A blissful moment

This past week has been a bit of a disaster. We left Coron on Monday and flew to Cebu with high hopes of famous waterfalls and marine adventures but Mother Nature had a different plan. A typhoon rolled through on Tuesday and lasted the better part of the week, putting a big damper on our plans. I basically spent 6 days taking busses to different hostels in different towns and finally ended up in Cebu City where we could atleast walk around inside of a mall and go to the movies. I tried my best to remain positive despite wanting to rip my hair out and for the most part I succeeded. It was a minor set back but thankfully I still have a little over a week left to visit everywhere I've wanted to go. Seeing bridges, roads, and homes destroyed made me realize that my frustrations are insignificant.

Today is December 1st and the sun has been shining all day. I love the new beginning that the first of the month represents. The bad weather is (hopefully) behind us and we can resume our plans. We were up at sunrise this morning to catch a bus, a ferry, another bus, and a little motor boat to make it to itty bitty Apo Island. The island only has electricity from 6-9pm, 5 guest houses, and 1 restaurant. I was so happy when we finally got on the little motor boat to get here. It felt amazing to be on a boat and not a bus, on the ocean instead of the road.

We grabbed snorkels as soon as we arrived this afternoon and got into the water. We were all itching to be in the ocean after a week of being stuck inside. It felt like a rebirth being able to swim around in the salt water again, exploring coral reefs that line the shore. As if that wasn't enough in itself, the reefs were filled with my favorite marine animal, sea turtles! I can die happy now, having spent an hour swimming side by side with handfuls of these majestic creatures. It was one of the coolest experiences I've had and I can't wait to jump in the water with them again tomorrow. Of course this was our sole purpose for coming to Apo Island so it wasn't any sort of surprise but still when you actually see them you can't help but squeal. They are so tranquil and elegant, not giving a second of attention to the strangers following them around. 

All it took was one blissful moment in the ocean, swimming side by side with a giant sea turtle, and this entire week has been completely worth it. 

**December 2nd: Having no electricity last night and therefore no fan for sleeping was absolute torture. I don't know how people sleep in those conditions every night and I know I'm being a diva but it was so miserable. But the misery was worth it because this morning, after we hiked up to a lighthouse, we spent a solid hour swimming with sea turtles. We were all trying to come up with a way to describe them and were at a loss for words. All we could say is that they are just so freaking COOL! Once we were over swimming we got on another tiny wooden motor boat and started the 2 hour ride to Siquijor. I can already tell I'm going to love this little island. It's much cleaner and seems to have more development and civilization than some other ones we've been to. The sunset we saw this evening was a beautiful swirl of pink and purple and the water was perfectly still and peaceful. Tomorrow we'll rent motorbikes and explore the island. I've only got one full day here before I head to Bohol to meet a friend from home who is coming to travel with me for the next month. It's going to be so nice to see a familiar face and have someone to spend the holidays with. To say that I'm excited would be an understatement, I can not wait to see her!

Molly Rose