Sunday, June 5, 2016

Romblon | Cresta de Gallo

ROMBLON | Cresta de Gallo

So it was that by mid morning on our third day of hiking, we swam in the clear rocky rivers of Magdiwang as a sign that we completed the hike. Not only that, no one from our team showed any sign of physical battering or tiredness. As a reward for a successful climb, we were to spend a night sleeping at the sandy beach of Cresta de Gallo and looking up at the clear skies under the light of a full moon.

For mountaineers like myself who had just completed the challenge of traverse expedition in Mt Guiting Guiting, a sidetrip to Cresta de Gallo becomes a well deserved downtime from a hectic itinerary. Cresta de Gallo is an island close to the Paradise Island of Sibuyan surrounded by shoals of shallow azure waters in white powdery sand beach. Romblon is one of the four provinces comprising MIMAROPA which is a combination of the first syllables of each province namely Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan. Scattered in the Visayas, MIMAROPA is a group of “group of islands” which each provinces having their own tropical paradise to boot.

Late afternoon, the water is receding. One of the boatman, had to watch out for our path so avoid hitting rocks and coral reefs. Cresta de Gallo is surrounded by shallow reefs.

The southern tip of Cresta de Gallo has this patch of bush. A resident reside here in a hut and looks like a perfect place to camp. We decided not to camp there as we realize that its already occupied by another group of guest.

After dropping anchor, the boat men secured their lodgings in the boat itself expecting the boat to be grounded for the night anyway. An hour late and we would have to swim for quite a distance just to get to the shoreline.

Cresta de Gallo is a stretch of White Sand Beach Island just over an hour of boat ride from the Bigger Sibuyan Island. The visit here was a side trip for me and my hike buddies after a successful hike in Mt Guiting Guiting, the towering ridged gem of Sibuyan. A downtime per say as this mountain is known as one of the very few mountains in the Philippines today that are difficult to climb. This island has no resort, which just suits us the most; we cooked our meal with our own portable stoves and butane reserves, fresh seafood brought from the market of San Fernando town of Sibuyan. Our quick dip in the Magdiwang River marking the completion of our hike earlier today left us hopeful that the overnight in Cresta de Gallo will be worth it. Sibuyan Island in itself is full of underrated sites with clear freshwater rivers and a number of waterfalls that continue to flow even in the midst of dry season.

Sibuyan Island, being a tropical island in itself is surrounded by shoreline. An outrigger boat can take off anywhere, but the closest town is San Fernando, the obvious choice as start off going to Cresta de Gallo.. We made arrangements and bought some fresh produce from the market like the Mackerel that we grilled over fire, we were given a fresh big squid that we turned into Calamares. The two boat men that served as our tour guide didn’t bring any food with them, which as they said is no issue. Certainly, when we had started grilling the fish, they hunted sting rays that lay buried in the shallow sands. Seems like Cresta de Gallo is abundant in marine life, but it makes it dangerous for a night swim.

The boatmen gathered dry wood and lit an ember for us, it was so efficient that you'd think he'd live in the woods all along. 

Looking at Mt Guiting Guiting and Sibuyan Island from Cresta de Gallo. Its a humbling moment, realizing that I spent the last two nights in the embrace of this King of Sibuyan and one of the mighty mountains in the Philippines.

My trek buddy Ian, who walked in the Market of San Fernando in his compression pants. No wonder, the locals were looking and snickering.

Water so clear, and the glorious sand is a true white like looking glass.

The last vestige of Sunlight draped the entire Cresta de Gallo in arrays of dramatic colors and soon after the Sunset, the full sphere of the moon crested and lighted the night sky with reddish glow. It's gonna be a peaceful, cold yet beautiful night by the beach in Cresta de Gallo.

 The sunrise is equally stunning as the sunset a day before.

 We woke to Cresta de Gallo, lighted by Sunrise and a gentle breeze with salty tang.

Francis Balgos has declared himself a champion of weekend travel warriors, of young professionals who have less time for themselves, he feels everyone of you who has desires to be at two places at the same time, to see the world in their own eyes, to live fully at the best of their years. ...

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Sir, nice post. Pwede po makahingi ng number ng bangkero papuntang cresta de gallo? Maraming salamat po.


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