Friday, December 5, 2014

Chasing Dolphins At Manjuyod Sandbar

My second day in Dumaguete City started at 5 in the morning to catch up with the 6 AM bus going to Bais City, it would be an hour and a half before we could get there to meet our tour guide somewhere there. But where is Bais City? I haven't heard of this place yet and I have no idea what to expect,  what I only know was we were still in Negros Oriental.

Well just for a brief history, Bais City is in Negros Oriental, it was under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Tanjay during the Spanish era and later on declared as Chartered City by former President Marcos in 1968. The word "Bais" was derived from fresh water eel which abundantly inhabits the sea. The Spanish explorers gave the name to it as mistakingly referred by a fisherman who was catching eel when asked about the name of the place. At least their conversation ended with something significant even if one speaks Spanish and the latter speaks the Visayan dialect.

So we met our tour guide in the city proper and took a vehicle going to Capiñahan Wharf and met the boatman who will take us to Tañon Strait where dolphins are often seen. Tañon Strait is located between the island of Negros and Cebu and is known for whale and dolphin-watching. The place is a popular tourist destination in Negros Oriental. We were sailing in Tañon Strait for almost an hour, that we've almost reached the southern part of Cebu, we couldn't spot a single dolphin,  but we didn't lose hope and instead we patiently waited until...something leaped from underneath! A spinner dolphin came up as if showing off their skills and another one came up and another! You know that feeling when you patiently waited and it suddenly came up leaping and swirling on air in front you? It was very rewarding, a phenomenon that you wouldn't see everyday.  Pod of dolphins were emerging from everywhere and I even thought that there were just a few which were taking turns on playing tricks on us but they were swimming in schools. I had a hard time taking pictures of them so I thought of taking this video. And here they are...

After that dolphin adventure we decided to take a dip and snorkeled into the cool and clear water in Manjuyod, its magnificent powdery-white sand was glimmering under the sun and it doesn't hurt my feet. Manjuyod is an island in Tañon Stait which is popular for it sandbar that appears during low tide. We were hoping that the sandbar has already emerged at the time we were there but it is too early so instead we frolic on the beach!

These are just the few beautiful things I saw beneath, the Manjuyod Island is also one of the dive sites in Negros Oriental so be sure you don't miss it when you go there, just ask your tour guide.
Lunch time came and we were all starving, it's time to move out of the water and dry ourselves for the moment. Mr. Pancho our boatman was so gracious to accommodate us in his humble home, he lives in Olympia Island and his daughter Jan prepared and cooked the food for us.

We were all hungry that moment that nobody dared to talk while eating. Our tour in Bais City includes packed lunch while on boat tour but since it was raining that time Mr. Pancho was kind enough to accommodate us in his house and we are so thankful to his family that he even allowed us to use their comfort room and let us charge our phones and cameras. The lunch includes seafood which we chose from Jan's menu, but she has a variety of meals you can choose from for only 2,500 pesos for 6-8 people, with 3 main dishes. We took a rest for a while before our tour in Manjuyod to wait for the sandbar to emerge! It didn't take too long before we arrive in Manjuyod and yes! The sand has emerged!!

 You know this scene reminds me of the story of Moses where the he divided the sea and let the people pass. It was a different experience for me to walk in the middle of the ocean and I am kind of scared of sudden surge of water. The Manjuyod Sandbar is a 7 kilometer stretch of sand which only appears on low tide which happens late in the afternoon. Well we just stayed there for a couple of minutes because as you can see the clouds ahead was getting heavy and we should all get back to the boat.

We were almost near the port when rain came so hard and worse of all, we got stuck in the middle of the sea because the boat ceased to operate! Good thing somebody came to the rescue and safely tugged the boat to the port. Well things happen, but it is part of the experience. We spent the whole day with so many beautiful things and if you will ask me if I will go back there? Yes!

How to get to Bais City, Negros Oriental?
1. If you're in Dumaguete City, take the bus going to Manjuyod, there is a Ceres bus terminal in Dumaguete which leaves everyday.
2. It is better to have someone who knows the place and will do boat tours for you. I advise you to go the tourism office for guidance.

Summer is fast approaching don't forget your sunblock lotion!!

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