Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summer Gone

Posted this on Chico Garcia's blog. The Top Ten topic was the Most Memorable Summer.

"I was supposed to send an entry when this was airing, but the show ended before I could.

"All these happened in a span of 36 hours in Anilao, Batangas one summer in the early 90s:

"From our beach resort, we decided to go to Sombrero Island and on the boat ride there, about half a dozen dolphins swam side by side with our speeding boat, leaping in and out of the water just a few feet away from us. This went on for about 5 minutes or so until they disappeared underwater.

"When we got to Sombrero, we had the whole island to ourselves and it felt like we were the only living humans on earth sitting on an island that was just one big rock jutting out of the open sea.

"When we got back to the resort there were people gathered around an unconscious man in a wet suit while another man was trying to revive him. It turned out he was a diver who had "shot up" and was recovered by his friends just behind Sombrero Island right before we got there. Still unconscious and not breathing, he was loaded up behind a pick-up and brought to the hospital. We learned that night that he didn't make it.

"On our way back home to Manila the next day, we stopped by the Batangas Pier. We noticed a smallish ship that looked foreign so we walked over the docks. The ship turned out to be The Calypso. Yep, the very same Calypso which carried Jacques Cousteau to his ocean adventures in those documentaries we saw on Channel 9 when we were kids. We couldn't believe it. The people on the ship saw us and invited us to come on board. Jacques wasn't there but his son was and we were given the grand tour. They even let all of us in the bridge and run our fingers over the controls while the crew spoke English with a French accent. When we left they heartily shook our hands and seemed genuinely thrilled by our being there as much as we were.

"A surreal ending to a surreal weekend. And none of us brought a camera."

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