Monday, May 02, 2016

ROMBLON, ONE MORE TIME




            It has barely been a month since we were in Romblon and we were  back again. This time we came for some charitable cause. While we were in Cobrador a month ago, Patricia, the Swiss wife of Albert, our hosts in Cobrador, upon knowing that Ronnie, my companion had a business with computers, openly wished if the school children in Cobrador, since they just recently got a 24-hour electricity would be given the chance to have computers. Without batting an eyelash Ronnie said right away that it is very much possible. He was willing to donate six computers to the elementary school in Cobrador.  While I was doing my blog, I texted Patricia to get more info about their place as I was planning to feature their Turtle Cove, I learned that by middle of May they will already be leaving for Switzerland.  When I informed Ronnie about it, we right away made arrangements to see which date both of us were free so that we could go back and deliver the computers to the school.

            Ronnie brought along his wife Rhoda and they decided just to drive from Tacloban on a Wednesday just in time for the Thursday afternoon boat ride to Romblon.   They originally planned to go straight to Manila as they wanted to have some repairs made in their car. Since only Ronnie was driving, they made several stops along  the way to rest and it became apparent they will not be able to make it to Manila. I asked our office driver  to bring me to Batangas pier where we will just meet. 

                 Montenegro shipping lines has a policy that tickets are just bought on the day itself. From Fr. Nars, I got to know a scalper who could buy us tickets for a minimal fee. We wanted to get at least an aircon accommodation but I was informed after sending the money that the only tickets already available were just for economy. There were indeed plenty of passengers when we boarded. Many even had no cots at all. It was indeed a sacrifice throughout the night. There were instances when the wind blew and it was a bit cool but then it became hot again especially that my place was near the chimney of the ship.  Being late by an hour in departing, the boat arrived in Romblon at seven o’clock  the following day. Albert was already at the port waiting for us. After a short breakfast at a nearby restaurant, we passed by first Villa del Mar to greet Bp. Abellana and to see Fr. Nars. Fr. Nars could not come along this time as they were going to Corcuera that afternoon for the parish fiesta.

            We again had the same boat that we took the last time we came. We were in Cobrador by past ten. The principal of the school, Niño Mago was already there waiting for us.  In no time at all the six computers were installed with the help also of some of the teachers who were there.  Since the computers were android based, Ronnie had to install first some apps. The signal at the school was slow that finally we had to bring a computer at the place of Albert as we remembered the signal there was strong. While we had lunch which Patricia prepared, the different apps were installed. Ronnie  then just instructed the principal that he had just to the same with the other computers. These six donated computers are the first ones in the whole island of Cobrador.

            Before lunch I took the opportunity to do some snorkeling. While we were having lunch, we saw the sea turtles coming up on the waters several times.  I didn’t get to see them anymore when I did my snorkeling in the afternoon before leaving. 


           
ROMBLON


The Romblon port is a natural harbor with deep waters. 






The main poblacion of the town of Romblon is just walking distance away from the port. 




The Maria Querubin boat which goes daily to Sibuyan island. 



Taking some souvenir shots at the made of marble welcome sign in Romblon, at the Freedom park which is just across the pier. 



COBRADOR ISLAND

On our way to Cobrador island. The sea was very calm at this time of the year.  Here we are passing between the islands of Alad on the right and Lugbon, on the left. 

The Cazcarro rocks in Cobrador island. 

The couple Ronnie and Rhoda, the computer donors with the school principal of Cobrador Elementary School Niño Mago (2nd from right) and Albert de Joya, our host in Cobrador. 



Rhoda taking out the computers from the box. 
The school principal and some teachers helping set up the six computers donated to their school. 




Instead of the ordinary CPU which could rust right away as the school is just in front of the beach, Ronnie donated small android based computer sealed in plastic. 




There were youth volunteers coming from Romblon town converting  the plastic wastes in the island  to be used as walls for the library being constructed for the school. 

The bodega for the plastic  waste disposal. 

The beach just in front of the Cobrador Elementary school is already white sand. 



Our lunch prepared by Patricia. 

The beach in front of the Turtle Cove of Albert and Patricia. 

The gazebo where we had our lunch. Ronnie is downloading apps to the computer which is partly hidden. 

Some of the corals and fishes just in front of Turtle Cove. 

A flat table coral. 

A lion fish lurking near some corals. 




SAN PEDRO BEACH RESORT 
TALIPASAK, ROMBLON, ROMBLON
Cel. 0928 273 0515

           We were back to the main  island of Romblon for our overnight stay at the San Pedro Beach Resort in Talipasak. Albert and Patricia also told us that we will be able to do some diving the following day as they contacted their friend, Pedro Aparicio, the owner of the boat who has diving equipments and is a scuba instructor and makes diving as his hobby. Went snorkeling again as soon as we arrived at Talipasak. The following morning I did snorkel again around the cove, which I was not able to do the first time I came,  and this time I saw a good number of clown fish of varying colors from light to dark red depending on the color of the tentacles of the sea anemone  that they inhabited. Pedro, a Spanish-French national came about noontime. After some thorough instructions we did some diving just off the  beach of Talipasak. We spent 59 minutes of diving at 20 meters at its deepest with 26 degrees temperature of water. We saw a good number of hard corals, a stone fish which blended well with the stone it was resting, different species of nudibranchs and  a sea turtle, among others. Pedro was saying that a typhoon in 1998 destroyed the many soft corals at the walls of the drop off in the area and until this time have not grown again.  We also saw some rounded stone cones that some NGO had placed to spurt coral growth but no corals grew there. 




Sunset at Talipasak



Talipasak cove. 


Saw a lion fish also in Talipasak. 

Some soft corals. 

A flat table top coral. 


There were several schools of small fishes at Talipasak. 


Another soft coral. 



Another variety of soft coral. 




A jelly fish upside down. 


















Some small fishes pretending to be some standing sea grass









Clown fish (Nemo)  abound in Talipasak. 

There is a symbiotic relationship between the clownfish and the sea anemone where the clownfish inhabit. The clownfish guards the sea anemone from polyp-eating fish which the clownfish drives away.  The clown fish are also protected by the sea anemone from predator fishes by the stinging tentacles of the sea anemone which the clownfish has become immune. The sea anemone also gets fertilizer from the feces of the clown fish. 


Ligt-colored tentacles of a sea anemone also attracts a light colored clown fish. 










A different kind of sea anemone that I saw with a clownfish guarding it. 





A big clownfish on a small  sea anemone. 

These clownfishes are really ready to defend their sea anemone. They get aggressive if one gets near them. 





Pedro giving reminders on how to use the scuba gears. 


Ready for the dive. 









A stone fish which one can hardly see as it blends well with the rocks. 



A giant sea slug. 



Puffer fish. 



 A  nudibranch at the floor of the sea.






Some NGO had this project of planting some round cement -made objects to spurt coral growth. It has been some years already and no corals have grown, except for that small one on the top picture.