Fire-fly Watching in Iwahig River: A Magical Experience

A heavy down pour of rain preceded our 9 p.m. schedule. The overcast sky and the starless night seemed to dampen my spirit. Then, it’s time to ride the paddle banca. Amidst the darkness and the eerie silence, an emotion akin to fear swept over me.

Fire-fly watching at Iwahig River, Palawan, Philippines
Fire-fly watching at Iwahig River, Palawan, Philippines

My imagination runs wild as I was expecting an Anaconda to spring from the water. Of course, I laughed inside and chided myself for those useless thoughts.

The boatman said that because of the rain, the moon and the stars are not visible. Then, he instructed us to put our hand through the water. As soon as we splash it, a blue green color sparkles in the darkness. We screamed with delight and in unison said “it’s magic”.  We were told that it is produced by the planktons that thrive in the mangrove. We keep on splashing the water until our arms get tired.

The banca continue to silently cruise while the boatman aims his flashlight along the mangrove trees lined along the river. We waited and waited …and after a few minutes, a small flicker of light, followed by another was seen. Then, all of a sudden, as if on cue, fireflies emitted their light and set the mangroves aglow. It was like Christmas lights that was turned on in a very dark room. A sense of wonder swept over me. I felt so close to my Creator and words of praise came out of my mouth. It lasted for ten minutes until we reached the end of the river and it is now time to go back.

I can say, this is the highlight of my first Palawan trip and it is definitely unforgettable.

3 thoughts on “Fire-fly Watching in Iwahig River: A Magical Experience

  1. Ging maybe somebody from our group have a photos in Iwahig river. Can you ask them so we can post it here. Thanks

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