In Danjugan, Day 1: Exploration of the Island (part 2)

Day 1 (again):

Where was I? Oh, yeah…

We reached our destination! Yay. We were assigned to drop our bags over at one of the tables before anything. I remember one of the first things that we were all told was about the eco toilet (which the place where you do the number 2). Btw, it was already lunch. Time to eatttt. The other kids went into the dining area already while I took a quick glimpse of the place. When I decided to join the rest I went up the small bamboo steps up to the dining area which was hovering over (with the aid of some concrete) the Moray Lagoon. The water was so clear and blue. Also, the reason to why the Lagoon had a Moray in it was because if you looked at the water you could see Moray Eels. They can look scary sometimes but also they made the water look lively if that makes sense.

As I stared at the dining area, I had no idea where to sit. Most of the tables were taken and I didn’t know where to sit. Also, I didn’t plan on sitting alone. And as I’ve mentioned before, most who came were with a relative or friend so they had a person to eat with.

I gathered my strength and decided to take a seat with a table that had 3 occupied seats. I said “hi” and we started to have a good conversation. In just a few minutes we all became friends.

While everyone finished their remaining lunch, one of the camp directors started introducing all the other camp members which we call ALs. Apparently, we were gonna be split up into four teams. Each team would be lead by one adult leader (or AL). All the AL’s each took turns in introducing themselves and their background about where they came from and why they’re in the camp. There was one scientist who came from Germany and who was going to teach us about fish and corals.

Also, we were told that for the answers that we got correct or for the behavior or actions that we did right we would get points for our teams. And of course, with being late or others our points could go down. Once we finished acquainting with our teams and AL’s, we all went out of the dining cabana and made a circle. Apparently, we were going to say our name and a dance. It went one way around the circle. When it reached my turn like everyone else, I shouted “LIBI!” and did this awkward dance move which everyone then shouted “LIBI!” and the same move. This was just a fun way to acquaint ourselves with everyone.

There are actually four cabanas for all the campers. Two are for the girls and two are for the boys. One of the main rules is that no boys allowed in the girl’s cabana and vise versa. There were about 5 girls in my cabana while there was about 7 in the other girl’s cabana.

When we finished preparing ourselves for swimming and trekking, we heard our call (KUUUUUWEEEEE (which is a bird call which came from one of the ALs)).

Most of the things you would hear (from the Camp Director) when all the campers gathered are “look at me if you could hear me” or “clap twice if you could hear me“. These were some of the ways to gather the attention when everyone was being loud.

Anyways, back to the learning center. We were briefed about the island and the different beaches and lagoons. At this point, there were a few questions in which you could earn a few points from. We were also briefed about first aid and other things to be aware of while we do our trek. We were ready. We were instructed to bring our snorkel, other gear (if you have any), waterproof bag (if you need for things you want to bring which you don’t want to get wet), water bottle, sunscreen and insect repellent. If you forgot to bring your snorkel gear (just like me ;D) don’t worry! You could rent a snorkel or any other gear at one of the gear stall area on the island. All you have to do is sign your name and Tadaaa!

Because each team had its separate color (in my case, color white), we had to wrap a different color per team on the snorkel. We then headed out team by team. While passing one of the bridges, we saw big sea urchins at the bottom. Wanna know why they were hanging out there? Well, above the bridge is a bat cave. And, the bat cave goes all the way down. The urchins liked the bat poop. Mmmm.

We passed by turtle beach and typhoon beach. And, after waiting for the other teams at some sort of bar (rehydrating ourselves with some water), we swam to the beach reaching one of the far rafts with the ALs and our teams.

Good thing for the tapes wrapped our snorkels when the others were still snorkeling you could still identify which ones were part of your team. We were shown the different corals and fishes. It seemed to explode with colors! It was beautiful.

We made our way back with a sunset trek. The sky was orange and the light slowly made its way down. Our night ended with some dinner and finally a bath! Even though it’s only one bucket per person, I agree that it’s a good amount to use. Here’s the tip, use the tabo twice to wash away the sand and wet your hair, then shampoo and soap, then another wash. Done! You’ll probably have some leftovers.

Just before sleeping, we all sat around in a circle at the dining area after pushing away the chairs and tables to the side. One of the ALs told us that this was our community building and that it will be one of the only times we’ll be doing it. As we sat down in a circle, we shared what we enjoyed throughout the day and something we liked to build in our community. On a sheet of Manila Paper, a circle was drawn. Inside the circle, we would throw out ideas we would like to have in our community, an example, trust or respect for others.

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The picture above is the paper that we all made. In our community, we had the power of choice, the power of two feet, and the power of experts. Inside our community, we wrote down words we wanted for our Danjugan community. As you may see above, we wanted positivity, trust, support, friendship respect, understanding for each other in our Danjugan family.

After this, we went to our cabanas and slept. Well, the truth is I talked to my roommates (cabana mates) before sleeping. We were having a small debate whether or not we should leave the chips in the cabana. Laziness kinda went around and we decided to leave the food in the room.

We put our mosquito nets properly around our mattresses and finally slept. 😉

(to be continued)

~ L.O.A.S.H

Day 1: Trip Going to Danjugan (part 1)

Day 01:

I wake up at 5:00 am because the time to meet the Danjugan members and other kids going to the camp was around 6:30 am. I reached for my phone to check if I had any messages. Five. Five messages sent around the time of 3:00 – 4:30 am. I wondered who it could be as I unlocked my phone. They were all from my dad. And it read, “Don’t go anymore” “Too dangerous” “Don’t go” and so on. To be honest, my eyes watered a little there because just yesterday I arrived to Bacolod after a 10 – 11 hour trip. I was exhausted and now I have to go all the way back home. That would be another 10 – 11 hours. I called my dad in hopes of changing his mind…… It didn’t work. Apparently, the Danjugan camp sent out an email to all the parents which included some warnings because of the terrorist attack in Cebu which occurred a week before. A week ago. The farthest I got to have permission to go was to allow me and my tita to just meet everyone at the meeting point and get to say hi to everyone. I decided to leave my bag back at the hotel while we headed out.

We were dropped in front of an animal conservation park where we saw a big white bus and some adults around it. As I walked to the bus, I saw that it was nearly full already. Heh, I thought I was the first to get here. We were approached by one of the staff (I guess you could say) members. We made an explanation of why couldn’t come and also kinda “deviced” a plan to change my dad’s mind. Our first step was to call him. I talked to my dad for awhile explaining that I was at the meeting point and that I really wanted to go (still didn’t work). Apparently, my dad thought that a lot of the kids cancelled out like me because of the attack (a week ago). But, no. It was just me who was planning to cancel and reschedule. After my second failed attempt to convince my dad (I was so close), I passed my phone down to Kuya Kenneth (staff member). 6:15. Time was quickly passing and the bus was going to leave soon. Kuya Ken explained all the safety measures (like there were police guards in the mainland and on the island) to my dad and that pretty much did the tipping point(ish). By the way, a few days before the Danjugan Camp, the parents are requested to go to this parent conference where they explain everything (even the safety measures). Unfortunately, my parents missed the meeting which prevented them from knowing this sort of information (about safety and other, XD). Finally, we finished our quest and I could go!!

I boarded the bus only to run out again as I remembered I left my bag at the hotel!! I talked to my tita and kuya Ken. Kuya Ken brought one of the vans to the hotel where I ran and grabbed my bag. We headed back to the bus. We were about 10 minutes late. Everyone was waiting just for me. I took my seat at the back of the seat drivers seat. It was a single chair. I was happy, since I didn’t actually know anyone and I was sort of shy at the moment. My tita rode in a van right behind us. It was announced that we had 3 hours to go. Yay. _-_

Aside from the fact that nearly every kids here came with either a friend or sibling (unlike me all alone), It was so quite. Probably 1/4 of the kids in the bus were asleep while most were just quite and others you could hear the whispers. I tried listening to music on my phone but, for some reason, my phone wasn’t working. I was left with no music but earphones in my ears. I talked to kuya Kenneth and Tito Jay for awhile but the rest of the trip I just stared outside my window which showed me different views of trees and seas. There was some stopovers for anyone who wanted to go to the bathroom or buy some snacks. Also, sometime in our trip, I heard someone playing the ukulele with the song Riptide. Some joined in, it also helped to pass the time quickly.

We then arrived at a port. The ground was bumpy. And, we started to unload all the bags. I thought everyone was just going to bring a small back pack (as I did). I was wrong. I was the only one with one small bag. Everyone else brought a luggage. I was wondering what they were bringing and what I should have brought. Well, it was too late to go back now. Right?

Anyways, what we did next was go to a small bridge which seemed to be getting narrower and narrower the further we went. When we finally reached the end, we saw two boats waiting. I rode onto the first boat with around 11 other kids. Unfortunately, the boat didn’t have any cover on top like the second boat. Someone offered a jacket to me as the sun was scorching, everyone seemed really nice. It was a good thing that in the middle of our boat journey, the clouds decided to spare us a bit and provided us some shade from the sun. Anyways talking about our surroundings, the water was so clear. Some of the places (on the water on the boat) that we passed you could see that there were corals boasting with life.

After one last gust of wind came, the island came into view and then before we knew it, we started disembarking the boat with our bags. We were immediately greeted by some of the staff. They were all smiling as we greeted back.

The island. It’s beautiful.

(to be continued)

~ L.O.A.S.H