In the company of sunbeams

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

  • The sun tore through Monsoon clouds today making conditions perfect for some island hoping around Coron Bay. My friend Yolande and I rented a crewed outrigger canoe, a type of boat common in Asia and known locally here in the Philippines as a Bangka.

    Coron Bay is a popular destination for snorkelling and scuba diving and is listed as one of the worlds top-10 best scuba diving sites by Forbes Traveler Magazine. However, because it’s low season now and monsoon rains are common, Yolande and I we’re more or less alone as we hoped between islands, jumping into the warm tropical waters to go snorkelling at various places along the way.

    Among them was Kayangan Lake, a turquoise colored fresh water lagoon nestled amidst sheer limestone cliffs that plunge deep beneath the surface of what some say is the cleanest water in the Philippines. Snorkelling here was nothing short of mesmerizing, an absolutely unforgettable experience.

    As I swan beside the underwater cliffs I felt like I was flying. I would reach out and touch the sharp limestone towers that stood like monumental beams of a cathedral cast out of the ancient rock by nature itself. As I turned a corner I found myself floating among sunbeams that shimmered in the water around me like the lights of the Aurora dancing in the polar night skies.

    It’s hard to convey just how breathtaking that moment was. As I drifted in the company of sunbeams I blinked slowly, taking pictures in my mind and telling myself to never forget this moment or this feeling.

    There isn’t a photograph that captured that, nor could there be. My pictures of the lagoon seem flat and somehow lifeless when viewed in singularity. I don’t mind though, I understand that sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words when even a million couldn’t communicate that particular fragment of time. So instead today’s picture shows the shore at Kayangan Bay. Just beyond those huts is the path that takes you to the lagoon and a place that if your paying attention, will reveal more to you than just the limitations of a lens.