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Nogas Island: 12 hearts one beat

Everything began when 12 souls traveled together for a week.

Antique, the place where we strangers were bound to meet.

It was an obvious travel assignment for bloggers , vloggers and content creators — little did we know this was the beginning of having our hearts meet, a start of a meaningful journey.

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(c) Astrid Alvarez of The Poor Traveler

Advancing to the sixth day of a week long trip, along with various voyagers we arrived in an island named Nogas.

Antique’s Tale (Oral history) : Nogas &: Anini-y Island

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(c) Mariane Tagaca of Trip ni Mariane (YouTube)

“WHEN the Visayan Islands were still part of the Shri-Bishaya Sultanate and the majority of the inhabitants of Panay Island were the Aetas and called the island Aninipay (after a sea shell that was later used in making capiz windows and capiz home decors), there lived a woman named Anini, the beautiful daughter of a Malayan chieftain in the southernmost tip of Hamtic, the original name of the province of Antique. Nogas, a handsome former slave and farmer’s son with the body of a warrior, fell madly in love with Anini. Theirs was a forbidden love affair, for Anini belongs to the maharlikas, the royalty, while Nogas is a descendant of the uripons, or slaves. And so the love affair ended in a tragedy – Nogas was killed and his body thrown into the sea, where an island appeared and was named after him. Anini died out of loneliness and was buried along the rocky seashore facing the island that was once her lover. On her burial site appeared a hot spring and a small volcano. The hot water represents her tears while the volcano is her heart, still beating for Nogas.” – www.gmanetwork.com

Another version mentioned to us was an existence of a jealous mermaid, who once helped the couple & got mad after knowing that she wasn’t invited during the wedding. To cut the story short, this mermaid was the cause of the death of Nogas and Anini.

This oral history of Antique was said to have numerous versions, this was the version shared to us.

NOGAS ISLAND

Slightly enchanted, furnished with a parade of whimsical fancy ‘calachuchi’ trees welcomed us to the island.

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(c) Desa Tayting of When In Manila

We took a leisure walk towards the lighthouse yet it was closed during our visit. We took a different path around the island. Then we were escorted by a mix of gentle and wild plants, the past visitor’s trail were found as our guide to reach the majestic ‘Balete’ tree.

Mentally asked permission to the enormous tree, prior to grabbing the opportunity of photographing our literal family tree.

(c) Sandy Jones Pilarca of Lost Juan PH

(c) Sandy Jones Pilarca of Lost Juan PH

 

Photo: //Upper left Mujee Gonzales of Eats In The Philippines
Lower left Ferdz Decena of Ironwulf En Route
Upper Middle Flord Nicson J. Calawag founder of Calawag Mountain Resort & Katahum Tours
Upper right (middle) Celine Murillo of Celineism
Upper left Sandy Jones A. Pilarca of Lost Juan
Lower left Desa Tayting of When In Manila
Left Janford Bonifacio Leguiab of Janford Bonifacio
Left Mariane Tagaca of Trip ni Mariane
Front left Astrid Alvarez of The Poor Traveler
Back left Jonathan Espiña of Jon to the World
Middle Kara Santos of Travel Up
Right Potpot Pinili of Travel Trilogy
Lower right (Yours truly) Levy Amosin – Hugging Horizons

… Also in the photo Ditchie (Flord’s beautiful wife) , Romeo Caceres and Lala Matsumoto//

 

(c) Mariane Tagaca of Trip ni Mariane (Youtube)

(c) Mariane Tagaca of Trip ni Mariane (Youtube)

The island was gorgeously magical, resembling the huge jungle of my favorite story book. An ambiance so surreal it was almost like a daydream turned reality, this is how I can recall Nogas Island.

A blissful trip was about to end when our hearts started beating as one—weighed down by the appearance of the garbage left by previous tourists scattered on the ground.  The host of this trip was with us, their team had their hearts yearning to keep the island free from the untidy accumulation of litter too.  Without further a do, we picked the trashes and removed junks bit by bit.

 

How irresponsible can we humans be?

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A photo of the trash we got on our way to leave the island 🙁

How irresponsible can we humans be? I heard my fellow travelers speak and ask the same dilemma as we find ourselves leaving the island.

I have silently been observing everyone, clearly no one was smiling—an absorbing melancholy.

Yet I felt my heart in the state of being grateful… “Our hearts beating as one” I said.

Nobody  really forced or even had to ask the group to pick up the scrap scattered around Nogas, the act of kindness came out naturally. This scene gave me a glimpse of hope to humanity. This group, this people are genuine examples of restoring common decency.

It’s true they say “Sometimes a journey means taking risks, chasing passions and grabbing opportunities.” Allyza Brucellas (2018)

That day we took the chance to help Nogas Island regain its paradise, even just a little.

We didn’t do much but by that simple act of kindness, we hope that our readers, viewers and audience might emulate. We tried to be an example to the next visitors, how to be sensitive and responsible travelers.

Are you fantasizing to visit Nogas Island too?

I challenge you to keep this island alive, prove the world that common decency is still common. Continue taking chances of healing this paradise when you come visit. Take your trash with you and travel responsibly.

A brilliant journey made possible by Katahum Tours and Philippine Airlines

Love,
Levy Amosin
www.instagram.com/levyamosin

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