If you have not tried swimming inside a fish pen in the deep, do so, I did, somewhere in a place called Dolphin Island at Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park in Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental.
I swam and snorkeled inside a fish pen amongst fishes and marine sea life that I’ve never imagined I’d ever do in my life.
There were yellow fins that swim vertically in a marching fashion – that was what they do all hours. They go down and up, down and up. There were large fishes that swim horizontally (that’s what fish are supposed to do) in groups, they call it a school, that charges straight at your direction, you have to swim away for fear of collision and getting punctured with their sharp pointy beaks.
There’s a giant sea turtle that swims faster than any of them. The only human being who can even touch the turtle is the caretaker. In fact, and to my jealousy and dismay, I reckon that maybe they have built a special human-turtle friendship because the guy can ride on his back like a superman. And I say superman because it speeds off like a bullet with wings.
That was the first pen. The other pen was friendlier and safer. There were only giant clams and small fishes that don’t scare your wits off. The giant clams even if they are irritated cannot come as close as an inch but fishes come near you as you feed them and you feel safe because in the fish world, “Nobody bites the hand that feeds!” It’s a happy and relaxing affair snorkeling with your back against the sun. A pleasant distraction from the previous pen with the wild animals, I mean fish.
The other pen is a bigger pen with flirty dolphins but we can’t swim with them. These mammals are real flirts, they like it when they are being watched unlike the freaking elusive giant turtle that hids in the bottom of the sea away from the limelight. The dolphins in fact show themselves off wiggling their way into the ocean in pairs, playing in what I perceive as a happy game of sorts, squirting water here and there and shooting themselves up into the open air in a 360-degree somersault. They do that often especially when they are applauded and of course fed.
After a hot afternoon basking under the sun and soaking in saltwater, I have made a conclusion that in that part of the earth, dolphins are my friends, turtles are not, and yellow fins (not its real name) are creepy.