I agree when someone says “Wherever you are, when there is a demand, supply can be an instant”. If both exist, it can be a win win equation. Be it on a desert, in a plane, or in the stock market, palengke or to an unlikely place like a tiny island –sand bar to be exact.
My excitement was apparent when we were to visit the renowned Virgin Island Sandbar in Panglao, Bohol. Wild thoughts were playing on me, from having a party under the sun, to a cocktail bar on a crystally-white sand that offers refreshing drinks. I was ready to sip on the likes of sparkling margaritas or flavored vodkas under the warmth of the sun. But to my surprise (not really), We were greeted by a long white sand extended from mainland Virgin Island with lush green shrubs and trees (mostly bakawan and coconut). This long mound of sand can be better experienced during low tide as it can be submerged during high tide. From afar, the island seemed to be a long white surf board that you can stand on on the middle of the sea. On our way, we were amazed with the sight of corals, sea grass, star fish and nemos(tiny fishes). The island is spectacular and the experience was surreal.
The group were mostly delighted to see hawkers lined up along the sand bar. Everyone was so tired and hungry after Dolphin sight-seeing and Balicasag Reef diving, so it was like an oasis for us at almost midday. From a distance, you can smell the sweet-smelling fried banana q while you can’t just wait to quench your thirst with fresh coconut juice. I didn’t mind vendors harassing me to buy fresh sea urchins, I actually enjoyed them. Besides, Palengkera as I am, I got a good deal. I was able to haggle the price from P20 each to 3 pieces for P20.. Oh goodness, I can eat hundreds of these if only my blood pressure permits. Other items on sale were carved shells, pearls, and other jewelry items made of shells. There are indirect sale of services like taking photos of tourist with some silly illusions, from carrying a star fish, human on a shell or sitting on a large Buko and what have you. Just always remember to bargain for anything you want to buy.
Vendors of Banana Q and Soft Drinks
Sea Urchins could cost you an arm and leg for a serving of these ocean delight(known as Uni) in any Japanese restaurant. Because of my obsession of these spiny creatures, their Goddess got mad and apparently took vengeance – I was hit big time by their pointy spines on my left foot while swimming in the shallow waters. Darn you, urchins. “Manong, can you crack-open that pointy thing and put some suka in it for me please”.
Live and colorful Sea Urchins
Uni (Sea Urchin roe) with Vinegar
Fresh Coconut juice for the thirsty visitors.
Shell crafts and jewelries
And finally, how can i forget these yummy treats? A naive Scandinavian guy and a musclelly-Bangkero.
True enough, the Sand Bar is captivating and has good things to offer!