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Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:46 pm
by kampanaryo_spy

Folklore has it that the kissing islets of San Agustin are actually Dagami and Buwan, ill-fated lovers whose affair was Romeo and Juliet’s ethnic parallel. Locked in a kiss one pale moonlit night at the beach, they were caught by Dagami’s father who fumed and beseeched the heavens to strike them dead. A blinding light hit the lovers shortly and turned them into pillars of stone. With his boat, Dagami’s father sailed offshore and cast away Dagami and Buwan into the sea. Years later, on the same exact spot, two closely spaced islets emerged. Then one day, local folks woke up to see the two islets already sealed in eternal kiss.

Not long after, more islets surfaced, largely believed to be progenies of the reunited lovers.

True or not, the story imbues an added allure and mystique to Bretania, a rustic barangay in San Agustin, Surigao del Sur, 67 kilometers east of the capital town of Tandag. Bretania’s shoreline is awashed with white sand and its coast, flecked with 24 islets and sandbars.

I first visited Bretania in 1990 when our office had a teambuilding seminar for two glorious days and nights in one of the islets purportedly owned by Ex Mayor Darunday, a good friend of DTI. Ever the gracious host, he arranged everything including a 15-minute boat ride to the islet and back. Everybody was giddy with a sense of adventure as the outrigger sliced through clear waters. Upon reaching the islet’s shores, my attention was caught at once by the sand: pearly white and powdery, it gleamed under an unforgiving sun.

Mr D’s islet is about the size of four tennis courts configured to form an imperfect circle. The lush vegetation on high rocks casts shadows at the hottest time of the day, making the air less sultry. The shoreline recedes gradually into Chagall blue waters.

The teambuilding session didn’t start until evening, and so it was every man for himself. Some played cards, others listened to their Walkman (no Ipod yet!), while some took a dip in between building sand castles. Monching, a sosi officemate, went snorkeling and he would later tell me that the area was tops and could give all resorts in Cebu a run for their money as haven for aqua sports.

The session ended at 10 pm. Some went straightaway to their tents to grab 40 winks, but not wanting to call it a day, we drank and sang. It was then that I realized that under a plump and full moon, Mr. D’s islet was pure magic: the flickering stars lent it an ethereal glow while the soothing melodies of cicadas wafted through misty trees and luminous sand, and the soft, exhilarating kiss of a late night breeze made us less tipsy than we already were.

In the wee hour of the morning, we plunged to the silky embrace of shimmering waters in “full monty.”

Up early the next day, we watched a magnificent sunrise that made time stand still beneath the spectrum. There was something metaphysical about it that I felt blessed to be alive.

I must’ve been fully charmed---nay, bewitched---that it was only on the second day that I noticed the kissing islets and a few others around us. And it was not until March of the following year that I revisited Bretania and had an overnight stay with friends at the kissing islets. The incandescent fine white sand (think Goldilocks polvoron), the enticing waters, the exotic flora and fauna, and all other entrancing attributes of Mr. D’s islet were replicated in the islet where we spent the night. (Dagami I was told.)

The next day, I swam to the other islet, Buwan, and found it as bewitching. Following in a boat, my friends saw fresh tracks in the sand which, according to the boatman, were made by nesting turtles.

Experiencing the thrills from three of Bretania’s islets made me realize why moneyed people want to acquire an island of their own. Offering peace and quiet, it makes for excellent emotional and spiritual refuge. And just to get away from it all, I’ll give my right arm for an islet in Bretania.

As we sailed home the next day, I felt a new surge of life. For one last time, I looked back to the kissing islets, half expecting to see a little mermaid singing a haunting ballad to my maddening existence. But all I saw was the perfect beauty of God’s creation.

thank you

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:45 pm
by manday
Thank you for the effort, it is wonderfully written. I am amazed how you put it into words the stunning scenic islets into kissing islets. It takes the excellence of K_Spy to come up with this. Excellence, therefore, is not act, but your habit. Thank you. That's very nice. Keep up and always share the gift of art.

Tara, Mira, Uncle Nap,Manong Longlong, Manong bobot, Mana Ning-ning and a foreign visitor are in town.For sure this is one of their major destinations, hopefully, God willing.God Bless.

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:59 am
by kampanaryo_spy
hi manday,

thanks. i was the one who named the islets as kissing, and the name stuck. i also invented the story of Dagami and Buwan to give it a bit of texture. =P~