Monday, October 31, 2011

Langyaw sa Panglao: Balicasag and Virgin Islands

Panglao is an island in the Philippines located in the Central Visayas, at the southwest of the island of Bohol and Cebu. (source: wikipedia)

For the sembreak getaway, I and my friend Tere, decided to focus our trip in Panglao as we have already explored the countryside of Bohol. Packed with the idea of watching dolphins at the break of dawn and swimming with the colorful fishes at the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary, I and Tere excitedly watched the banca operator set the sail for the day's island tour. 

The tour started with a few minutes of sailing and looking for the location of the dolphins in the area. I was really excited to see these friendly and smart creatures. However, as we enjoyed the sight of dolphins, I have come to realize that these creatues are disturbed in their natural habitat and their early morning hunt. The dolphin watching turned out to be dolphin "chasing" as the bancas tried to chase the poor creatures for the amazement of their customers. As much as I wanted to see them flip in the air, I am sure that the noise of the tourists and the motor boats scared and alarmed them. 

After a few minutes of dolphin "chasing", I signaled our banca operator for our next stop: Balicasag Island. Balicasag Marine Sanctuary is indeed a haven for the marine life.I spotted colorful fishes of different sizes and species and as always, I spotted Nemo and his other friends! ^_^ (sorry, I don't have an underwater cam with me, it's for me to see, and for you to find out)

Balicasag Island
After an hour of snorkeling and a sumptuous seafood lunch at Balicasag Island, we headed to our last stop: Virgin Island. Virgin Island offered a beautiful beach view and a healthy marine life as well.The powdery, white sand was irresistible, I laid my back and relaxed for a while. It was heaven for a beach lover like me.
Virgin Island

After taking a "few" photos, we finally headed back to our banca. The Virgin Island is naturally untouched. The only unnatural thing I saw was the group of coconut vendors lining up at the island. But, thanks to them, I had a refreshing buko juice after soaking under the scorching heat of the sun. 

I may have experienced island hopping in Boracay or El Nido, but the island hopping in Panglao is unlike any other. Seeing the dolphins and the marine sanctuary of Balicasag Island was an incomparable experience and sun bathing in Virgin Island was something I would definitely do again.

Check out how I braved a deep lagoon inside Hinagdanan Cave here!

For Island Hopping Tours in Panglao, you may contact: Kuya Viao (09164645214). The tour cost P1400 (for 2pax). Snorkeling gears in Balicasag cost P100/pax and lunch is P250 (3choices of seafood, a cup of rice and softdrinks). 

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