This is Bariles’ much super delayed finale post to the “Balut Island Series“.
The first three parts may be found by clicking on the links below:
After partaking of the snacks prepared by Ms. Tata Docallos‘ Dolores Hotels and Resorts senior staff at the Sabang Sulphur Hot Springs picnic grounds, the group of tourists from GenSan, which included some of the winners of that year’s Bikini Open climbed aboard their two motorized bancas and headed back to the port of Mabila where the M/V Song of Dolly is berthed.
Since it was still daylight and the Song of Dolly is scheduled to leave for GenSan at midnight, the two bancas anchored at the nearby Villalobos or Marurong Island 70 meters across mainland Balut Island to enable the passengers to spend the next few hours swimming and preparing for their dinner.
Villalobos Island, which is also called Balistic Island due to its bullet form is a small rock structure built by the Sangils and B’laans during the 16th century to serve as a fortress.
In 1543, the Sangils and the B’laans battled against Spanish conqueror Ruy Lopez de Villalobos and his army with the use of bolos and spears versus the Spaniards’ guns and canons. Villalobos, according to historians Gregorio Zaide and Jesuit Fr. Jose Luego, landed in Marorong in search for the Moluccas Island then.
Now, what is left at the island are the ruins of their rock walls and centuries-old kalachuche trees.
The group stayed on for a few more hours at Marorong while savoring the last rays of the setting sun with a few others swimming and enjoying the high tides covering the rock formations surrounding the island. Bariles opted to lie on his back on a towel he spread out on the island’s lush bermuda grassfield and gazed and rhapsodized on the past 24 hours starting with the boat trip from Queen Tuna Park, to their brief stay at the enchanted Olaniban Island and up to this refreshing wait at the historic Marorong Island.
Balut Island, the farthest municipality of Davao del Sur might just be a speck in most maps of Mindanao but after this breathtaking experience, it will loom big in his memory forever.
Here are more pictures…