Going South of Palawan: Brooke’s Point

Brooke’s Point: The Home of the Largest Pearl in the World

It was said that the clam that produced the largest pearl clamped down a local fisherman’s arm when its shell closed trapping the man helpless drowning at sea.

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Serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints is the best two years of my life. Having spent a quarter of it here in Brooke’s Point is nothing less than ethereal.

13 January 2012 – Straight from Manila and after a brief meeting in Puerto Princesa to meet my trainer Elder Kummer we both immediately headed to Brooke’s Point, a  place we both never been to. Armed only with our luggages and groceries that we hope could last for 2 whole weeks.

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23 January 2016 – 4 years later I am back to this Palawan paradise and the feeling is rather nostalgic. I am overwhelmed with a kaleidoscope of feelings; anxious, excited, happy. After spending a few hours strolling the city to gather back my senses I boarded a bus that will take me to Brooke’s Point in the next 4 hours, a period of time that feels a lot longer than 4 years of waiting to be back here.

The road is only lit by the moon and stars above but this time traveling feels a lot comfortable unlike the rocky, uneven road before. A few hours later passing all the kilometer markers the distinct smell of a skunk or locally known as “Pantot” slithers through the air. Almost everyone in the bus covered their noses, but for me, I just didn’t mind it and sighed “Yes, I’m almost there”. Upon reaching the destination and jumping-off the bus, I saw the arc that says “Welcome”  and that surely meant a lot to me.

THE EXPERIENCE:

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The life is simple, plain, and nothing ornate and that’s exactly what makes this place lovable. It is away from city lights, highways and cars making the stars brighter and the moon fuller. I spent my days in the outskirts of town in Sitio Cabar, Brgy. Aribungos with my host the Pesdan Family. Staying here made me oblivious of time because it is so relaxing especially having to swim at Sabsaban Falls with my friends. The night retires early at 8:00 pm the atmosphere is already still, everyone is already back to their homes. Sleeping on a room walled and floored by bamboo is really comfortable and it is really invigorating since the only noise you can hear are frogs and crickets through your sleep. Waking up in the morning not by alarm clocks but roosters heralding the rising of the sun. Indeed this place has an organic provincial beauty.

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The luxury that a provincial life can offer is the freshly harvested food from the backyard ready for cooking. Everyone knows that the best tasting chicken is a free-range hen. Having it cooked to adobo and tinola is more than satisfying. A freshly caught tuna grilled to the embers of wooden charcoal is absolutely to die for.

I SHALL RETURN:

Days went by and suddenly I realized it is time was already spent, my bags are packed again ready for leaving. Before I leave Brooke’s Point once again I decided to spent a while in Maruyog’s Ridge, my favorite restaurant in town. The Al-fresco is the best area to eat since one can always enjoy the fresh breeze and the cool shade a huge tree offers.

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Somehow I felt like that local fisherman who’s arms are clamped to the clam. I am captivated by this place but unlike him I am more than willing to be stuck. Leaving a place you love is always sad but; always, there is a silent certainty that you will be back.

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