It was quite a weekend. Huge waves, strong winds, and blazing wild fires that devastated whole mountains. Nagsasa cove certainly outdid itself this time.
I followed my usual itinerary: bus ride at midnight and an early boat ride to the cove, just in time for the sunrise. This is already by 3rd trip to the cove this year.
My brother, although still tired from an 11-hour flight, felt excited about this camp trip, enticed by my tales and photos of scenic beaches with pine tree and surreal moonlit boat rides with glowing bioluminescent planktons.
We were right on schedule and by 4AM we were on our way to the cove. The moon was not too bright and the sea was almost black, but no glowing planktons.
The wind picked up by the time we passed Anawangin (the first cove). The waves grew larger and soon both of us were drenched, well me mostly since I gave my poncho to my brother. It started to get real scary by the time we reached the mouth of Nagsasa cove. All I could see is white surf and it seemed like are being tossed around like a rider on a bronco. Scenes from the movie the Perfect Storm flashed. The wind was so strong the waves were actually coming from the shore (and not to the shore). We were practically going head on with them and our boatman is finding it hard to steer. Less than 1 minute into cove, which seemed like forever, and the boatman threw in the towel. We have to turn back.
We made our way to Talisayin cove, the one between Nagsasa and Anawangin. I was still shaken when we reached the shores of Talisayin. Wet, cold and shivering, and hungry, we tried to sleep on the sand.
The consolation that morning was the glorious sunrise. It was my first time to see such explosion of sunrise colors in the coves, and we are not in the right place to shoot it. A mountain separates Talisayin from Nagsasa and it practically blocks the sunrise view. But it was no doubt a great sunrise.
By 7AM we made our way back to Nagsasa. This time we were able to enter the cove. From the mouth it’s still 3 kilometers to the shore.
Midway the waves got big again but this time it’s too late to turn back. It was one hell of a ride, the one that requires you to say the Lord’s Prayer non-stop and mutter “are we there yet” in between. I was half expecting our small boat to shatter into pieces as it pounded the waves and the waves hit back.
We made the shore in one piece. And my brother’s first words on Nagsasa: “You sure picked a great day to introduce me to Nagsasa”, or something like that.
The day was a lot better as it progressed. We spent the day on a hammock or taking a refreshing dip in the river at the back of the camp site.
Sunset was deceptively serene, showing no hint or indication of what’s coming to us later in the evening. My brother remarked how intense Nagsasa’s welcome was for him: an early morning bath from the scary boat ride and a raging wild fire in the evening - a baptism by water and fire.
Sunrise scene the next day did not show hints of the chaos that ensured the previous night. Nagsasa returned to its quiet and serene mood.
The boat ride on the way back to Pundakit was still rough, but we got rewarded with a surreal lighting when we reached the beach. It was the first that I saw the sea at its most bluest/greenest from that place.
It was an intense weekend, but all’s well that ends well.