August 5, 2009- Remote and utterly at the clemency of the elements, the volcanic island of Camiguin de Babuyanes* is a good four hours at sea from Aparri. Electricity is entirely absent in most areas, and even vegetables are in limited supply due to large areas being unsuitable for their cultivation. Stores are few and very far in between, and prices of commodities are expectedly rather stratospheric. But the sea provides, and for tonight’s dinner our kindly host prepared fish sinigang (a tangy tamarind-based broth) albeit with very little vegetables, and quinilao na kanot-kanot (seaweeds cured in vinegar and garnished with onions and pepper).
Perhaps someday I will come back to the shores of this faraway isle with its tempestuous waters, craggy coastlines, and stories weaved around the light of a lamp as it glimmers and dances on wooden walls. And also for those lobsters.
*Not to be confused with the Camiguin from the Bohol Sea