Philippines: Visayas - February 2008
Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
It is to SiquijorI had the pleasure to photograph my first mandarin fish in the Philippines. What good memories, on this island !
This morning, I left Siquijor and "my" beach, Sandugan Beachwith regret. The people who hold theIslanders Paradise like the Kiwi Dive Resort are really lovely.
I spent ten fantastic days there! For those who want more comfort, there is also Casa de la Playa on the same beach, more expensive but more chic.
Here I am now on the island of Negrosafter a stormy crossing in the literal sense of the word. The weather, so nice until then, has turned grey, rainy and windy since yesterday evening.
On the boat this morning, there was an old man on a drip among the passengers, lying in a stretcher stuck in the middle of the aisle between the seats, put there by the local ambulance... The 45 minutes of dancing on the small ferry in the waves and the gusts of wind that shook us from one side to the other must have been a torture for him.
As always, when you take a ferry ticket, you are asked to fill in a small form, in duplicate, with name, age and nationality. A passenger list, supposedly for statistics. Mmm... More in case the boat would go to join other wrecks between two islands, in my opinion.
I am now at Dumaguete, on the east coast of Negros, or more exactly DauinI went to a small town in the south of Dumaguete, a few kilometers away from the city, on a beach with black volcanic sand. I haven't seen much of the area yet, but as far as the tourist atmosphere is concerned, on the small stretch of beach I walked, it is very German-speaking, very "resort fully booked" and very "bubble factory"... but I'll talk to you later. ????
Ultimate dives in Siquijor
I ended my stay in Siquijor by two memorable experiences: an underwater encounter on Saturday with the famous mandarin fish promised by Neal, the Kiwi Divemaster; and cockfightsThis is the favorite sport of the Filipinos on Sundays (with mass and karaoke). But I'll come back to tell you more about the incredible cockfighting arena in a day or two, thanks to a better internet connection than the one I have tonight...
Saturday afternoon, despite a nasty ear infection in my right ear and a broken computer (so Neal lent me his), I went diving. Yes, it's not every day that we have the chance to admire mandarin fish...
The ear went down, without too much pain, with some hissing and squeaking, it's when I came back up and once out of the water that I understood my pain... Well. I have the drops to take care of it and I don't plan to dive again before the day after tomorrow: that's three full days in the dry, it should be almost healed by then. It's almost back to normal today. Already, in Leyte, the first week, the left ear had been playing up, but in two days, it was back to normal. Anyway, let's close the "diving injuries" parenthesis.
We made the "house-reef" of Sandugan beach, a very nice reef that I had not explored yet. The charming little mandarins I had been looking for were there, hidden under the coral.
Lively, furtive, they are very cute with their small square head and their fins, but not easy to photograph. Especially when you find yourself doing little yo-yos with a recalcitrant ear from one end to the other of a cluster of coral that you don't want to hit with your fins...
But I still managed to photograph one. From a little far. I cropped the picture, so that we can see it better that this unfortunate seahorse-pygmy that I had to highlight in pink. [EDIT: I also lightened the photo a bit afterwards, which originally was a bit dark].
Still... I'm quite proud of myself. This is the first time I succeeded in catching a mandarin fish. So, even if it is far from being exceptional, I still like this picture.
Once the euphoria was over, I went to take care of my little ear. I still need my eardrums for the dives in Dauin and Apo!