pulau pangkor on chinese new year

One of the nice things growing up in the province is that there's a certain bond that ties the people together. Like when you go to other place and you see your kababayan, feeling mo magkakapatid kayo. Especially when you're from Sablayan, everytime we go somewhere, we would ask "Sinong taga-Sablayan ang nandun?" and we would do everything to contact them and meet them for a short dinner or kahit magkita lang.

As soon as we learned that monday and tues of Chinese New Year were holiday, we planned to go out of the country since it's a long weekend. Bads' friends would climb Mt. Korbu and Gayong in Malaysia and we planned to go to pulau pangkor, an island in Perak, Malaysia.

Then after a few calls and messages, we learned that there are Sablayenos near that place. "May mga mangyan din po dito", said Joseph, a batch lower than me in high school. We call ourselves mangyan, a tribe in Mindoro, as natives of that province. 

Let me express my gratitude to them for the warm welcome at sa matinding pag-asikaso sa aming  magkapatid during that short visit. And let me share what happened.

We left Singapore at around 10pm. The group rented a bus going to Ipoh Malaysia where the climbers would meet the guides and where we would meet our cousin, Rosemarie. We arrived in Ipoh around 11am. Rosemarie treated us for lunch and bought us bus tickets for a 1 and a half hour ride going to Sitiawan where we would meet Joseph and Julius, Bads' classmate in highschool. From there, a ferry would take us to pulau pangkor, our destination. It was only a ten-minute ferry ride. As in exactly 10 minutes.

We were met by pink cabs upon arrival.

After an hour or two of rest, we decided to explore the place. What's nice about this island is you can rent a car, or a scooter for a day and you have the leisure of exploring the island wherever you want to go without having to worry about the time. We did not even realize it was already time for dinner until I heard my stomach grumbling. Hehehe just kidding! There was a place in this island which felt very much like bora slash baywalk slash dampa. The seafood was waving at me. How could you resist that?

After dinner, we explored some more. And at around 11 am we decided to stay in the hotel. We were expecting the firecrackers and the fireworks anytime soon. It was the eve of Chinese new year.

Not so many minutes after we reached the hotel, the fireworks started. This was my instagram post about it.

Fireworks right outside my window.

We had to sleep early to prepare for the next day's itinerary. Snorkeling! The plan was to wake up at 6am. We had to be there at 7 so it would not be too sunny and we could still enjoy the high tide. We happened to wake up at 8am. When we reached the beach, it was low tide and the guy who was supposed to  take us  to the snorkeling area told us it's not worth it. We were advised to come back at 1pm. So we decided to just roam around the island again, go to the souvenir shops, see sights and visit some other place. By that time I was already wearing my rash guard. So going to temples on a very humid and sunny morning was the last thing I would do. So the souvenir shops came to the rescue. I bought a shirt just so not to look weird. 

We went to the temple and had our pictures taken. Main attraction here was the ironic little great wall of china :)

Joseph channeling Goliath

The  rented car which brought us to so many places :)

I didn't give my two thumbs up for the snorkeling experience. Coming from an island which has a very amazing underwater view, di ako masyadong na please. I could see more sea cucumber than fish underwater. 

Then the jetski! 

After this tiring day, we had a relaxing one hour whole body massage. We were so tired, so puyat then got so relaxed after the massage.

The 3rd day was also our last day in the island. We had to go back to the town proper. Julius invited us for breakfast. The breakfast turned out to be a dinner due to misunderstanding and miscommunicaton hahaha! Joseph did not bring his charger so Julius' message that breakfast would be cancelled did not reach us. Boo! We were so hungry we ate at a nearby cafeteria.

It's time for us to go back to Ipoh where Rosemarie booked us in a hotel for an overnight stay. Before leaving, as Julius did not want us to leave without us trying his recipe, he prepared an early dinner. Lechong kawali, mongo, bagoong, chicken, longganisa etc. While waiting for the food, we spent the day singing and making kwento. Kwentuhan about the past and kwentuhan with the new found friends :)

Analiza, Bads, Julius, Jefferson, Myself and Joseph

Fast forward to Ipoh, we met with the rest of the guys at the same area where Rosemarie fetched us. The bundokeros brought home their new experience to climb the second highest mountain in peninsular Malaysia while we brought the memories of good friends, wonderful people, nice place and a whole new experience back to Singapore.