it’s the philippines’ longest causeway. spanning 3.5 km, pangangan island causeway connects the small island of pangangan to mainland calape, bohol. from what i have observed, it doesn’t really sit high above the water so i wonder if it gets flooded if the tide goes any higher. and by that, it’s more a question of navigability because i figured, duhr, with an allowance of barely 2 feet, of course it’s bound to be submerged in water!
but according to history, thanks to this website, since it was completed in the 1950s, the island’s bigger concern was the causeway being damaged by strong waves and typhoons. repairing it time and time again became an expensive government endeavour.
enter felipe ytac sr. and anastacio toloy, the former who, together with student volunteers, started planting mangroves at the start of the causeway in the late 1950s, and the latter who continued and expanded his project.
long story short, both sides of the causeway are now lined with mangroves galore. it’s so thick it’s all you ever see. except for some bald spots which isn’t really too bad because it breaks up the scenery, and my paragraphs, into something like this:
it’s a beautiful sight, i can tell you that much. i’m a sucker for idyllic views like this. it’s probably a different life on the other side. a different hustle. but something about looking at the boats’ reflections on a calm water induces some form of tranquility within, albeit temporarily.
i could sit by the side of the road and look at it all day, at the risk of passersby assuming i’m mental. but a high-functioning one at that because chances are, i’d probably be scribbling something incoherent on my journal. or painting on it with my new and f%cking expensive winsor & newton designers gouache i kind of don’t have the heart to waste with my imaginary creative pursuits but complete lack of artistic talents. (girlie’s birthday gift because she believes in my hallucinations. thanks, girlie!)
don’t let these pictures fool you, though. the only reason why these little pockets of heaven are calm is because it is surrounded by mangroves.
outside of it, the waves are freakin’ scary, i kid you not. it’s hell out there! those little trees really take the brunt of it. which is why it has been deemed very successful in preserving the structural integrity of the causeway while fostering a thriving local marine system.
apparently, it’s slowly gaining popularity with tourists too.
which was what got us there in the first place for a quick visit to see what the fuss was about.
the first resort we went to was so disappointing i don’t even think it can be called a resort. or maybe it really wasn’t and it was just a joint the locals go to. but they did have the basic amenities for it so maybe it was. either way, it wasn’t very child-friendly because it was cliff-y and like i said, waves. frankly, it wasn’t very adult-friendly either for the exact same reasons.
or maybe i was just being a baby and need to suck it up. grow some balls.
but i don’t wanna grow some balls. and the rest of the group didn’t either. so we were on the road again looking for a nicer place to spend the rest of the afternoon at. somewhere with sand, preferably.
and so we found ourselves next at JAV beach resort and restaurant. that’s what their signage said, except that they didn’t have any food to sell. not even chips. or a bottle of water. all they had were these huts for rent.
but for what it’s worth, they were situated in a nice spot and the resort itself was rather pretty so other than that, it’s all good.
all in all, i reckon pangangan island is still pretty much an infant as far as tourism goes. sure, there might be a handful of ‘resorts’ here and there but they all could use some major improvements in terms of services and facilities. nothing 5-star but, you know, have a little something more to offer to visitors is all i’m saying.
because it’s a really nice area. especially the second one we went to. the water was calm and warm and the coconut trees were a welcome sight even if the risk of coconuts falling on your head wasn’t.
although raven did not particularly enjoy the sandy walk on the beach i kind of enforced on her for sensory development, it was still a nice beach. you could see tiny fishes swimming in the shallow water which, for me, was a sign of how healthy their marine life is.
but who knows? in time, maybe they would eventually sort themselves out and actually become another popular tourist destination in bohol. seriously, they have the potential for it.
*raven at 1 year & 2 months old