January 31 – February 2, 2014: Tropical depression evolving into a tropical storm. Category two storm warnings posted for Northern Palawan. Storm expected to pass overhead on Saturday evening. Winds gusting to 100 kilometres per hour and lots of rain. That’s what we were hearing from staff at Sangat Island and seeing on the weather forecasts.
We were quite exposed on our mooring off the island, so we decided to play it safe and return to the much more protected moorings at the Busuanga Yacht Club on Friday afternoon. We holed up all day Saturday waiting for something to happen. Yes, it was overcast. But the winds and the rain never materialized. Either this storm hole was really well protected or the weather bureau was being overly cautious. My guess was the latter, especially considering that Basyang (international name Kajiki) was following nearly the identical track as that of Supertyphoon Yolanda less than three months previously.
We’d dropped off some clothing and towels at the resort and our laundry wouldn’t be ready until Monday, so it meant staying yet another day. Sunday was bright and sunny again, so we decided to take a walk from the town of Concepcion to a nearby waterfall. We’d heard it wasn’t much, but at least we’d be outside enjoying some fresh air and getting a little exercise.
Our arrival at the Concepcion pier was greeted by a gaggle of kids flying homemade kites. The best toy we saw, however, was a little banca boat on a string made from a small white bleach bottle and a few sticks tied together to form the outriggers. It did float, because we found it later in the water by the breakwater, abandoned.
After getting directions to the waterfall, we set off, first down the dusty road through town and later along a muddy trail winding along a small creek. Less than 20 minutes later, we were met on the trail by a boy who accompanied us the rest of the way. He told us his name was Bransen. The waterfall wasn’t much to speak of, but there was a nice pond and grotto and some rather depressing concrete huts for picnickers. Despite a prominent sign encouraging everyone to take care of the area, there was a fair bit of garbage strewn about and graffiti covering everything.
We took a few photos and were about to head back when Bransen suddenly jumped up and started climbing the rock face beside the pond. He was putting on quite a show for us. He climbed out a tree branch over the pond and bounced up and down for a bit before plunging down and swimming back to us on shore, all the while wearing his flip flops. Check it out on video.
Back in Concepcion, we gave in to our cravings for lobster curry once again, as little Binga sat patiently right at our feet watching every bite we took with a hopeful look. No Bruce, we didn’t take her back with us to MOKEN, tempting as that was.
Coming soon…a look at the town of Culion and its interesting history as the home of the Culion Leper Colony.