It was another day filled with the strong sun warms us up and then, as if on cue, a soft breeze comes along to cool us back down. The bracing sea breeze touching our surface; a perfect day, and an ideal for brisk beach walks and the afternoons heat up just enough to dip our toes in the ocean waves. A sense of calm has descended over us, as one lazy day melts into the next.
Personally, I could not count how many times I’ve traipsed my feet on Olango Island. I’ve done several Island Hopping near the coastline of Mactan and around the Olango Island and its neighboring islets. I even had one whole day cycling around Olango Island while enjoying the stunning scenery and embracing the Island vibes. It was also last year when I experienced cruising along the Mactan Channel with P/Y JOKAI 1 on a Yacht; chasing the dramatic scenery of the sky, as the sun goes below the horizon reflecting on a surface of the calming sea.
Thus, another summer time means another Island hopping experience. And what makes Island hopping more fun is actually not just embracing the ocean breeze, swimming in a turquoise water, listening to the waves kissed the coast, but also the people whom you are with on an Island hopping. And precisely like any other Island hopping I had in the past, It’s always been a new set of energetic, fun, and Island worshipers that have never run out energy to commune with nature. I was on a boat with distinguished bankers that worship numbers and never ends their day without meeting veracious balance in their system. And escaping from an 8 hour routine almost everyday means heaven on earth.
We began our day in The Persimmon Cebu where the tryst was set. We took a Van bound for Mactan, and went straight to our jump off point, which is in Islands Banca Cruises just beside the Movenpick Hotels and Resorts in Mactan. And right after everything was ready, we transport all the foods, including ourselves in a sturdy bamboo raft going to the boat, since the boat could not directly dock off near the coast because of the limited space. Soon enough, everyone was on board on a boat while grinning from ear to ear, as this marks the excitement for a fun filled day.
Mactan and Olango Island Hopping has an interesting and beautiful stops, this signifies that everyone will get to enjoy the bracing sea breeze from one Island to another Island. These Islands are Nalusuan, Hilutungan, Caohagan, Olango, Sulpa Island and if there’s a leisure time, Pandanon Island is on the list of Island destination as well. This has become the quick gateway destination of many, and of those that loves to embrace an Island life. Perchance this is the nearest Island Hopping destination in Cebu without travelling to the south and the northern part of Cebu.
Like how our excitement behaves at the moment, it was how the waves kissing our boat, until we had our first stop. An inviting turquoise water and a beautiful corals filled with fish has welcomed us. Everyone was excited to take a dip, and enjoy the day flirting with a deep blue sea. Grabbing a life jacket, especially for those that don’t know how to swim is sounding like a plea that had been answered just before we ask for it. Truly, taking a dip while enjoying the bluish-green water was our way of beating the summer heat. That time, we were like kids who have found a perfect playground, it was priceless.
Soon enough after drenching ourselves in the deep blue sea, we headed straight to the floating restaurant of Caw-Oy and had our luscious lunch. Truly, Olango Island is not merely known for having rich in marine life, but also for having an array of fresh seafood. In Caw-Oy, you can find several floating restaurants that serve the best and sumptuous seafood — a bit expensive, but definitely worth it! And just before we arrived, the long table has been perfectly set up including the eating utensils. Without a long queue and short waiting time; we had our luscious lunch while the sea breeze hugging our surface, Indeed, It was a perfect lunch time for all of us.
After our scrumptious lunch in Caw-Oy floating restaurant, we headed straight to one of the six satellite islands of the Olango Island Group, which is the Sulpa Island. The Sulpa Island is said to be the most visited Island on Olango Island Group. It is privately owned and no residents; and when you traipsed on the sandy part, entrance fee is being collected. But, if island hoppers would choose to stay and enjoy swimming far from the sandy area, they are free from fees. During our visit, we actually went down from the boat and swim in its turquoise waters. I can definitely feel the happiness of my feet while traipsing on the white powdery sand of Sulpa Island.
After truly enjoying the Sulpa Island and while the sun was about to rest below the horizon, we decided to go back to the mainland. And while on our way, we fill our famish stomach with luscious food since there was still enough food for all of us. The waves were big, but it didn’t stop us from relishing the food. I guess that eating first before leaving the boat, and the deep blue sea means a dinner expense goes to a box of saving. It was indeed a fun-filled day for all of us. Until next time guys, and thank you for having me around.
HOW TO GET THERE
There’s a regular flights from any point in the Philippines bound for Cebu via Major Airlines. You can take a flight from Manila, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Caticlan, Iloilo, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Kalibo, Tacloban, and even Zamboanga. You can also travel to Cebu City by a ferry or Ro-Ro from Leyte, Bohol, and any major northern Mindanao sea ports.
And for the International travellers, you can also take a direct flight bound for Cebu from China (Xiamen), Hong Kong, Japan (Tokyo-Narita, Osaka Kansai, and Nagoya-Centrair), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, South Korea (Busan and Seoul-Incheon), Taiwan (Taipei), and UAE (Dubai).
From Mactan International Airport, take a taxi to Islands Banca Cruises just beside the Movenapick Hotels and Resorts in Mactan. The travel time from the Airport is less than 30 minutes. From there, you can go to their office and inquire about the Island hopping tour rate. You can as well contact them ahead of time to arrange your Island Hopping Tour.
Island Hopping Tour Operator
Islands Banca Cruises
Contact Numbers: +63 917 630 0736 | +63 (32) 516 1903
- Hilutungan and Pandanon Islands (10 pax max) – ₱6,500
- Nalusuan and Pandanon Islands (10 pax max) – ₱6,500
- Nalusuan and Hilutungan Islands (10 pax max) – ₱4,850
- There’s a corkage fee if you bring your own food – ₱1,000
- Packed lunch available (per pax) – ₱210
- Seafood lunch available (per pax) – ₱450
- Set off the Island Hopping as early as you can make the most of the whole Island Hopping Tour.
- Bring a snorkelling gear to truly enjoy the island. You can as well rent if you don’t own one.
- Make certain to bring your swimming attire and sunblock to protect your skin from the direct heat of the sun.
- Don’t tread on the corals if you swim in the deep blue ocean, for they are really sensitive.
- Make sure to charge your underwater gear, surely, you’ll fall in love while taking the beautiful scenery beneath the ocean.
- Usually, the Island fees and food are not included in the boat rental. Hence, I advise you to communicate to your Island Hoping operator with regard to the food arrangements.
- Always practice Leave No Trace Policy (LNT). Take good care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough.