The palms extend on two sides of the route and tint the landscape in a sea of green color. The leaves of the banana trees bow in the wind and in the shadows under the trees are some buffaloes and cows around. In part, you can see the typical picture of a bird sitting on the back of an animal. Just as it is known only from films or documentations. Partly on the street, there are pigs tied on branches which are taking a bath in the mud. Everywhere dogs are lying on the street. They look completely different. There are well-fed dogs with a collar and also you can see many poor destinies, who are struggling with eczema. You learn quickly here, to not cry for every sad fate you see.
I enjoy the cool wind all over my Body and I even more enjoy the physical contact with my boyfriend, who moves us safely forward on the moped. It’s true that I feel good. I always feel good with him by my side and it is just wonderful to spend more than a weekend of time with him.
We reach a small village and the kids are all on the way home from school. The children here wear beautiful school uniforms and look just cute with their small backpacks. Especially the girls immediately start to laugh and wave to us frantically and shout loudly “Hiiiii”. It’s fun to see people laughing and smiling like that.
On the sides of the road are in part large tarpaulins, on which the farmers dry their rice. I wonder what people really do for living and earning Money here. Sometimes you can see people guiding buffaloes and every now and then we come across a small shop selling the most necessary things. We hardly ever see such small shops anymore in my country, I would not even think of a store as having a real chance of survival. But here, people only buy the bare necessities, so there is probably no demand for a huge discount store or supermarket. How naive I was that I thought to find something like this here…
The ride feels carefree, just like my whole vacation here in the Philippines. I have not been so carefree for a long time and certainly not this much recovered. With every kilometer we drive inland, I forget a concern more from home and I can feel my heart go to all the friendly people. At first I thought the philippine people might feel disturbed if you wanted to take a picture of them, but they all start laughing right away and show me their partially crooked teeth. It seems that such things like a toothpaste smile, the latest sneakers or other fashion trends finally do not count in this place. The people here seem to be busy with other things. More valuable things.
The drive to Magpupungko takes about 45 minutes from General Luna and (with the exception of my butt) I am almost a little sad that the ride is already over.
But what we find there is even more beautiful than expected. Magpupungko Rock Pools should definitely be seen. When the tide sets in and the water disappears, only the rocks rise out of the ground and the deeper parts of the bottom create a kind of swimming pool with crystal clear water. It is beautiful to swim in the pools and float in the water. From the largest rock in the middle of one of the pools, people regularly jump into the water. At first glance, this seems a bit daring, but the waterholes are sometimes quite deep, so climbing up to the rocks barefoot is probably the bigger problem than the jump itself.
The People who are not willing to jump can also watch the small and tiny fish which get locked up in one of the water wholes. We saw funny little crayfish, starfish and other funny creatures.
It is really romantic to swim in the pools and unfortunately the tide came too fast again. So we sat at one of the local restaurants (if you can call them that) and had a nice meal. The friendly chubby lady at the booth recommended us the catch of the day and I shared it with five hungry cats who could even be petted. This was of course the absolute highlight for a fan of animals like me, and I was able to cover my need for pats. I’m afraid you have to see this with your own eyes, even the following pictures can never put this beautiful day into words:
The timing of our visit was imperative. In fact, if you are even an hour or two late it may ruin the entire experience for you. The Magpupungko rock pools are tidal pools. This means they are exposed during low tide and submerged at high Tide. I suggest arriving an hour before low tide and then enjoying the rock pools for an hour or so either side of low tide.