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Sorsogon: An Island Camp Experience (Part 2)

Our first day in Malawmawan Island was off to a good start as the island tour kept us all in awe and inspired with ideas for upcoming developments. We've seen a flock of hawks flying above the island, admired seascapes, played with the island dogs, feasted on fresh seafood...it was a day full of bliss.  But what transpired during the night caught us all by surprise.

The Unexpected Night Camp Experience

tent set-up

It was getting dark and we're ready to camp out under the moon and the stars on a breezy Sunday night of August and dream of more wonderlands. I helped pitch the tent near the kubo and laid the sleeping bag. It was my first time to set up a tent (madali lang pala) - the excited me and Hannah went inside the tent as soon as we finished setting it all up. I couldn't wait to get a comfortable sleep.


local kids and happy campers

Sorsogon sunset


Before dinner, we all sat on the sand and watched the sunset. We could clearly see the lights from the mainland - so near yet so far. Wanting to have some fun, I started doing something I've longed wanted to do - play and create a light art. It was an activity I wanted to try for my first camping trip so I bought my handy dandy flashlight (actually para dun talaga ang flashlight ko). Everyone joined and started doing their own light art versions but here's our fave. We'll try more complicated and more colorful light arts next time.

our light art version of Malawmawan

We weren't able to create a bonfire (naku, sayang gusto ko pa naman sanang gumawa ng smores), but I guess the thought never really occurred since we have a gas lamp to light our base camp.

Hentjie and Ate Ging


All filled and contented from dinner, my sister and I decided to catch some much needed rest. I wasn't able to get a good sleep from the 12 hour bus trip and I'm super tired. Tired but happy with everything that has transpired that day. We went inside the tent while others 'transformed' the wooden seats and tables to become makeshift beds. When the gas lamp was turned off, everything turned pitch black. The sound of the sea became our good night lullaby - or so I thought.

What I thought of a good night rest and fun night's end turned into a fearful nightmare of sort.

Just 2 hours after we laid to sleep, I was awaken by the strong gust of wind battering our tent, the sound of the waves were scary as well (yung feeling na parang may bagyo at parang lalamunin na kami ng dagat - nakakapraning pala yung nasa loob ka ng isang tent at di mo alam kung anong nangyayari sa labas). My sister woke up too, and asked if it's raining. I grabbed my flashlight and saw no rain. We couldn't hear any voices too so we just tried to calm ourselves thinking that it's probably one of the normal nights in the island, if not, they should have cautioned us already.

I forced myself to sleep, but I'm really starting to have some panic thoughts. I couldn't make myself feel at ease and although our tent felt like it's going to collapse anytime soon, we just laid there praying that the situation gets better. But it didn't...

An hour has passed and we opened up the tent again because I could already see lightning streaks and felt the rain this time - hard. I worried for the people outside, thinking that we have a better shelter because of the waterproof tent. But a few minutes later, water started to get into the tent from the top cover. I immediately handled an umbrella to my sister and took out my disposable raincoat. We took our things and hurriedly walked outside to the nearby hut.

this is us after getting out of the tent, cautious yet smiling

We struggled to get out of the tent as we felt the intensity of the wind and rain. I saw the faces of my companions and they equally looked worried too but somehow I felt less fearful because we we're with them already. The locals said the wind was way stronger than the usual. Indeed Mother Nature gave us a glimpse of the island's good to gloomy situation. Made me realize more that living in an island can also be rough and tough, makes one feel so small and at times, helpless. For the night, we played our own version of Survivor Philippines while the little kids enjoyed their sleep (swerte, hindi man lang nagising!) I'm just glad we're all safe.

We cramped ourselves inside the kubo and I was lucky to get some sleep. Grabe talaga yung hangin - parang may nakatutok na electric fan sakin na naka-no. 3. At kahit kulang sa tulog, gumising pa din ako para sa sunrise :)

Fortunately, the rain has stopped when I woke up. Parang walang nangyari...I grabbed my tripod and started taking snapshots.

Up Next: Playing Along the 1.5 kilometer Sandbar. Find out how 'east' meets 'west'.


This post is part of my Sorsogon series:

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