We arrived at noon full of crowded people, that made me realize it was a bad idea going there on weekends. There were many wooden tables accompanied by wooden chairs with parasol umbrella. But of course they were all filled. Even if we brought a table, there would be no place for it to stand. Most people were visitors. Some were in swimsuits and summer shorts. Others were happily eating with their lunch. Most were already swimming. Some, mostly boys, were just plainly staring at the women with swimsuits, . Despite the sea of people, probably excited in dipping themselves to the water, the plank wood sign is evident, saying Enchanted River.
Before we arrived, we traveled rough and dusty roads along the mountains for about four hours, leaving at dawn. The car was covered with dust, barely recognizable as a white Navara pick-up truck. But it was still better than experiencing rain, for it would turn the dust into mud – a more difficult medium to travel with. Also, landslide is popular in our place, due to mining.
Even at a reasonable distance, I could hear the commotion as loud as an evening public market, calling costumers for the last batch of fishes. Actually, there was a mini-market selling all kinds of fishes and vegetables at the entrance. The Enchanted River is connected to the sea. There is no wonder of unlimited supplies of fishes. Also, the mountain’s rich soil and given the tropical geography, planting vegetables is entirely favourable.
Ahead from the plank wood sign, the river is in eyesight. The Enchanted River is a tourist spot in Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur, Philippines. It is famous because of its emerald-blue water. With the streak of sun light, the water is like a weak neon light. The water is so clean that you can clearly see the river bed. The deeper it is the bluer it gets. The fresh air with the steady flow of soothing water is like a massage from nature: a total weekend getaway.
Since the river is connected to a sea, the place also offers a tour. Riding with a canoe, driven by the local people, you can see the whole island after a twenty-minute travel. The dancing seaweeds and the perfect-still corals were visible from our canoe. I even tried to touch them but I was under the impression that all water bodies were inhibited by sharks. That’s what you get from watching Jaws, Deep Blue Sea or even Shark Tale.
While at the Enchanted River, you can do certain activities like scuba diving, snorkelling or just afloat with life vest. People who tried were lucky. They had a look at the abyss. From that scene, I wished I know how to swim. The fishes are fed every 1 p.m. All of us sat amazed and stunned at the sight of hundreds of fishes jumping in mid-air for the food, moving graciously in unison.
Visitors and even the local people are forbidden to catch fishes that are living in the river. They believed for whoever tries to do so will be punished severely by the nature. Words spread that beautiful women with long slender, silky hair bathe every dusk or dawn. They said they were also some brave scuba divers who attempted to measure the abyss but failed. They claimed that as they swam downward the deeper it gets.That’s how Enchanted River got its name.
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