My day started early in Tanduyong Island. I was awoke as the first light of the day broke through the clouds. Strong winds buffeted my tent the whole night and I am glad I'm still in one piece; amazed that the tent is still where I pitched it the day before. I was half expecting to wake up somewhere near the water. My hosts, the Torinos, invited me to stay in their house for the night but I insisted on staying one end of the island and rough it out.
It was another cloudy sunrise and I resigned to the fact that blast of colors I was praying for was not there. But things suddenly got interesting when Mang Boyet invited me to "fetch" our breakfast - collect the nets they cast earlier. I helped them prepare the nets the night before but was still in dreamland when they went out to sea at 2 in the morning.
to the buoy
Mang Boyet and Nonong started pulling the nets while I did what I do best (I think): taking photos. I saw a variety of fish got stuck on the nets, mostly we got mackerels and scads. It did not take long for the 7-segment net to be pulled in. We did not even break sweat :). Soon we where on our way back to the island.
taking it easy after breakfast
Mang Boyet fondly remembers the days after Typhoon Emong when bangus (milkfish) swamped the small channel between Tanduyong island and Tondol. The nearby towns of Bolinao and Dagupan are heavily into bangus rearing industry and the typhoon trashed most (if not all) of the fish pens. Each fish pen can contain up to 100,000 milkfish, so just imagine if 50 fish pens got opened up.
Its was bangus catching frenzy for a couple of days. The bangus even reached the nearby province of Zambales. I was in Nagsasa Cove right after the typhoon and the folks there had a blast catching bangus day and night for 3 straight days.
In Tondol there was an oversupply (to put it mildly) of milkfish that they are selling the catch at 10 pesos a kilo. The typhoon took away their homes but dropped on their lap a bounty so large even kids earned several thousands pesos within a few days of fishing. For the Torinos, it translated to a second hand television and a generator set. They now enjoy watching telenovelas in the evenings.
What I am missing now is the laid back environment in the island. Time exist there but is simply ignored. It was the perfect place (small enough) to spend the day doing absolutely nothing.
I miss the kids poking about my stuff. But what I'll miss the most are the meals I shared with the Torinos. Each meal is always a family activity and they never failed to invite me to each one. It was always a feast however simple the fare was.
the hospitable Torinos
I went to the island as a lone traveller and left it as part of a family. I'm going to be a godfather to one of the kids there soon.
If you want to camp on the island, you may contact Mang Boyet (+639125487872) or Nonong (+639099851316) to arrange your transportation from Tondol beach to Tanduyong. If your timing is perfect with the low tide you may simply walk from Tondol beach to Tanduyong.