Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tulang Diot – No Island is a Man

It’s time for vengeance. People always make “man” seem lesser than an island with that old no-man-is-an-island phrase. It’s about time we look at the other side of the table and realize that no island is a man either. Whoever came up with that fallacy deserves karma big time—especially that it made it thru centuries. I was going to write about my whole trip in Camotes today in one entry but I did so much waiting at the terminal that I got all the time in the Milky Way to think of useless things. My mind wandered through every decipherable degree of the compass and it’s a high tide of rumbles up here.

But then again, I’ll sleep tonight and might wake up with less than a sentence to write about the rest of my trip. Speaking of compass, I want to get one because I suck with directions. I am really good at reading maps but when there is no landmark to lead me to the right track (like most trails are), that’s when picnic turns to panic (that sounded unforgivably cheesy but I can’t stop it).

Tulang Diot it is. I have wanted to check the place out about a year ago but I almost entirely forgot about it. Until yesterday. I was at work with Tyler (you may wonder who he is, he’s at the previous post). We were on meeting but it was not a real meeting and we spent time ogling at people on Facebook while I did map surfing on the side. The my cursor ended up in Camotes and my attention reunited with the tiny (it measures in length) island of Tulang Diot, right at the top of it. Tulang Diot is just right across Tulang Dako. (Tyler did not go. Apparently, you have to book him three months ahead of time to get him to go anywhere.)

Diot means small while Dako means big and I’m such a moron I didn’t bother asking the locals while I was there what Tulang meant. I was under the impression that the island is not so inhabited. That made me want t go there so I could maybe ride through trails carved by coconut men (not the rapper, the real ones). I was wrong. Not my fault. The internet did not give enough information about the island.

Anyway, the island is so crowded that there are no real streets, just gaps between one house and another. Bamboo fences flank each house that it gets dizzying to bike past them.So how densely populated is Tulang Diot? I did not get the figures but every livable space in the island is already occupied by a house that no one is allowed to build anymore.

I guess the reason why many people live there is because of the rich marine life (“rich marine life” – I can’t believe I sound like a documentary host on government access). A local told me that when there is habagat, fishes would take shelter near the island. There’d be so many of them that he only has to wade waist-deep and spear them.

I wanted to check out the marine sanctuary that Wagee (my trail-rider-turned-triathlete-friend-who-sidelines-as-trail-rider-still) told me about. But I took a crash landing at disappointment-landia when I reached the place that I spent most of my time there chatting with the locals and just enjoying the most of the water. The place is still fairly descent. But the sand is not that powdery and “pristine” as some of the beaches in mainland Camotes and Cebu. Plus, it bothers me that I am swimming near a densely populated islet that has no established drainage system.

But the people are really nice though. They were generous with their Kulafu. I took a few shots because I was too diplomatic to tell them that I have been enduring hyperacidity for more than a week now, that I can no longer enjoy Coca-Cola which used to be a part of my very own recommended daily nutrition.

Another reason I left early because one manong kept talking about how dangerous it is to travel alone. That you could end up robbed, mauled, or mutilated (he has some rather ugly details about the mutilated part, although it’s not about some traveler). I don’t wanna stick around people who want to share their negative energy. I’m already full of the positive ones, and like your island manong, I can’t make room for anymore.

I always keep in mind what Anne Frank said in her diary—that people are really good at heart. For someone who has seen more than 5.7million of her people getting killed, she has a really positive way of looking at life. I can’t control how people will act or think but I can be positive towards them. It may smack of the Law of Attraction thingy, but it’s more like of what I learned in mountain biking: when you fixate yourself on the tree in front of you, your face will end up on its trunk. But if you keep yourself aware of that tree and focus on where the track slips pass it, you get yourself a smooth ride.

Some people can bear being dishonest with tourists thinking that they will only meet those people but once and no one will be after them. The fare to the island was supposed to be only ten pesos, five pesos for me and another five pesos for the bike. But the guy who took me to the island asked for twenty.

The manong who took me back only asked for ten. And I had so much more fun with him because we went around one fishing boat so we could stop at another because it ran out of oil and it’s stalled there until they could bring some more oil and fix the damage they caused to the engine by letting it run out. He had picked up two guys, who promised to pay him when they return (twenty years from now??). The last photo shows Manong doing his rescue moves.

I just got distracted reading about the Seven Wonders of the World scam and I forgot what I was about to type. I guess if I make this whole post simple, I’d just say going to the island was not really worth the effort. But the people I met along the way (including those on board) made everything worth it. That’s why we travel—the people we meet.


Anonymous said...

so...did you enlighten them about d secrets of our yaya sisterhood, especially d mutilating manong???

you are now like a used diaper whoe...
can be found anywhere :-*

Bal Marsius said...

that's me bitch. i am now a sea bitch. i try to go bitching/beaching everyweek bec it's what my hair loves. yah mann!

Bal Marsius