As travelers we often have certain things we want to do when we visit places. Sometimes it’s just to make a tick on the “to-do” list. Other times, it’s because we really, really want to do those things. Swimming with the whale sharks at Donsol belongs to the latter category. I really, really wanted to do it. I was curious about what it would be like, ever since a friend back in Australia told me that there’s a place in the Philippines where you are almost guaranteed the chance.
Good Friday in the town of Infanta may have very well been the most absurd experience I’ve ever had in all of my travels. Just when I thought I was starting to understand how things “work” here, I was proven otherwise. The documentary photographer part in me was saying “Chill dude, you’ve seen ‘unusual’ rituals before”. But the regular person kept screaming, “This is some craaazy shit!” As the titles suggests, there was indeed blood involved. Just felt obliged to warn you all.
It was as cheesy, loud and quirky as one might expect an “Idol” talent show in a Filipino province to be. There was fist pounding, “reaching for the stars” and all kinds of gestures which were probably learned from Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey concerts. The judges, it appeared were looking for the loudest and most passionate act and so the girl who sang loudest and broke into tears during her performance won.
I’ve spent the last three weeks in the small town of San Joaquin on Panay island in the Philippines. Due to my “activities” – the constant waking up in the morning and the fact that swimming in the middle of the sea, while going out with the fishermen can be rather physically demanding (for someone who’s not in the best shape) I’ve been too fatigued to write anything substantial during this time.
I’m in a small town called San Joaquin. I’ve come here after a few twists of fate led me to get in contact with an American volunteer working in “Coastal Resource Management” in the area. As those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know, I have a bit of an obsession for things fish and fishermen related. I guess it’s because I love eating fish and admire the men who brave the unforgiving seas to make a living catching that fish. I admire them even more now that I have gone out to sea with them.