pumps as can be seen in the photo. A few months after I moved to the Philippines I went on a trip to Pandanon Island off the coast of Mactan which is part of Metro Cebu City.

Jessie and I have wanted to make the trip over there but the cost has always caused us not to go. This time a friend took us so we were finally able to go. We paid P2700 which was too much by about P1200. Which included snorkeling gear which was faulty, our entrance fee to Virgin Island and food. The captain of the pump boat told us P2500 but once we returned there was another P200 for actually cooking the fish. I would have told him what I thought of his P200 but I figured it just was not worth the possibility of creating issues that could turn very ugly. My ego wanted to fight but my common sense told it isn’t worth it.

I’m glad we went but I doubt I’ll go again. I don’t see much reason for a repeat of the trip. Maybe if someone new is with us and it doesn’t cost that much money. Nancy of Tristan’s Beach Resort once gave us a price of P1500.

The water was clear and the beach is nice. It was a holiday weekend so more people were present than probably normally would be. Mostly Filipino families enjoying some bonding time. Much of the island shore is rocky but not where the tables are provided. They are nice and I sought one out that was away from the crowd.

Virgin IslandJust off the coast it gets rocky again. The first time we were in the water I didn’t run into that as the tide was high. Once the tide was lower, we had to venture further out to enjoy the water. I managed to fall twice, slicing my foot and my hand on the rocks. Not badly though. I was fearful the rash I have would now advance into these new cuts. The one on my foot is still sore but the one on my hand is mostly healed. The rash on my feet made it very hard for me to walk that day. I had Crocs on and they have little rubber spikes on them. Each step was like walking on nails with my raw feet. The water is great though and over all it helped. After that day, I figured out I need to wear socks until my feet are healed. Jessie bought some socks once we were back in town and the following day on Bantayan was much nicer as a result. I wish I had thought of that before the Virgin Island trip. I enjoyed it but I didn’t move around too much. I’ve been walking as little as possible since returning home because the rash dries my skin out and then it splits. Walking on that is not pleasant. I hope to visit Oldot near our home soon. I may even return to Bantayan for a night at Tristan’s before the month is out.  Perhaps not, we need to visit Jessie’s hometown before I go any place else. I suppose the water at Odlot will help just as much.

Lunch on Virgin Island

We had fish, squid and shrimp while at Virgin Island. I didn’t eat any of the squid and very little of the shrimp. I’ve never been a big fan of either. Our friend thought the squid was a bit too fishy. I think that’s the nature of fresh squid though. I’ve had it once and I ate it but didn’t really care for it. The fish was very good. All of it was caught by local fishermen around the waters of Bantayan Island and Virgin Island.

Some teens walked passed as we were eating. Throwing sand at each other. Mostly one of the Filipina was tossing sand at one of the guys. I think she might have wanted his attention. I thought it must be a wonderful way to grow up.

There were quite a few fish in the water even close to the beach. Jessie being the polite Filipina she isPump Boat At Virgin Island even walked around one school of fish as she didn’t want to disturb them. Twice we saw a dog fishing. That’s right, the dog was trying to catch fish right out of the water. There were two different dogs doing this. I’ve never seen anything like that before. Perhaps this one of of the true “Only In The Philippines” moments.

On our return to Bantayan we arrived at low tide. The pump boat captain tried as hard as he could to get us close to the beach but we kept running ashore. Eventually we had a long walk. I was worried about my camera so Jessie took that. My balance isn’t so good and once again, I fell. It is a very good thing I didn’t have the camera around me. I think I probably would have protected it and hurt myself in the process. I remember falling with a camcorder in my hand once and my leg was far worse but the camcorder remained safe.

I enjoyed the adventure of our walk back to the beach. There were lots of awesome sea creatures. A green slug of some kind was very interesting. When it was in the water it looked like it had a flower on the top of its head. I couldn’t take a picture as Jessie was ahead of me and had the camera. I asked the boat captain what it was. His answer was a word I can’t yet hear. He took it out of the water with his hand and it went from beautiful to a grey blob. Once back in the water it turned green and beautiful again.

There were many starfish in our path. He told me if I saw one with lots of black to leave it alone but the rest were fine. I felt something under my foot once. It felt like I killed a star fish but then when I mentioned it to the captain he said I could not hurt them by stepping on them.

My mind is always up for an adventure though my body often protest. I am very glad we went to Virgin Island and I would say go if you’re at Bantayan for a couple of days or longer.

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Filed under: Bantayan Island Beach Resorts

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