Not quite a lake, Siete Picados is another marvelous site in Coron. The names comes after the legend of seven sisters who were punished. I do not know the real story behind it but nonetheless, the truth I know is that there were a thousand fishes under the sea.
My friend sat at the edge of our motorized bangka (wooden canoe/boat) and I took a snapshot of this wonderful scene which I thought would make another good memory.
I removed my glasses and dived into the ocean with my blurry vision. I wished I had super eyes so I could see everything in high definition but the fishes swam too close to me so I was happy. I couldn't count the times my disposable camera clicked under water. I had to shoot several times since there was no way to tell if the shot was good.
Siete Picados is like a borderless aquarium where fishes swim fearlessly. The only predator I saw that day was me.
The entry to the lagoon was as mystical as Twin Lagoon itself. I would say my photo isn't the brightest piece to tell the story about this place. The real thing is always different from the digital version.
|Entry to Twin Lagoon|
A kid was paddling inside the lagoon and my friend couldn't help but joined him so she can stir it herself. After a few rounds, I join my friend and took my chance go circle the lagoon though I'm very sure I only covered less than a quarter of the lake. A Korean tourist shouted at us asking if she could borrow the bangka too. I understand her eagerness to try what we were doing but she pretty much waited a while and I wasn't sure if she ever got her hands on the paddle.
|My friend with a kid on a bangka in Twin Lagoon|
The water was as blurry as my eyesight since the saltwater and freshwater mix hesitantly, forming an oily-like texture. There was some shallow parts but they are rocky and a lot of pitch black holes due to the crevices. I couldidn't dare swim close to the shallow rocks since I was imagining that something might grab me into the dark hollows. I'm pretty sure something brushed on my legs and I don't know if it was a sting-less jellyfish. I would never know.
I didn't see a barracuda but there sure were a lot going on underneath this huge lake. The jagged edges on the top of the rocks surrounding Barracuda lake is just as tough as the lakes' name. We climbed up and down the wooden stairs attached on very defined karsts.
|Entry to Barracuda Lake|
|Karsts surrounding Barracuda Lake|
|Intimidating Barracuda Lake|
Air bubbles from the divers' descent rose into the water and gave us a feeling of comfort. Immediately, I felt the dark water wasn't too scary at all. One of friends swam to one of the rocks to the farther side of the lake where she shared a few laughs with one of our guides. Her high pitched laughter echoed through the walls telling me that everyone was having a great time.
The postcard photo for Coron is shot on a place high above any lake and it is over the bay which serves as access to Kayangan Lake. Everybody was sweaty and tired but at the same time we had the common understanding to enjoy this breathtaking scenery. We knew there were more steps to the lake so we had to keep the upward curves on our faces a little longer.
|Overlooking the bay welcoming to Kayangan Lake|
To our guides, this is the shallowest lake among others we've visited. But 20 feet still doesn't sound shallow to me. I still couldn't let go of my life vest though I took it off most of the time and just held it in my hand just to have a feeling of freedom. The lake was 75% freshwater and I felt that there was not enough saltwater to help me stay above the surface of the water.
We swam to the deeper side near the walls where the crevices are. On side of the lake, there was an entry to a small cave. I saw our guide vanished into the darkness as he swam into the cave. I almost lost my guts when I was left outside the entry because he was too quick. He held my hand to guide me inside the cave. As I stepped into the darkness, I saw some light from the roof of the cave and felt better. But I only felt relieved after I submerged back into the water and saw the bright hole leading back into the lake.
Our guide wanted to show off so he swam to the floor of the shallower part of the lake. I saw him lay his back on the ground and played on it the same way we form angels in the snow. The substance on the floor lifted off the ground like the way dust flies in the air.
One of my friends wanted to paddle the bangka herself but I was not confident for her because the current could be stronger at the edge of the lake. Our tour guide willingly joined to paddle for us. We approached the edge of the lake and vanished into the river.
|Kayangan Lake in its most peaceful time before sunset.|
There was only us and the wooden craft cutting through the calm and clear waters. A few birds chirped from the jagged mountains surrounding us. There was not even a fish in sight. I wondered if they were sleeping or they were too small to see. It felt like the most peaceful moment in my life. It almost felt like dying except that there was no dramatic flash of days before my eyes but just a simple realization of things that mattered most to me - happiness and spending time with the people I care about.
The image is dreamy and I still feel like I'm drifting in that dream. Clear turquoise waters, mysterious dark depths and mystical landscapes best describe the lakes and mountains of Coron. I wish that these memories will remain true years in the years to come. For now, these images will reside play in my mind the same way dreams do when I am asleep.