Exploring Polillo Island
A few years ago I had a good friend who had just graduated as a qualified nurse in Manila after 4 years of work and study. He and his family originally come from Polillo island. His name is Harold.
So it was really nice to be invited on a trip with him back to his family home. It would be an opportunity to see the island and explore and to visit his family home in the woods. My English friend and I were invited and we really did not know what to expect. I have written this piece with “tongue in cheek” but all details are fact.
The three of us left Manila in the afternoon and took a long drive to Port Real in Quezon Province. Here we had to stay the night to catch the boat early the following morning to Polillo island.
My friend and I are English and we were only really used to hotels or Resorts or even comfortable pension houses. But this experience was something else!!!
Don’t get me wrong, the Polillo island trip was wonderful, a truly amazing experience, but it was not what we expected and it did push our boundaries a little. Only because as Europeans we were not used to the way of things though.
At Port Real we were literally dropped, cases and all in what looked like a builder’s yard. It apparently had been or was going to be a Resort (I am still not sure which). I think the place had been torn apart by storms and flooding and mud slides that had occurred a few months previously.
So here we were 2 English men and our Filipino friend, standing in a mud bath looking around us at dilapidated, rundown buildings, trying not to drop our bags in the swamp, looking around for someone to help us. Where were our rooms? Where were our beds? Where was the reception area? Where were the staff? Where the hell was the bar??????
Everywhere was deserted except for one or two locals dressed in very little clothing, peering at us from a hut or two near the thicket of trees on the outskirts of the muddy area we were standing in.
“This is nice and picturesque” I murmured, admiring the overbearing trees all around blocking any view of anything. There were some buildings in front of us and to one side but we could not tell what they were. Not really sure what to do, my friend and I turned to our Filipino companion and we said, “You are in control, what do we do now?”
Bless him; he went wandering to look for somebody to aid us. By now it was getting dark and the wind was picking up quite fiercely, making the trees thresh around wildly above our heads, giving a very spooky atmosphere. This night was going to be real fun.
Eventually we were accompanied by someone who appeared to be quite shocked at our arrival and seemed not to know what to do with us.
He did find 2 keys from somewhere and took us across the quagmire to a building with 2 doors in it and barred windows. This apparently was our accommodation.