Day 5: April 13, 2006
Not used to waiting, my patience was being tested. Still no catch, I was getting restless. Instead of daydreaming about big catches, the endless blue made me mentally wander off to the nether regions. As much as one respects the sea, sometimes, it can't help but play tricks on your head. Well, I brought the perfect book for that day. Alain de Botton's Consolations of Philosophy. I picked the book up years before while at Heathrow on a quick stopover after a tearful adieu in Milan with someone who was never meant to be.
Here's an excerpt of the Amazon review---"consolation for a broken heart in Schopenhauer, consolation for inadequacy in Montaigne. Epicurus, usually associated with a love of luxury, is a solace for those of us without much money--and de Botton learns from him that "objects mimic in a material dimension what we require in a psychological one." Enough said.
We ventured further to the ocean this time near the payao (a local term for FAD -Fish Attracting Device). It is a blue water artificial reef composed of an anchor, line and coconut leaves just below the water surface. Looks like it's the place to be as we saw a group of boats here.
Whew, finally got the skunk out of the boat with the first fish caught!
The sea must have felt our anguish because we caught 15 skipjack tuna that morning! My arms ached from reeling them in but oh, it was such a good ache and the adrenaline rush was addictive.
On the way back to Pilar, we felt a tug and realized that something bit into our bait. Guess the salfish and I took each other by surprise. It was not a long fight but it was good. It took the last ounce of my strength but well worth it. Good things come unexpectedly and to those who wait with bait.
We asked him to sashimi our catch
30 kilo sailfish
payao or FAD (Fish Attracting Device)
Sated and still fresh from the morning high, we went back out to the payao or FAD that afternoon and caught eight more. Similar to the morning scene, it was like the designated social spot in the middle of the ocean with everyone gathered about.
The colors of the sky as it progressed into the evening were beyond gorgeous.
Capped our day with a marvelous sunset and the rising full moon. The sea was calm and our journey back to Pilar was illuminated by the moon. I laid down, looked up the magnificent sky to thank God who I really felt was in the details at that particular moment.
Day 6: April 14, 2006
Siargao is also the surfing destination in the Philippines and we passed by Cloud 9 which has a worldwide reputation for thick hollow tubes. This right-breaking reef wave discovered by traveling surfers in the late 80s was named and made famous by American photographer, John S. Callahan. He published the first major feature on Siargao Island in Surfer magazine in March 1993. Callahan has put the island on the international map and has drawn thousands of surfers and tourists to Siargao.It now hosts the the annual Siargao Cup, a domestic and international surfing competition.
The sea was glassy as we headed for Pansukian, the exclusive resort in the area, owned by Nicolas Rambeau. Nicolas is a bon vivant of many interests. Aside from having a museum grade shell collection, he also taught me how to cook foie gras when we cooked for the former Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in another island in the Pacific. But that's another story for the books.....
Pansukian was purchased by the outdoor furniture company Dedon and is now called, what else, but Dedon Island. They are currently working with Jean-Marie Massaud, to make it a Dedon playground. The small resort's homey yet exclusively luxe vibe is what attracted many disciminating guests worldwide then. I wonder what it will be like after the makeover.
If you want a quiet and pristine getaway,this is the place to connect with yourself and nature. It was the perfect setting for Good Friday. I read the scriptures as the birds chirped. At dusk, we lounged on a Dedon daybed by the shore with a fine bottle of bubbly as we waited for the moonrise. Lovely smiles and warm whispers....