Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Don't Tarsier Me
In Bohol, Philippines; also to Panglao Island, Alona beach
First time ever to the Philippines, an unexpected and totally meaningful vacation. Sometimes in life you just have to follow your heart where it leads. And so I went there, not knowing anything about the Chocolate Hills or those little mini-monkeys.
From Singapore, I took Cebu Air to Manila Terminal 3 (3 hours flight) and transfer to Tagbilaran Airport (1 hour). From the airport, hop on to a tricycle (250 peso after negotiation) to Alona beach, Panglao Island. There is a cheaper alternative to take Tiger Airways to Manila and transfer to Zest Air to Tagbilaran.
The Tarsiers, as we affectionately call mini-monkeys, are small primates that looks like gremlins with rat-tails and huge, cute eyes. They look like they wanted to be cuddled but are actually rather shy and would die of stress if we had touched them. I've never seen any creature like these in my life, they really look out of the world to me! We wonder if they turn into super-active creatures in the night and boogie to "I like to move it (move it!)", turning their sanctuary into some happening night-spot!
We cannot stop sniggering at those cute furry creatures.
Words can't describe the awesome sight of the Chocolate Hills. I wasn't expecting much, due to the enthusiastically over-proclaimed tourist attractions of developing countries, but the sight of these hills took my breath away. In reality the long grasses covering those limestone mounds undulated in the strong wind, looking like melting chocolate was being poured onto it.
Travelmate and I ventured bravely forth where no one went (actually just a small path down onto a spot on the cliff facing the best hillview). Sat there in the strong but not-too-cold wind. It was one of those 'perfect moments' for me, where we would sit in silence and forget about our troubles and the world would just like to keep us there, in that shared time capsule, with imaginary chocolate cats that resided in the tall grasses all around us. I hope that each time I am downtrodden I can still close my eyes and feel the breeze on my face and still revert to this perfect moment.
Bohol Island, enroute from Tarsier Sanctuary back to Alona beach.
Alona beach has beautiful white sand, so fine that it was a joy to walk on the beach and great for building sandcastles! Just sitting at the beachfront with sand between your toes and hearing the waves beside you is soooooo romantic.