Water is said to be the most important substance to life. All living things need water. All living things, yes, including travelers. Swimming, snorkeling, running around, and more swimming are exhausting activities that must be enjoyed by those who will go on a whole-day island-hopping adventure. And to survive this day, one should not forget to bring a bottle of WATER.
I did. I did forget. Poor me.
Why does it always happen to me? Damn.
But I’m getting ahead of the story.
Talisay Beach and Matinloc Island
After our semi-spiritual visit to Matinloc Shrine, we hopped back onto the boat and glided several meters to a nearby white beach. I’m not sure but I think most of the beaches we saw and passed by are all part of Matinloc Island. It was a dazzling sight — gray cliffs topped with lush greens and at the base, sparkling white sand welcoming the waves. We didn’t know which beach we were headed to but we’d be absolutely happy with ANY of them.
Talisay Beach was our boatman’s choice. I say “our boatman’s choice” because it seemed like each boat would dock at a separate beach. It was like we owned the beach and I’m sure the group of tourists on the other beaches felt the same.
When we finally climbed down our boats and soaked our feet, my friend Ces just lay down as if dropping dead. She just found the love of her life — the sand. Pearly white sand.
Soon, our boatman announced that they would be preparing lunch.
Island Lunch at Talisay Beach
The local government of El Nido standardizes the tour operations in the town. What does it mean? There are rules and policies that tour operators, boatmen, and resort owners must abide by. One of them is that all whole-day tours must include LUNCH.
They even go very specific. Lunch should comprise the following:
- Grilled fish
- Grilled meat (chicken or pork)
We had grilled fish, grilled liempo, and cucumber for lunch. And for dessert, pineapples and bananas! The food was OK. There was nothing spectacular about it. It was just grilled, but we did not expect anything, anyway.
There was too much food, to be honest. It was too much even for us. But because we didn’t want all that food to go to waste, we really tried to finish it and leave nothing but bones. We were very satisfied. LOL.
The Watery Confusion
Now, if you take a second look at the “lunch” components I listed above, there’s no water there. So hmmmm.
“Kuya, may tubig po kayo,” I asked one of the boatmen.
“Ay naku, wala,” answered Kuya. “Bakit? Wala kayong dalang tubig?”
“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah,” yes, I really said it. “Wala po.” And then I laughed hard. I think I was going crazy. When the group learned that there was no water, none of us threw tantrums or felt bad. We just laughed it off. The place was just so beautiful and the moment was so magical to be spoiled. And our boatmen had been nothing but helpful and endearing. No blames here.
But the problem was caused by a miscommunication between us and the tour agency. The Agency promised us that they would be providing water. I guess it was just not cascaded to the boatmen.
We were lucky because our boatmen were really the best in the world. They went out of their way to cross to the other beach and “borrow” water from the other boat.
We stayed for another hour at Talisay Beach after lunch. At one point, all of us in the group were just sitting on the sand, watching the waves roll by and admiring the view. None of us said a word. We just sat there with our feet playing with the bubbles that the waves pushed towards us. It took several minutes until someone finally said something — “It’s beautiful.”