Our tour guide, Reggie who was assigned by the Department of Tourism Officer, Mr. Rolando Ajop, picked us up from the resort past 7am . We boarded Partas 30 mins later. Compared to the boat that picked us up at Hayanggabon Port, Partas was a lot bigger. From what I understand, it is owned by a lawyer who has a private resort nearby. They borrowed it to accomodate our request for a bigger boat. 🙂 I am so glad that I coordinated with DOT because everything was perfect during our sohoton tour!
The moment we docked at Sohoton Tourism Center, Mr. Ajop met us. Then, we were shown the aerial map of Sohoton while their staff gave us coffee. A few minutes later, we boarded the paddle boats.
The boat ride was short but very scenic. Since Sohoton is a cove, the whole area has very calm waters. It was glistening due to the sun’s reflection. I could see the corals underneath. Everything was sooooo beautiful!
Motorized boats are not allowed at the Jelly Fish Sanctuary because it will disturb them. Big boats cannot enter as well due to the small opening. It seemed like you’re entering the small gate to a kingdom. At least, that’s what it felt to me.
Manong, my boat driver, was very nice. He drove us farther ahead so I could take pictures of my family as they enter the sanctuary.
As we proceeded, we were all so quiet. You just couldn’t help it. It seemed like whatever you wanted to say is not important. I felt like I was in holy ground and that I had to respect the place. Its beauty was incomparable to anything I’ve seen. There’s just calmness there that I don’t know how to explain. I was in awe.
Now I understand, why motor boats are not allowed inside the sanctuary…. It would only ruin the mystique of the place.
August is not the stingless jelly fish season. This is their breeding time. So we saw a small number of them. But Manong was kind enough to point out that the dirts (I thought) that were in the water, are actually jelly fish babies. They’re very tiny , they looked like yellow dots amidst the turqoise water. 🙂
Please remember, do not hold them too long, because they will die if you take them out of the water for a few minutes. And please be careful. I’ve seen jelly fishes that do not have its complete set of tentacles. Manong said that sometimes the tourists don’t handle them with care. 😦 It’s very sad. So please, let us support the sanctuary by respecting the place and the jelly fishes.
I was so amazed when I saw several jelly fishes. They looked like yellow flowers floating in the water. 🙂
See the dot-like pieces on the water? These are jelly fish babies. They are so tiny , I thought they were dirts. 🙂
Manong Osting, he used to be our driver but has retired now, and his paddle boat driver had a conversation. The boatman told him that they’re so happy of the Tourism’s effort to protect Sohoton. And for giving them their jobs. That’s why they do their best to help the tourists enjoy their vacation so they would come back or recommend their place.
He said that they’re all fishermen. True they are abundant of great sea food (isda sa bato and the likes – yummy!) but it’s useless when you have no buyers.
That’s why I really commend the Department of Tourism for the SAVE SOHOTON project. By booking through DOT , we are helping them maintain the area. And we are giving the fishermen and the other locals , jobs.
Our paddle drivers never asked for money. But we tipped them for the good service. They looked so happy! 🙂 I thought , what’s little for us may be big for them…
Thank you Mr. Ajop and company!
If you ever go to Bucas Grande Islands, please book through the Department of Tourism. Remember, the fishermen grew up in the area. So they know the place perfectly. If you ask me, that’s a lot safer than going there on your own without a guide.
Mr. Rolando Ajop – 09399047019
And please, don’t litter. The place is so clean , it would seem like a crime if you throw plastic or whatever garbage you have. Let’s be responsible tourists. And let’s help the locals in protecting Sohoton. 🙂
Lea C. Walker