The small island of Pamilacan is a province in Bohol, Visayas archipelagos in the Philippines. Its name comes from the word “Pilak,” which is a large hooked implement made and used by fishermen to capture whale sharks and manta rays. It is only 8 miles from the famous Alona Beach in Bohol. It’s virgin white sandy beaches, mini coves, and solitude of being in your own island paradise makes this island feel like a permanent home. The island is famous for dolphin watching and diving. Its 140 hectares has a population of only 200 families. Our planned trip to visit this island was non other than relaxing and informative.
After a long 2 hour boat ride of half sleeping and half sight seeing, I could barely open my eyes to the bright sunshine as we docked our boat. The bright lights from the sun blinded me, so I reached in my bag for a pair of blue Kate Spade Aviators and in a blue filtered view, I was able to see the beauty of gentle shore breaks, clear blue waters, soft cream colored sand, and white painted fishing boats, wow, I thought, I must be in paradise.
We roamed around excitedly exploring how peaceful and quiet the area was. There was a small Catholic Church, a school with a bell on top, and a few locals hanging on hammocks in their beach huts, it was like watching Little House on the Prairie slash Blue Lagoon. I walked up to one of the beach huts that held a small type of outdoor museum and browsed around its collection of Whale Shark Jaws, Dried Manta Rays, Fish Fossils, and many types of sea life found in and around Pamilacan Island.
The nice man who lived in the beach hut next door, walked us around the museum and told us stories of fishermen who’ve come to bid for entry to fish Pamilacan’s waters. The local government created a mandate of allowing fishermen to fish on certain months, so for the rest of the year Sea Life is protected and noted as a marine sanctuary to appreciate and enjoy. He walked us to meet his grandchildren playing along the shore carrying a huge knife, splashing it against the ground like a toy. He said, “Ipinanganak sila dito sa dagat, kaya ito ang kanilang play. (They were born by the sea, so this is their play.)” The kids were stomping and stabbing the ground to catch the Tiny Sand Eels coming up from under the sand. The locals would collect the Sand Eels to attract bigger fishes to catch. He also told us that most of the locals of Pamilacan Island came from Manila. A lot of them were squatters living along the rivers or the train tracks of Manila’s slums and they moved here for a better life. Squatters are Illegal settlers in unoccupied areas, so in the Philippines, many squatters would gather bamboo and tarp to make a home for their families. On Pamilacan, it’s a perfect life…
Sand Eels are his Pets
Boholan Children Who Live by the Sea