I got out of bed so early to capture the sunrise, but as I looked at the sky, imminent downpour was on its way. It was an overcast morning and to my dismay, I still have no sunrise photo of Baler for our second day. But it did not dampen my excitement. Rain or shine, this day is a wonderful day to be happy and we have have to go on with our Baler Adventure.
Our refreshing water activity at Sabang Beach had ended. The rain had stopped and the weather was now cooperative as we headed to our next breathtaking escape, to AMCO Diguisit Lodge and Resort. But before we fall in love in this scenic spot, we hopped out from our van and visited Ermita Hill located in Barangay Zabali. It was approximately six kilometers away from the town of Baler and travel time took us around fifteen minutes only .
After a two-hour nap in Mojica Residencia Hotel, everyone is ready to take a walk in the cobbled Calle Crisologo, the main attaction in Vigan. And I am so excited to see the Spanish colonial architecture of Vigan.
There are two main reasons why Vigan, also known as the Heritage City is so fascinating to visit. First, it is the only UNESCO World Heritage City in the Philippines. And second, it was officially declared as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities last December of 2014. I felt so proud!
Our morning walk in Kaputian Beach Resort and swimming in Capt. Hook’s Red Parrot Inn’s clear water were the initial activities done for the day. I wanted to go island hopping in Talicud Island and Isla Reta , but our limited time skipped the opportunity.
But fortunately, Barney’s family was so generous for bringing us all to the Giant Clam Sanctuary, a fishing village across Barangay Adecor. We were told that it was one of the exciting spots in the Island Garden City of Samal to explore. Getting aboard in our hired boat hit the adrenalin rush. Coming from the inn we passed by the Kaputian Beach Resort which was now crowded with bathers. Later we were amazed seeing the recognizable luxurious seaside villas of Pearl Farm.
My two kids are no longer scared in snorkeling activity. Our beach escapades from the past taught them to be adventurous on the sea. And not only that, they were taught to love and appreciate nature.
Time to jump to the water!
Our teen-age son Pao dashed hastily. My hubby assisted our little girl and hit the water. I was left behind for I was still busy taking pictures. When I had my moment, my buddies were now far away from the boat. I swam so fast to join them. They were standing on a white sand, submerged half of their bodies on a very clear water.
We met Edward, the staff of the sanctuary and briefed us shortly about the giant clams locally known as taclobo. He was a volunteer with a minimal pay per day but he was so dedicated in his job. He told us that the taclobos are solar animals with a number of about 3,500 scattered in a sprawling 14-hectare area. The entrance fee of P70/head was used to sustain the project of Davao del Norte State College in protecting the sanctuary. The taclobo is now an endangered specie because of over-harvesting. Some used it for food and some for shell crafts which are sold as souvenirs.
The giant clam belongs to a family Tridacnidae. It has five classes to which I remembered one class only, the eldest Trinacda Gigas. Blame it to our excitement to see the colorful giant clams under the water.
Out of curiosity we asked Edward if it is dangerous to put our hands inside the mouth of the clam. He said yes because it sucks foreign objects. The thought of our hand getting cut by the clam scared me so I didn’t dare to come close.hehehe!
Small clams were found in shallow area. We snorkeled in deeper part, and saw lots of giant clams in varying colors from violet, deep green, brown and yellow. We swam here, there and everywhere to see more and more giant clams. Shen was left to her father for she can’t go far. Pao and Dwight were so busy wading farther from the group.
After a satisfied attack, we went back near our boat and refreshed ourselves staying on the 20-feet deep water level. Barney could swim without a life jacket. Amazing! Pao and I tried it too. It was an overwhelming feeling to overcome our fears of the deep. I did my favorite back float style while gazing on the blue horizon.
Once in a while doing this activity is a rewarding treat especially to people like us who couldn’t escape monster stress from work. Far from the noisy busy life of the city, this wonderful experience is a better doze. But it’s time to go back to the boat and stop day-dreaming! hahaha!
We went back to Capt. Hooks Red Parrot Inn by lunch. And there after, we packed up for another swimming activity at Hagimit Falls and for the last stop, at Monfort Bat Cave.
Boat Rental – P1,500 to P1,800 (haggle the price)
Entrance Fee: P70, 6 years old below is free – with life jacket and snorkel gears