It is only human nature to seek resources, to find a place to settle, and to improve upon the area that nature had developed ever since life emerged from this blue planet we call home. The human species expands, destroys, and then creates with little regards to nature and other life. Eventually, there might be a time when the remnants of life are only found in the past. Luckily, there are still a few places on earth that dodged the bulldozing machines humanity created and nature is able to thrive and create landmasses of abundant life and peace. In these areas, people are reminded of what nature has to offer. Sometimes isolation from the world's many problems is the key to understanding this. Sometimes all I need is a place completely surrounded by warm crystal clear Pacific water that encompasses the secluded Philippine islands to see how beautiful and relaxing our world is.
Warmth radiates from this place. The bright sun, the soft sand, and the clear waters create a comforting feeling that melts away all my worries. The harmonious waves gently form out from the great vastness of the ocean, only to pass the magnificent granite and limestone cliff sides that protrudes out of the Earth and soon comes to an end when it lapses over the pearly white sand. The fine-grained sand stretches across the entire island following the curvy coast. Small critters inhabit the smooth and peaceful sands. Tiny and almost invisible with its hard shell that perfectly blends in with the white sand, it is hard to tell that the little creature is there until I see it move out of the way to avoid getting trampled by my lazily moving feet that imprint its mark onto the silky sand. Its tiny claws would then scoop up the grains of sand underneath it until it is completely buried under the sand and remains there until the threat has disappeared. Throughout the day, the sun glides through the clear azure skies and when it sets on the horizon, it leaves the skies ablaze with a dark saturated pink with a blend of warm orange. The endless white sand remains consistent in its warmth as it endures the lengthy day through the dim night when only the moon and the stars cast their light when no other is present. As the day ends, the night falls and the process repeats again on the beaches of the archipelago.
Every island in this region is covered with lush, green vegetation which conceals the vast variety of wildlife that calls these islands home. As I traverse the island, the exotic wildlife reveals itself to me. The small monkeys, with their lengthy arms and tails, swing across the canopy of trees and when they fatigue themselves, they so kindly perch themselves onto the hard and rough wooden railings that man had created. Scaly monitor lizards also inhabit the area even though the elegant and modern villas integrate itself into the ecosystem. They often crawl out of a hole that they had dug within the Earth's crust by penetrating it with their sharp claws and would stretch out its body and lay motionless for most of the day to absorb the warmth the sun carries. Caves are littered throughout the islands and each one is uniquely carved out over thousands of years as the water that once covered the Earth shapes and smooths the rocks. This too shelters the wildlife as the smell of guano overpowers all others. The tiny but plentiful fruit bats hang from the ceiling asleep waiting for the glaring sun to set in the west until the pale moon rises from the east to awaken and take flight and find food before the sun rises again. It is here where the wildlife can flourish from the very little interference from man and let nature run its course.
A whole new world waits beneath the tides of the ocean. Being submerged by the warm water opens up my eyes to a beautiful place I have never been before. It's paradise. The vibrant colored corals are scattered throughout the ocean floor as fishes of all shapes and sizes swoosh by in search of food, or to hide from the ravenous predators. Only the muffled sounds of the wavy turquoise water, the swishing of the exotic fishes, the soft noise from the black long flippers attached to my feet, and my steady breathing can be heard amidst the serene waters of the South Philippine Sea.
Off in the distance, a large school of black jack fishes can be seen slowly moving together. Each individual jack fish move simultaneously and harmoniously. As I approach the tightly woven group, they quickly dispersed not because of me, but because of the black tipped shark that graciously and quickly moved before my eyes. It slices through the water like a knife cutting butter in search for a meal that would appease its hunger. Luckily the shark is more interested in other fishes and does not crave human blood. Once out of the ocean the gentle breeze and warm sun welcome me back to the surface.
With the world trying to engulf the beauty of nature, it is fortunate for me and anyone else to experience a journey where the land is barely touched by the rest of the world. To be on a tropical island that relieves anyone of all the stress and worries that they may have brought to the island is a once in a lifetime experience. It is one of nature's wonders that still exist in a world where the only thing constant is change. It is a wonderful feeling to be this close to paradise. I find peace in this place called paradise.