Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Thirsty in Dinigat

With no information on the area except the vague arm pointing from some people in the drunk town we flipped a coin and deiced to head north. The chart showed a long finger that looked to be a good anchorage. There we found two ladies fishing one of which spoke English. Once they had finished inquiring if we had come for the treasure she said that the owner of the land (Peter) could guide us to a lake and cave nearby the next day. The whole family and a puppy turned up in the rain with breakfast the following morning and once that was over with we set off. When inquiring about Peter it transpired he was long dead and was guiding us in spirit. That’s not Tanduay Robins drinking with a sprite chaser at 10 in the morning.

The whole area is Lava rock… very sharp Pontus. It made for great exploring with caves everywhere some we could drive the dingy in and others we had to swim in. Any with dirt in them appeared to have been excavated. Fishermen in the area told it was foreigners looking for the treasure.

With so many good spots to explore our travel time each day was not more than a couple of hours. Plenty of time for monkeying around.

After 3 days we found a pond that we could just squeeze into amongst lots of small rocky islands to anchor in. The chart showed us well onto the land.

Most of the islets had small huts on them where the fishermen stay.

This so far has been my favorite anchorage in the Philippines. There were heaps of places to explore. We only allowed a week for the area and have decided to come back next year to spend more time here. That’s the only thing that made me feel good about lifting the anchor to head back to Leyte… and the need for a Red Horse.

Why was there no beer in Dinigat?
In 1965 Ruben Ecleo founded the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Assoc (PBMA) on Dinigat Island. After his death in the 80's his son, Ruben Jnr who followers believe is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ continued leading the Assoc receiving an estimated $35m in entrance fees from the million or so followers.
In 2002 Ruben Jnr was accused by Police of murdering his wife placing the body in a bag and throwing it from a cliff in Cebu. He fled Cebu to hide out in Dinigat. When Police attempted to arrest him for questioning his house was surrounded by PBMA followers ending in a shoot out which killed 17 before he gave himself up.
Apparently the PBMA has healing powers. Also it's believed Jesus Christ was baptised in the lake we visited. Try listening to that with a straight face!
Still to this day the island is largely governed by the movement resulting in alcohol and cigarette restrictions. We did however get to taste some underground local palm spirits - strong stuff!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Omg! The guy covered in blood looks so good! He got facebook or something?? Xoxo