A few kilometers after passing Anda village you will arrive at the starting point of the Lamanoc Island Mystic Tour. You start by walking over a long bamboo bridge, that leads through a large mangrove forest.
Here we will take some time to study the fascinating roots of these trees, and try to spot some of the animals that life between them.
At the end of this pier, you will reach a waiting shed on poles, where we you wait for one of the small bankas that will bring you to Lamanoc Point. These are the same bankas that the local fishermen have been using for centuries, and you will literally sit just a few centimeters above the surface of the sea. After a short trip, you will reach Lamanoc Point.
Lamanoc Point is not just a beautiful nature spot, where you can see various types of plants and animals, including some indigenous monkeys, but also has a long mystical history attached to it. Since pre-colonial times, it has been a holy spot, where local priests and medicine men, called baylan or tambalan, made their offerings to nature spirits, or diwata, who where believed to reside here, and where called upon to provide a bountiful harvest or good catch. These practices continued long after the Spanish had converted the islands to Catholicism, with people mixing their ancestral believes with the new teachings. Several Balite trees, with their numerous aerial roots add to the mystic atmosphere.
Some of the caves here served as a burial place, so inside you can find the remains of several wooden lungon or boat coffins, so called because they have been from a dug-out log, similar to the way boats where made, and old earthenware jars. Unfortunately these jars were broken by misguided treasure hunters, believing them to contain gold—all they got was human bones, and they desecrated a human grave and destroyed cultural heritage while doing so.
Inside a rock shelter, you can see some prehistoric graffiti. People used hematite (red iron oxide) pigments, found in the hills of barangay Katipunan, to paint on the walls with their fingers. A local believe says that this paint was the blood of pirates killed by angels.
Nature also has worked its art here. Inside the caves you’ll see some interesting formations of stalactites and stalagmites, including an entire row of small stalactites that give the impression of shark-teeth. Another curiosity is a giant clam shell embedded in one of the rocks, showing that these rocks have raised from the sea in the past.
This process of limestone rocks raising from the sea is still ongoing, as has been dramatically shown during the October 15, 2013 earthquake on the opposite side of Bohol, when Punta Cruz was lifted more than a meter, and as a result the coastline receded some 50 – 100 meters. After such an event, the sea will start eroding the relatively soft rocks, creating the typical overhanging walls you can see on Lamanoc Island.
Price: € 20.00
All tours include vehicle and Blue Star Dive & Resort guide, maximum capacity for the vehicle is four persons.
Entrance fees, tips and lunch are not included, packed lunch is available on request.
This post is also available in: German