Pamilacan island is about an hour boat ride from Panglao, another island connected to its larger counterpart Bohol, Philippines. Stace had already described its beauty in a previous post but I wanted to also call attention to the marine life that surrounded the island’s waters. Stace wanted to jet off to explore the island which is typically accompanied by dolphin sightings along the way. We were fortunate to see several dolphins that came up to the water surface near our boat (I was told they are attracted to the sounds of the boat’s motor).
After arriving on Pamilacan and exploring the beaches and village, we set off to a fish sanctuary in two separate canoes, Stacey and I in one and the our two friends, Mike and Gina, in the other along with personal guides. We paddled our way about halfway down alongside the island till we reached the fish sanctuary, clearly marked on the adjoining cliff of the island along with the rope that sectioned off the area. We had rented snorkeling gear from our starting point to use it in the sanctuary. As soon as you jump into the water there is so much color and life that can be seen in the water and ocean floor. Various kind of fish, plants, and coral reefs inhabit the area. Its obvious that tourism had not taken its toll yet on the marine life compared to other places we visited like Boracay. Some of the fish species that we observed included Jackfish, Clownfish, Parrotfish, and Damselfish.
|Paddled Our Way Over||Damsel Fish|
After snorkeling for 25 minutes, our guides motioned us over to where they were swimming. They caught sight of an enormous school of fish that was swimming in a circle as it moved along just outside of the fish sanctuary. It was probably one of the greatest and most memorable sights I have seen of wildlife. I sat there mesmerized at the enormous size of the school and how gigantic they all looked clumped together. I was told that they swim closely in a circle in order to increase their appearance in size in order to fend off potential predators when they feel threatened. The school of fish eventually came within 10 feet of where we were and the close proximity made me want to swim out and touch them although I knew that wasn’t the best idea. Eventually, they moved off into the distance and we jumped back into our canoes to head back to the island, happy and very satisfied with what we had just witnessed. Our time at the fish sanctuary and the sighting of the fish school made Pamilacan island of my most memorable experiences of our 3 month journey. Of all the waters we explored in the Philippines, this was in my opinion the best. The quality of marine life and its untouched grounds made it so pristine and pure. I’m hoping that it stays that way although I’m worried that an increase in tourism will eventually destroy that area as well. I am contradicting myself due to the fact that I am even writing a post about it. Maybe I should have kept it a secret?
Held on to Orange Rope
Straight From National Geographic