Banana Island In My Mind

DIY Coron: Day 1&2. This was what I was most excited about in this trip – to spend the night in a beautiful island and then wake up the next day to the soothing sound of the gentle waves lapping against the shore. We could have chosen instead to stay in one of the accomodations in town, to save us a few bucks, but this was simply an experience I wouldn’t want to miss. Besides, it would take at least 2 hours to get to the island from the town proper.

Coming directly from the Twin Lagoons, we reached Banana island in about an hour, just before the sunset. I wasn’t able to take photographs of the sunset though as it was hidden behind thick dark clouds, a sign that it would probably rain later during the night. On our way to the island earlier, I thought we were all exhausted from too much swimming, we had no more energy left. But soon after we dropped anchor, we felt recharged. We all ran straight to the beach.

We surely did appreciate the natural unspoilt look and feel of the island. A few meters away from the shore were tall coconut trees and some tamarind trees towering a few nipa huts built on the foot of the hill.

The best spot of the island is on the left side facing the beach where the sand is white and powdery, and the water is crystal clear.

Accommodation in Banana Island was pretty basic, but enough to make us sleep comfortably at night. For the four of us, we were given two cottages, each with a queen-sized bed. The beddings smelled fresh and clean. There was a restroom inside each cottage. It had a toilet bowl, two big drums, one contained freshwater which we could use to shower, and the other one had saltwater which was mainly used for flushing the toilet. They also provided us with electric fan and a mosquito net. There were no toiletries though, and no towels. Good thing we brought our own. There was electricity in the island, but it only ran from 6:00 in the evening until 6 in the morning.

The cottages where we stayed were located at the right side of the beach. The shore on this part of the island was rocky, but the water was clean and clear, just like on the other side. We also saw a lot of fishes swimming in the shallow water, and we had fun feeding them with bits of bread for a while until we got stung by jellyfishes. We got out of the water immediately.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner by the shore that night. We feasted on seafood, just like what we did during our lunch earlier, with the addition of grilled pork. We also had half-a-case of San Mig Light which I asked Jong to buy for us earlier. It wasn’t enough though. Good thing, the owner of the island, Aling Violeta had San Mig Pale Pilsen available for sale. She has a store in the island, but the supplies may be limited.

We went back to our cottages and guzzled the remaining bottles of beer we bought from Aling Violeta. While we were chatting, our attention was grabbed by small crabs crawling along the shore. We decided to catch some for fun. A young boy named Brando, saw what we were doing and joined us. He had been in the island for three days already, along with another boatman, probably his brother, and their two French guests. Poor kid. He must have been very glad to have finally found playmates in us.

Before long, tiredness and fatigue from too much swimming caught up on us. We decided to call it a day. We went back to our cottages, washed ourselves with freshwater, then crawled into the comfortable bed. And yes, it did rain that night. I remember waking up to the sound of the rain once in the middle of the night, but I fell back to sleep in seconds. We woke up early the next day and enjoyed a morning walk along the beach.

We continued to explore the island. Aling Violeta’s two dogs (we named them Whitey and Blacky,) tagged along with us. They were friendly, and they’ve been keeping us company eversince we arrived in the island yesterday.

We saw a small island on the far right side of Banana island, approximately 50 meters away, and since it was low tide, we were able to get there by crossing the waist-deep water.

The island was barren. It has a small beach but although the sand was white, it was quite rough. There was also a nipa hut ruin near the beach. The rest of the island was rocky.

We had fun taking pictures here, but after a few minutes, we decided to go back because we were afraid that the tide would rise anytime soon. Getting stranded in an island, even if it was only for a short time, would surely not be a lot of fun, especially since we started to get hungry by that time.

Later, we found Jerson and Budoy waiting for us with our breakfast ready. It was delicious! I specially loved the fried danggits. They were marinated, not dried, unlike the typical danggits I sometimes buy in Manila. And having coffee by the beach while enjoying the beach scenery, was absolutely wonderful!

We went snorkeling after breakfast. There were a lot of fishes and it was so much fun to feed them. With a depth of 2-3 meters and crystal clear waters, the spot was great for snorkeling.

And since the sun was shining brightly that morning, the visibility underwater was excellent. It was the perfect time for us to take our underwater photos.

We would have stayed the whole day in Banana island if we had more time. There was a single kayak there which my sister wanted to try. My brother-in-law would have enjoyed fishing with the owners of the island too. But we had two more destinations to visit on our second day.

On the right side of the Banana island, approximately 5-10 minutes away by boat, is another island called Bulog Dos. Aling Violeta owns this island too. And across Banana island, not so far from where we were, the glistening white sand of Malcapuya beach looked so inviting. This made it easier for us to finally pack our belongings and move on.

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