Life in the city never sleeps. In our grueling day to day lives in bright lights it comes to a point wherein the vibe gets to you. As the maddening energy escalates, one can't help but escape and get away from it all.
Holy Week in the Philippines is the best time to have the perfect vacation. With the 7,100 plus islands to choose from, this author finally decided to spend it back in his hometown--Palawan. Home to one of the recently proclaimed Seven Natural Wonders of the World-Underground River-the latest tourist attraction is swarming with both local and foreigners in the attempt to get a glimpse of one of nature's outstanding attractions. Aside from this on the radar vacay destination, there are more undiscovered places untapped by commercialism and one of them is Isla Arena. The turtle and bird sanctuary boasts of an area of 3 hectares of sand and 70 hectares of live corals. Nature is alive in its glorious presentation of life under the sea with all it's wonders. Powder like sand cushion every step as one looks into the endless horizon showcasing breathtaking hues of aquamarine, teal and blues. Lush greens fill the island with fresh air and sea breeze crowned by a remarkable Balete tree found right in the center. There is even a treehouse where one can take a nap or even an afternoon massage while listening to the wind as it cradles you to sleep.
Fantastical views are captivating as one goes around the island which takes a good 40 minute leisure walk. Sunrise and sunsets are amazingly glorious as they paint the skies with their overwhelming grandeur. Food is perfection as one gets to taste the bounty of the sea masterfully cooked by Manila-trained chef. One gets to experience dining by the sand bar at night filled with a blanket of stars under the glimmering moonlight.
The stellar appeal of the island is the fact that it's a turtle sanctuary. Throughout the year, hundreds lay their eggs as it has become home to the endangered species. When hatched, these turtles are then kept until they are big enough not to be eaten by predators and are released to return back to their natural environment.
The overall experience of Arena island is unforgettable. One that definitely unites us with nature and all it's splendor. Truly a picture perfect memory to last a lifetime.