6:32 am. The sunrays now shine tenderly behind the sleeping eyes. After three days of satisfying fun in the historical island of Camiguin, Philippines.. here we are, in a barge positioning itself ready to unload its contented passengers. Well, the adventure is not over yet, 30 minutes away is another breath-taking site to remember, sands to meddle, and waters to play with – DUKA BAY! As we were inclined to do, we headed immediately to our designated cars to deliver us. An “egg”licious and “beef loaf”ful breakfast awaited us. We were instructed that we could do what we want to do, as long as the money is laid down at the table – snorkeling, banana boat, scuba diving, and everything nice (anything beach related). But what does this stop-over trip have in store for us? Three words – BREAKFAST, REST, and CORAL-WATCHING. Yup, coral-watching baby! We were divided to groups, 10 people each one. Since the resort can only accommodate two boats at a time, then only two groups can go at once, so yup, we have to wait until the other group’s done.
While waiting for the other group, I couldn’t contain myself; I started contemplating what the deep bay can offer. Yes, we were expecting corals and all.. but what else? A shark ready to devour us fully? A giant serpent ready to coil our throats? A mermaid whose voice can knock you out of your feet? Or something else? *Thrill. WAIT! Strike of reality.. the boat is here! It’s now our turn! We excitedly hopped into the boat which will be our “friend” for the rest of the sight-seeing. It’s simple, but it has a glass in the middle to allow us to see clearly what the deep can showcase, we ought to see through the looking glass. Then, there it goes, a journey to surrealism; different hues of eye-warming flashes, shades of all colors – red to blue to green. A fish swimming gracefully along the kaleidoscope of exotic corals, a starfish skulking timidly in the coral depressions. The beauty, the natural marvels.. all result of a thousand-year making. And oh, sweet corals! I remembered something about them! THEY ARE ANIMALS, NOT PLANTS. And talk about their classification, I recollected my Systematics class.. holophyly, clade, homoplasy, cline, ontogeny, and taxon. Taxon, taxon, taxon – such a complex term to comeby with. Believe me, they are foreign to my brain cells too. Let me exemplify the complex definition of the word “taxon” by describing its meaning through giving of examples, the taxon that dominates Duka bay are corals, starfishes, some snakes, and lots of fishes – that’s taxon! Simple as that, I defined it. By now you should have pictured it right? Fishes of all colors, things of different forms, and ancient corals in the pristine sea backdrop.
These unique array of fauna found in Duka bay must be conserved, these types of marine environment is hard to come by with nowadays. It’s disheartening to imagine how they are destroyed; these kinds of life are worth saving. But why? How ecologically important are they? In the ‘circle of life’, humans along with every other organism plays a significant role, coral reefs aren’t an exception and so does the other organisms that rely on it, they maintain the balance of life! I’m so much in awe and love with the beauty of the coral reefs, that I’m afraid to include tourism as an importance of coral reefs. For the hearts of men are corrupt and it has depleted nature innumerable times in the name of tourism. Nonetheless, coral reef destinations are recognized as the biggest tourist attractions, especially on islands like Maldives and Jamaica who totally depend on coral reefs for their economy. Add Philippines in the list, this enlightenment wouldn’t be possible if I haven’t seen this magnificence which cannot be denied. Nature never failed in attracting us. I just hope everything can be conserved.. which is impossible, but still, I had to believe. We have to. Life relies on another life. Through this escapade from reality, I can now see clearly THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, but by believing, I can now shatter it and held out my hand for the aid they need. ALL LIFE IS PRECIOUS.