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About 12 years ago a friend invited me to Salvacion town in Busuanga Island, Northern Palawan to check a property which their family own and wanted to know if they can sell it because they have a contract with the government on the land. Actually he wanted to sell the property to me at a very cheap price. More than my interest to buy the property, I was curious to know where and how Busuanga looked. I had heard of the place but didn't have any idea where Busuanga was and what was there to see. So out of curiosity I went to Busuanga.
We went by sea transport , travelled for about 16 hours and arrived early morning at Coron Pier. Didn't notice anything special about the place, a sleepy town with a fish port. From Coron we went to Salvacion which was about more than two hours ride on a jeepney. There was no road going to my friend's place, you have to take a small boat to go to their place which was located in a mangrove swamp by the sea. At night at the mangrove swamp I saw something extraordinary, on a moonless night the sea was glowing blue green, ( similar to a big luminous watch face if you are in a dark room ). Scattered luminous blue green swatches were moving on the surface of the sea. I asked what were those and told that those were luminous algae emitting their their own light. It was really a beautiful sight. I had never seen anything like it anywhere. I said to myself : Busuanga is different!
The next day we went to check their property, which to my surprise was a forest area with a white sand beach. It was actually a cove. On the sea across the property was a pearl farm and some small islands. What was interesting about the property was that there were squirrels ( or animals that looked like squirrels ) running in the forest area. After inspecting the property we went to the RD and DENR to check the classification of the land. I found out that the property was under Community Based Forest Management Agreement :
"Community Based Forest Management Agreement is a production sharing agreement between the Department of Environment Natural Resources and the participating people’s organization (POs) for a period of 25 years renewable for another 25 years and shall provide tenurial security and incentives to develop, utilize and manage specific portions of forest lands. (DENR Administrative Order No. 96-29)"
So I explained to my friend that it was not possible to sell the property. This ended my intention to buy the property but not my curiosity of Busuanga.
To be continued. . .