At approximately 6:00 in a quiet Sunday morning, a 45-minute ride from San Jose Terminal took Ma’am Ian, Ma’am Lyca, Ate Ems, Biev, Kuya Kato and I, to kilometre 39 north of Puerto Princesa. The perfectly slanted sun rays peeked through the rich vegetation along the highway as we hiked to the riverbank.
The bank itself boasted thousands of mangroves dominated by Rhizophora creating a breath-taking reflection in the brackish water inhabited by various species of fishes. The clear blue sky that day contrasted the rich green leaves of the mangroves creating an effect perfect for an early morning picture taking.
The boat manned by Kuya Reden, the project manager, took us deeper down the river, to the eastern part of Honda Bay. A beautiful land and sea scape welcomed our sight as we calmly glide on the water towards the pearl culture center where we met Kuya Gimo.
Kuya Reden and Kuya Gimo showed us the apparatus used for plankton and oyster larvae culture and patiently answered our curiosity on pearl production. As we go deeper into the scientific conversation that I can merely follow, we learned that it took atleast two years to produce a south sea pearl. And if you are wondering why your life is a mess right now, console yourself, you are a pearl, you are in the process of molding yourself into your most lustrous phase. Another fun fact is that, an oyster needs an irritant to create a pearl (do not be pissed if someone told you that you are irritating).The raw products are exported to SEA Countries for, obviously, jewelleries.
Later that morning, Ate Ems and I borrowed ma’am Lyca’s camera and tailed Ma’am Ian to try bird watching. After an hour of trying, we took photos of a skink, an insect I don’t not know how to call, a dragon fly and a fiddler crab – yes, we never took a photo of a single bird, they are just too fast and our hands are just too shaky. For the record, I didn’t talk (loudly at least) for about an hour.
On our way back to the highway, we took a 560 M long trail under the canopy of mangrove trees. The entire trip made me thankful of what we have here at Puerto Princesa City.
Note: The KRIS JEWELS PEARL CULTURE AND HATCHERY will be opened for tourist soon 🙂