Swimming is fun. Spelunking is fun. Put the two together on Christmas day. It is outrageous!
I spent one Christmas day, island hopping and beaching at one hundred islands (and more) at Alaminos, Pangasinan with friends. Rock islands big and small, fine white beaches, bridges, wharfs, modern buildings and motorized bancas and of course a restaurant that filled us up with sinigang na lapulapu and sizzling pusit.
There were more than a hundred islands to begin with, so we chose only the destinations to satisfy our lust for water. Our guide brought us to a tiny rock island for privacy – just for the five of us. This is where we spent half of our island hopping time, swimming and splashing on the clear waters like kids.
We headed to the bigger islands with modern structures and another bigger island with the famous view deck. There was an island made for children’s swimming pleasure. Some islands have sea caves.
One sea cave, can be reached through the open sea or on top of the hill where the view is both beautiful and daunting but ends up enticing the viewer all the same. So I dived into the dark blue waters for the challenge. I should have known better about sea caves, because as soon as I wanted to climb up the railings the current was so strong and the walls were slippery. So I swam away out of the cave just like the rest and into the open sea behind the sea cliff and against waves and strong current, I was not a strong swimmer, I wished I did not jump off the water at all but there was no way of going back. I reached the white beach exhausted and victorious of my achievement. Later I joined a pack of tourists swimming in the shallow waters while my companions who refused to jump into the sea cave are still up on the hills taking pictures of themselves.
One thing I learned from that experience is that swimming in sea caves is only for strong swimmers and not for the faint of heart. No regrets though because it was a lesson learned and I am still alive!