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Pamalican

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Palawan : Pamalican
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The Small island of Pamilacan lies at the heart of the Bohol Sea. It was named as such from the word "Pamilac" or harpoon, a large hooked implemented that is locally made and used by the islanders to capture manta rays, whale sharks and Bryde's whales. The island, which is 45-minute pump boat ride from the town of Baclayon, is composed of tree sitios, one facing Baclayon, another amid an island and a third sitio on the southern coast.

The Island served as watch station for intruders such as pirates and other enemies of the Spanish Colony. Proof of this is the existence of a 200-year-old Spanish fort at the north-east side of the Island. Pamilican Island is made of corals and fossilized sea shells that can be seen on the island's rocky hill.

The island is home to a small and closely knit fishing community. In the past, people living the island used to hunt dolphins, whales, whale sharks and manta rays. The practice was however stooped with the strict enforcement of marine life preservation laws in the country. Today, the houses of the over 200 families on the island are adorned with jaws, and bones of marine animals, making the island more interesting to tourist.

The sea around Pamilacan is frequented by whales and dolphins. The island is said to be a jump off area where at least seven species of marine mammals such as Bryde's whales and sperm whales have been sighted. Boats that are formerly used for whale hunting, called canters, have been refined to accommodate those who go whale watching. Skilled spotter, who are excellent guides accompany whale watchers. The best time to go whale watching begins in March until the onset of rainy season in June or July. Resident dolphins and small whales can be found all year round though.

Aside from white sand beaches and abundant marine life, another must-see in Pamilacan Island is the Spanish fort. The fort, which is triangular in shape, is made of rubble and cut coral blocks lining its portal and windows. Round buttresses support the three corner structures, and embedded trusses and triangular pillar in the center indicate that the fort may have had a second floor, which was probably made of wood. No date has been establish for the construction of the fort but there are indications that it was constructed in the 19th century because of large hardwood cross with an 1800s date carved on it, which stood near the fort. The cross is now housed in a modern chapel nearby. The fort is said to form a network with the towers or forts at the towns of Loay, Baclayon, Tagbilaran, and Panglao.

Quoted from 'Your Guide to Bohol" by Sanchez-Bronce, Loop, and Carpentier


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