THE JELLYFISH SANCTUARY OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS

Among the many breathtaking natural attractions that I have explored in the whole Bucas Grande Islands, there is one magical place that until now bedazzled me. This place is called Jellyfish Sanctuary.

Having toured to the key tourist spots in the whole islands, I thought I had seen enough. Truthfully, all these wonders of nature were captivating. But when our tour guide led us to the Jellyfish Sanctuary, everything seemed surreal. As if we were brought to the other world. Here’s the story.
After our island tour at Bubon Group of Islets, we sailed back to Sohoton Reception Center. It was already late afternoon. Upon reaching the Center, we were told that we will be transferring to small paddleboats in going to the Jellyfish Sanctuary. Motorized boats are strictly not allowed getting inside the whole sanctuary. The small paddleboats can carry two passengers and a boatman. In my case, I was the only passenger.
The sail going to the Jellyfish Sanctuary was out of the ordinary experience. The waters were calm. The whole environs were wrapped by tranquility I can hear the rowing of the paddles. The enigmatic chirping of various wild birds made the sail more exciting. I’ve tried boating in different places but this one was entirely surreal.

The Entrance of the Jellyfish Sanctuary

Nearing the mouth of the Sanctuary, my boatman named Richmond began narrating the story behind the mystical beauty of the Jellyfish Sanctuary. I learned from him that some years ago the whole place was originally inhabited by multitude of sea urchins locally known as “Tujom” hence they formerly called the place Tujoman. One day, for some unknown reason, this huge number of sea urchin dwelling at Tujoman began disappearing until none of them was left. As days gone by, a smack of jellyfishes began congregating the place. It was becoming a larger group and local folks began noticing. Soon, the locals found out that these jellyfishes dwelling in the waters of Tujoman were non-stinging. The smack of jellyfishes grew into a great number. It even multiplied to millions of jellyfishes permanently dwelling in the place. Soon after, they called the place “The Jellyfish Sanctuary”. They later opened the place for tourists but intense protection and preservation of the Sanctuary were maintained.

Limestone forests abounds inside the Jellyfish Sanctuary

As we enter the opening of the Jellyfish Sanctuary, there was one thing I instantly noticed about the place. There was a profound tranquility that enveloped the whole environs. Everything that I see there was filled with calmness and peace. It was a very contagious serenity I can feel it inside me.

The first jelly fish that i saw made me shout in amazement.

Sailing forward, jellyfishes began to appear in the waters. I shouted in amazement seeing the very first jellyfish that appeared in the waters. Another smack of jellyfishes we passed by. And then another. And another. As we moved towards the very heart of sanctuary, multitude of jellyfishes surrounded our boats. Again, I felt I was on another planet. This was surreal. Slowly, I was beginning to get emotional. Teary-eyed, I looked around praising and admiring such a spectacular body of water fully inhabited by millions of stunning jellyfishes.

Sitting at the edge of the boat, I noticed a smack of jellyfish flocking around out tiny vessel. I learned from Richmond that jellyfishes here are naturally friendly. They even come closer when boats are coming in. Since these creatures are non-stinging, I excitedly caught one jellyfish out of the water and held it in my hands. As soon as I felt its texture and seen its form, I let go of it. Richmond told me jellyfishes can only last for ten seconds out of the water. So, I had to put it back.

I had to admit I fear jellyfishes. They are noted to be stingingly perilous. But the jellyfishes of the Bucas Grande Islands are non-stinging and friendly. They even came closer towards us. It seemed they wanted play around with us. They were so welcoming. I put my hands in the waters at once and they came nearer. They were like wonderful pets. Amazing creatures.

Before the sundown, the group started to leave the Sanctuary. All of us left the place charmed and amazed by what we saw. In my case, I felt overly joyous having experienced such tremendous encounter with the jellyfish. I was very lucky too that my boatman Richmond was kind and smart enough to tell me everything I want to know about the Sanctuary. After all, it is one of their prides.

This is ME with a non-stinging jellyfish in my hands.

Having gone and experienced this unique adventure with the Jellyfishes of Bucas Grande Islands, I felt another dream of mine has realized. I used to dream of going to the island nation of Palau and swim with the jellyfishes at the Jellyfish Lake of Eil Malk but now I need not to go out of the country to fulfill this bizarre experience. My beautiful island of the Philippines now boasts the Jellyfish Sanctuary of Bucas Grande Islands that is undeniably a world-class natural attraction that can definitely put all tourists, local and foreign alike, in so much awe and amazement like those in Palau.

Me and travel buddies amazed by the enchanting Charms of the Jellyfish Sanctuary.

My closest encounter with jellyfish at the Sanctuary is the highlight of my Bucas Grande Island Exploration. Other natural wonders of the Island are indisputably attractions to behold. But experiencing Jellyfish Sanctuary is absolutely an exceptional experience. It is commendable and worth to experience again. If given a chance, I shall back there and swim and play with the jellyfishes again.

Meet Richmond, my gracious boatman. Many thanks.

Experiencing Jellyfish Sanctuary of the Bucas Grande Islands is the final stop of my Bucas Grande Island Exploration.

FOR GUIDED TOUR, you may call contact:

VINCENT ADLAO TAMAYO
Accredited Tour Guide of Socorro Tourism Office
0930.802.8704 

This is the sixth part of “EXPLORING CARAGA REGION: The Travel Series

  1. CATCHING SUNRISE AT CLAVER, SURIGAO DEL NORTE
  2. SOCORRO AND THE BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  3. CLUB TARA AND TIKTIKAN LAKE OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  4. SOHOTON NATIONAL PARK OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  5. THE SANDY BEACHES AND STUNNING ISLETS OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  6. THE JELLYFISH SANCTUARY OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  7. EXPERIENCING SAN JOSE AND THE PROVINCE OF DINAGAT ISLANDS
  8. THE LEGEND OF DINAGAT ISLANDS

SOCORRO AND THE BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS

It was the glorious sunrise that welcomed us upon arrivals at the Port of Hayanggabon in Claver, Surigao Del Norte, the jump off point going to the Bucas Grande Islands. From the harbor, the view of the Islands can already be seen. In less than an hour, my dream to see the famed Islands of Bucas Grande was about to come true. Just the thought it thrilled me.

One of Islands of Bucas Grande

Aboard the motorized boat going to the Islands, I learned that Bucas Grande is part of the Municipality of Socorro and belongs to the Province of Surigao Del Norte. What I didn’t know that surprised me is that Socorro is actually one of tChe nine municipalities that comprise the famous Siargao Islands, the famed surfing capital of the Philippines. It was so amazing to know that we were actually sailing the blue waters of Siargao.

Club Tara Resort

While the main island of Siargao is home to world-class surfing areas, touristy resorts and other natural attractions, the Bucas Grande Islands of Socorro features amazing different wonders of nature that are incredibly best for a remarkable relaxation and communing with nature.

Sohoton Reception Center

Approaching the Bucas Grande Islands, we were told that we were about to experience a pristine island adventure at its best. Our gracious tour guide explained that some parts of the islands are proclaimed National Park and conservation of its natural beauty is maintained. I looked around the whole environs, indeed, everything is unspoiled – a rare beauty so immaculate and magnificent. Seeing those, I began to drown myself to full admiration.

Inside Sohoton National Park

When God created the 7,107 Islands of the Philippines, He chose the town of Socorro to be one home of the country’s most mystical gifts of nature. These are gifts Socorro can truly claim one of the finest in the entire country. The group of beautiful islands and islets are beautifully scattered in the tranquil clear blue waters of Siargao. The abundant verdant vegetations that cover the mountains are thick and untrimmed. The coves are mystical and enchantingly mesmerizing. The serene exquisiteness of the lakes is truly magical. All that comprise the Bucas Grande Islands are glorious natural wonders.

The Jelly Fish Sanctuary

These were among the many mystical things that Bucas Grande Islands of Socorro let me experienced. It gave me an exceptional experience communing with Mother Nature at its full glory. Everything I that experienced there was truly special. It is like traveling to another dimension – a place of enchantment.

This Blogger Holding a Non-Stinging Jelly Fish

Having gone to these islands and experienced its mystical wonders, I can say that paradise exists in this part of the world. I now call it the “Paradise Islands of Bucas Grande”. I have been there and I experienced that true paradise!

Me and my travel buddies at Club Tara Resort

This is the second part of “EXPLORING CARAGA REGION: The Travel Series

  1. CATCHING SUNRISE AT CLAVER, SURIGAO DEL NORTE
  2. SOCORRO AND THE BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  3. CLUB TARA AND TIKTIKAN LAKE OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  4. SOHOTON NATIONAL PARK OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  5. THE SANDY BEACHES AND STUNNING ISLETS OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  6. THE JELLYFISH SANCTUARY OF BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS
  7. EXPERIENCING SAN JOSE AND THE PROVINCE OF DINAGAT ISLANDS
  8. THE LEGEND OF DINAGAT ISLANDS

THE TEN TRIBES, ONE VIBE OF KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL 2011

TEN TRIBES, ONE VIBE. This is the theme of Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival 2011. The tribes of Ata, Matigsalug, Ovu-Manuvo, Klata-Djangan, Tagabawa, Tausog, Maguindanao, Maranao, Kagan, and Sama are the ethnic groups that comprised the 10 different tribes of Davao.

Though diverse in cultures, traditions and beliefs, these tribes are very much connected by a common origin that binds them together as ONE and the SAME. An origin that traces the core of history of DAVAO CITY.  Ten Tribes, One Vibe.

Many years ago, it was believed these Davao’s ethnic tribes especially those residing at the foot of Mount Apo, THE Philippine’s highest peak, would converge during a bountiful harvest. This ritual serves as their thanksgiving to the gods. During the thanksgiving, various farming harvests like fruits, flowers, vegetables, rice and corn grains were displayed on mats. It was the tribe’s way of paying respect and thanks to the gods of the harvest for the year’s abundance. The offering of thanksgiving dances and songs highlighted the ritual. This was a ritual that was passed from generations to generations.

Today, times have changed yet this tradition of thanksgiving is still practiced. Descendants of the Ten Tribes, the modern day Dabawenyos and the neighboring tribes of Southern Mindanao would converge every third week of August for the celebration of KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL – a merriment of blessings for the bounties of nature, the richness of culture, the gifts of bountiful harvest and the tranquility of living.

In the much anticipated Street Dancing locally called “Indak Indak sa Kadalaan”, the vibrant colors, heart pounding drum beats and awe inspiring dances of the different tribes of Davao and other tribes of Southern Mindanao dominated the main streets of Davao City. The melody of every song, the rhythm of the smashing drums and the groovy vibes of the surroundings joyfully set the whole city in a jovial mood.

It was a great showcase of different cultures reflected on the well rehearsed dances of the 23 contingents vying for the grand prize. The choreographed dances showcasing tribal rituals and ways of lives of the different tribes truly showed the richness of culture and prosperity of living of each tribe portrayed during the performances.

Being a Dabawenyo, seeing these performances made me proud of the heritage of my home city. This made me realized despite differences of culture coming from different ways of lives; we all got to embrace the multicultural diversity of the city.

PHOTOS BELOW SHOW THE FESTIVE COLORS OF KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL 2011











Truly, KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL is a celebration of Davao’s richness and diverse artistic, cultural and historical heritage. A celebration that, I, as a Dabawenyo should never miss.

This Blogger and the Kadayawan Indakers

MEET THE TRAVEL TELLER

WELCOME! You’ve just come across a travel journal of Traveling Nomad that hopes to chronicle series of humble travels and exciting journeys to the best kept secrets of the 7,107 Island of the Philippines and perhaps the world. My name is OLAN and I am your humble “Travel Teller”.

The Travel Teller is also a Shutter Bug.

Cliché, life is a journey. A voyage. So does mine. I believe there is a “traveler” in all of us waiting to be ignited. Waiting to be pushed. But once it fired up, it is incredibly unstoppable. The travel continues. The travel goes on and on. And on. Believe me, I’ve experienced all these. [Read more…]