Exploring a Secret World - Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

The sun has set and the air goes colder. The gentle sounds of the waves gives us comfort and tell us to unwind. Hello again and welcome the final part of our trip to Lian, Batangas in the Philippines. A place away from the city and the boisterous crowd. If you missed the first two parts of our adventure feel free to visit the links below.

First Long Drive to Serenity

Drowning All Troubles Away

Come with me today as I take you and see what wonders await when the tide is low.

Exploring a Secret World

Last time we ended our story with a majestic sunset. A wine bottle at hand and bossa nova music on the background. As the night approaches, the children were able to setup a bonfire from the dried wood and bamboo that we collected earlier that day. My son learned from me how to start up a bonfire from our previous camping trips. It is important to learn stuff like this as you might end up cold and in the dark during camping trips.

It is very relaxing just to sit around the campfire and tell stories until you all get sleepy. Maybe even roast some marshmallows or hotdogs as a snack during story telling time. The popular stories always told are local folklore and ghost stories. Ending up scaring the kids most of the time and thus forcing them to all squeeze together inside one tent.

The warmth of the fire, the crackling sound and gentle glow all comes into play. A cold breeze blows, but the fire embraces us with enough warmth. As the night goes deeper, the children one by one headed to the tents to sleep underneath the stars. The fire slowly dies out and we head to my tent to call it a day with beautiful thoughts from throughout the day.

I rolled around the tent and could not fall asleep. I decided to go outside again and take some photos. The photo below looks like that the sun has just set. In fact this photo was shot in complete darkness of the night, with a higher ISO from the camera with a little light from the hut.

This was taken around 11 pm and it is a good thing that the houses leaves the lights on. Walking around a bit got me sleeping so I went back into the tent and finally got some sleep.

I woke up again and I thought dawn was approaching when I heard motor sounds from boats. As I checked the clock it was 3 am, it was hard going back to sleep so I just went outside again. The moon was high, the tide was low and I saw fishing boats headed out to sea.

This is the time they go out to sea as I was told that more fish can be caught when the moon is shining high.

The photo is a grainy as I had to bump up the ISO on the camera to get a closer shot of the fishermen. Here you could clearly see three guys on the boat. It is quite exciting to catch them in the morning as see what they caught which they sell at a very cheap price. After an hour of just sitting on the beach underneath the moonlight and watching the fishing boats. The sandman finally caught up with me and I went back into the tent. As soon as I closed my eyes it was dreamland for me.

Morning came and I heard the children playing outside. As I looked outside my tent, the kids were picking up something from the rocks.

I called out to them and they came running to me excited to show me what they found.

To my surprise, they were picking up starfish on the rocks. I was fascinated to see real starfish here, but I immediately asked them to put them back where they found them. It is amazing to see diverse marine life thriving in this area which is cannot be found in beaches near our city. The caretaker of the place we were staying mentioned that the area is protected by the Department of Natural Resources.

She pointed out to me to explore the right side of the beach as there are so many marine life that can be found. It was time for me to do my final exploration and armed only with my camera.

The tide was low and exposed a beautiful world hidden underneath the water. The first creature I saw was like a large worm the slowly crawled on the sand. I do not know what it is or what it feeds on, but better not touch it.

Now sea urchins are very abundant here, you could see them everywhere. I am just not sure if this is the species that can be eaten.

Lots of small hermit crabs are exposed hanging on the the rocks.

As I walked further on the rocks, the things that I found became stranger. I do not know if this is some sort of coral perhaps. I could see that it is alive as it moves a bit.

There were more of them on the rock and this one had a lighter shade of green color. If any of you could identify it please do share with us as I would love to know what it is.

Lots of shells were also everywhere and the one below looks really nice. As I was about to pick it up, it crawled away and hid underneath a rock.

It was like a secret world opened up to me which only appears when the tide is low. The area appears to be untouched and is so alive. Seaweed that appears to be wild sea grapes were thriving and almost covers all the rocks. It made the rocky beach look so gorgeous like a terrain with abundant natural wealth.

It would be nice to fix up a salad with some of these sea grapes. I was a bit hesitant to take some with me as I am not used to foraging. A local guide would be advisable to ask first what is safe to eat.

Another live coral with beautiful shades of lime green that almost glows.

The terrain is covered with patches of small natural pools. Each pool looks like a unique aquarium complete with plants and some has little fishes that are trapped. I spotted this tiny fish with a glowing blue color.

One of the natural pools of water that can be a perfect design for an aquarium. A great place to get some ideas if you are an aquarium hobbyist. I have an empty 75 gallon aquarium at home and makes me think to have it set up again.

Things became more and more stranger to me and somehow I feel I am in an alien world. I have never gone snorkeling maybe that is why I am so amazed with everything that I am seeing here.

Some pools are a bit deep and I have a feeling that more fish are hiding underneath the rocks. I tried to find some, but unfortunately couldn't find larger fish in the area.

A small crab quietly waits for its prey of small fish that may pass by. A different kind of species which is the first time I have seen. I do not see this kind in market places and it is not advisable to just grab and cook any crab. Some of them are poisonous and leave you ending at the hospital.

Colors are everywhere and I was not expecting seeing pink colored plants on the beach.

As I walked further, this very large coral startled me and there were two of them. The strands were swaying underneath the water like plants being blown by the wind. Also looks like a good hiding place for small fishes.

I found a small crab hiding inside, probably it realized that it was a great hunting spot.

Something crawled near my feet what looks like a long centipede. It could give a nasty bite and I am not waiting to find out. I immediately stepped on top of a rock. It moved very quick and hid inside one the crevices.

This looks like a sea cucumber and do correct me if I am wrong. I watched as the small antennas on the top were moving around and looks like it is sensing for something.

I didn't see much starfish in this area unlike the rocks near our camp where the kids found a lot of them. Here I only found this one that is large but unfortunately a dead starfish. Just another part of the cycle of life in this ecosystem.

It was time to go back and end my exploration. Rain clouds were coming in fast and my camera is not weather sealed. I didn't realize the weather suddenly changes here as it was very sunny when I started. Looking back at this beautiful terrain at first you may think that it is all rocky and may look uninteresting. We always love beaches with pristine fine white sands, but we must always remember that things or places may not always seem to be. Some most unique places are just hiding beneath the tides. This secret world is best hidden away from crowd, but if you do wish to visit. Only take home photos and memories with you, leaving no rubbish behind and keeping the place magical.

Thank you for joining me in exploring this beautiful place in Lian Batangas, Philippines. The world is a beautiful place if we just know how to harmoniously live with it.

Until then enjoy the rest of the weekend and have a good evening.


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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 with Sigma 50mm and Olympus 40-150mm




What a wonderful, peaceful time you had. I cannot identify any of what you found, but it is certainly very interesting. You got great shots through the water without glaring reflections that happen to me. I think your kids will have long lasing memories of this trip. You are all very lucky to get the chance.

You nighttime shots came out great as well. Good for you to catch such low light. Big congrats on your well deserved curie vote.

Thanks a lot for the congratulations. Most of the creatures we alien to me and I even tried to search the net what they were. It is very hard to find the names of the live corals. I love shooting a night but the Panasonic isn't too good in low light condition. Shots of the boat were already grainy but it is better than no shot at all lol. Sony is really good in low light but too expensive.

It looks like you didn't get much sleep that night. But I guess it was nice not to sleep as it was very peaceful and you could enjoy yourself with your camera..

I haven't been to the sea when it was low tide yet. It looks amazing! All these small creatures and corals! I thought you can only see such things while snorkeling...

That long worm doesn't really look peaceful so it's good that you stayed away 😊 I'm not sure if you could eat those grapes but if so, then it's a pity that you didn't try 😉

Thank you for this great photo report! It was my pleasure to join you 😊

You said it. I had trouble sleeping and kept waking up. But waking up around 3 am was unforgettable. I got myself some hot coffee and just sat there watching the boats go by. It was so quiet with just the sounds of the waves and the hum of the engine from the boats afar. Glowing lights from the houses on the beach completed the ambiance. Too bad my wife was so fast asleep and I was alone to enjoy it.
The live corals was a surprise for me and at first I had a hard time figuring out what it was.
The worm was just crawling but what was a bit scary was the centipede like creature as it had some sort of pincers. Do try to experience low tide as there is so much to see especially in the rocky parts where they all hide. I am glad you took the time to join me on the stroll.

I admire you for simply looking for something to do when you wake up at 3 am. Knowing myself I would get so angry that I can't fall asleep that I would lie down for hours just being more and more angry :D At the end my whole day would be spoiled.. but well.. sometimes you know what you shouldn't do and you still do it :)

But your plan looks ideal.. as you said, too bad that you were on your own. I'm sure she would love it too :)

I think that you have to find a beach that is a bit rocky then. Most of the beaches that I've ever visited were sandy beaches and to be honest I haven't been to the sea that often :) But thank you for the tip! Next time I go somewhere, I'll make sure to choose a place with some rocks as well :)

It's been my pleasure! Have a lovely start of the week!

Great post my friend. It's so exciting to discover the small life at a beach when the tide is low. One discovers how species-rich nature is. There are no limits to colors and shapes.

Thank you my friend. Visiting beaches here it is best to go to the ones protected by the Department of Natural resources. For sure the place would be teeming with life.

Hi watersnake101,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

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Thank you very much for the amazing support. To the curie team and curators you guys rock!

Great post and it really is a beautiful sunday. Cheers🥂

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Hey thanks for having a look it was a great experience for all of us.

I am sooo jealous ! And you know what those starfish on the slipper make a great design

Now you mentioned it that is a really great design. Starfish design on slippers would sell like hotcakes lol.

For sure i would buy them immediately

@watersnake101 wow at the starfishes and sea urchins (not so wow at that sea worm)! 😄

Really hope that with more tourists, that beach can still be preserved as much as possible ((: 🌱🌿

With another hour or two ride from here are the more popular beaches. Frequented by tourists but this place is more of like an away from it all kind of thing lol. They only have properties on the beach for rent and I guess more of the people prefers the developed beaches.

Great post. A lot of interesting sea creatures and great visual storytelling with photographs, it really conveys the atmosphere of this coast.

Wow, that’s a really great post! It just shows the beauty of our country. Your post just makes me want to leave Baguio and go on a vacation there. Those starfish looks so unique, I’ve never seen anything like that before. Thanks for sharing this with us! May you have a great week ahead!

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Yes kabayan we have so many beautiful places and I would recommend you to come down from the mountain. Head out to the beach and have some fun in the sun. There is a place further from here called Calatagan with so much starfish everywhere. Hope you plan the vacation soon.

It is really a beautiful Sunday. Awesome views..... I really love your choice of pictures and your write up made it a blast. Keep the spirt up always

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Thank you very much as your words means a lot for me. I always try my best to choose the correct photos to vividly tell my story. Keeping my spirit high as much as I can. Thanks.

You are welcome

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May mga turistang dumadayo ba jan bro?

Konti lang bro, just a few people renting houses. A good place for relaxation with some peace and quiet.

Hi @ watersnake101
beautiful story of your Sunday in the middle of nature, you took us with you with your telling and your photos, it seemed to be there. This story is testimony to my idea that sometimes you do not have to go far to see wonderful things, outside a tent by the sea, just looking in the shallow and clear water you have found a fantasy world that lives so different from us! What a beautiful teaching must have been for your children! That full moon at night is beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us!

We have very limited funds and I try to explore places near our area. So far this three hour drive is the farthest we have explored on the southern part of the province. It is surprising to discover that places like this exists within just a few hours of drive. The kids loved it here especially my daughter as she is like me who appreciates nature a lot. That moon was magical and I was glad I woke up to capture it. Planning for the next trip soon lol. I am glad you joined our trip. Hope you could visit our country if you have the chance.

Amazing that a completely different world exists within the one we know. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us here :)

At first I said to myself , " Who would enjoy a beach that is full of rocks?" man I was so wrong as the place was magical.

Yes, better not touch. Maybe watersnake. ;-)

Correct bad idea to touch some of the creatures. On a further beach from here there are some banded watersnakes that can be seen. Here I was the only watersnake lol.

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Great shot all over.
Glad you shared with us a souvenir for lifetime.
Keep it going

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Hey thank you very much. I appreciate the comment. Will keep on Steemin and having fun! Cheers!

As always great long stories about your wonderful trips! :)

Hey there my awesome artist friend. I hope it wasn't too long lol. I am glad you liked it, wish I could travel more.

My military career "cured" me of enjoying anything that resembles recreational camping or scuba diving.

Just the thought of them triggers memories of dangerous, miserable work and brings on some automatic physiological preparations for the inevitable fight or flight.

However, I enjoy watching other people enjoy...

Nice post.

Namaste, Jaichai

It seems you have been thru a lot thru your years in the military to have that effect. I do not really know what to say as I have no idea what you have been thru. But you endured thru it all and I hope one day you would be able to enjoy it again. Much respect to you my friend.

Beautiful and intimidating.
So much new, unknown to us under the sea (or surfacing,as in this case).
Did not know about sea grapes. Had never seen them.
Beautiful night pictures

Sea grapes are wonderful served like a salad adding slices of tomatoes and onions. I am glad you liked the night photos, it was a very peaceful evening. Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it.

@watersnake101 I got to this post on 6 days old, just in time to upvote it! A great post my friend and thank you for your visit to my page! Blessings!

Hey thank you very much. You caught it just in time lol, love your photos too. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Nice adventure

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Hey thanks for checking!

I have always found there is something both surreal and ethereal in "ocean" life... what wonderful photos to share with us! The variety of sea creatures and underwater plant life is amazing in these shallow waters!

Nothing can beat a camp fire for creating both fun and warm memories.... I love when we have ours going!

Thank you so much for sharing! 😊

You said it! Camp fire is always fun especially on the beach. I am really glad the place is protected unlike the other areas here where beaches are abused and taken for granted.

I have been wanting to visit Batangas and this makes me want to visit even more. I hope I can go there this year.

Plan it a go for it lol. I recommend calatagan further yet more pristine.

Googled it. It is indeed such interesting place to go to. Adding it to my ever growing list haha!

I really LOVE your underwater rockpools photographs @watersnake.

Was so worthwhile to be shaken from your sleep at 3 am, so as to take those beautiful photographs of the beach well before dawn. The full moon over the ocean is superb. Graininess is fine in some circumstances too. ♥︎♥︎⚖️♥︎♥︎

Thank you. I wanted to get a sony which is amazing when it comes to night photography. Too expensive though lol maybe when steem goes up.

What an adventure @watersnake101

Camping is such a cool thing. Sharing time with friends and family in the outdoors. Then to wonder around in a marine 'zoo' with so many different species of aquatic life must have been awesome. I would have definitely worn protection on my feet though!

Cheers, Gaz

Yes I am checking out some aqua shoes. I hope we could buy some for our next trip to the beach. Stepping on one of those sea urchins would be horrible. I really love camping on the beach and also fishing but didn't catch anything here. I broke my fishing reel in the process lol.

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