It was Friday at 3 in the afternoon when I came to Balabac. The sight was normal as other provinces except that there’s a mountain in the middle. The residential area surrounds the ring of rock like bits of pieces. On the open area in the port, a skinny man welcomed me with his red motorcab. I didn’t know Kuya Johnny, my host, is at this age, his voice and eagerness to chat made me think he’s younger. He even has a facebook account. Haha He’s also kind to pick me up even though my booking is a day later.
We drove in a few minutes to his house where he introduced me to his pretty (and younger) wife since he’ll not be around by the time I check in. Their 5 years old daughter is sooo cute she can match to Scarlet Belo! Haha
The next appointment should be with Kuya Totoh. Our arrangements were vague. I didn’t know who will pick me up or if I should go to his house. I ate first to solve my hunger while letting Kuya Johnny coordinate with them. It was not too long when the assigned boatman came. Everything was pretty fast as we are rushing before sunset.
|See that green outline in the horizon?|
The boat that we used was a small pump boat with no outriggers that can fit up to four people. With the waves that we encountered in the public boat earlier, I hoped that the people here know what they’re doing. God getting to Onok was tad difficult already!
At 4PM we set out for Onok. The boatman and assistant were at the back leaving me in the front. Imagine my fear when the waves taller than in our boat came knocking at us? I’m like a defenseless guard catching all the attack. There’s no part in me that came out dry. That’s officially my first bath since the trip.
In all those drop where I can’t even open my mouth to scream, I was thinking what have I put myself into. The unforgiving waves came in all direction making it hard for us to stay on top. Good thing is the hell didn’t last long, we were soon running in calm water.
The only time I felt secure was when a blue green line was visible on the horizon. The sea is bordered by a lighter hue and not a little far, an island came into the view. Houses on stilts made me excited, it’s Onok!
Look how calm the water is!
When the water started turning turquoise blue, we officially entered Onok premises. Onok’s sand stretches up to 3 kilometers and shared by trees and sand bar. The limitless sky is what makes it even more beautiful. It hovers for 360 degrees and it felt so low like a blanket falling on you. No words can express my happiness. It’s love at first sight!
The setting sun gave a warm pinkish-orange-ish color that suits very well with the instrumental beach music in the background. Though this place is certainly not 5-starred, I felt the luxury of being in an exclusive island. No other guest, just me.
|At the back of the house|
Up the wooden bridge, Kuya Totoh greeted me. He reminds me of a cartoon character, just severely tanned. His facial features comes close with a sea cow and I cannot trace a political background. We save the conversation for later because I badly need to wash up. But my mind was torn between sanity and experience. I badly wanted to go out and enjoy the sunset.
The ending? I washed up first. I thought I can still catch some sun after my bath but no. Oh how fast the sun came to rest. I regret it for a moment but hey, this view is still beautiful!
|A splash of orange in a darkening sky|
What more? They gave me a rainbow. A welcome banner on a warm sky. God still loves me! What more can I ask for? I’m in paradise!