I was glad that I kept an open mind when we did our Apo Island tour. I didn’t even expect to see a pawikan and we were blessed to see not one but two of them!
Keep your underwater cameras ready because you sure are in for a treat! Apo Island is indeed a must-see place best visited during the summertime.
We took advantage of Cebu Pacific’s seat sale months prior our trip and in order to save time, we flew in to Dumaguete and departed from Cebu.
Plane ride to Dumaguete takes only 1 hour and 15 minutes.
WHAT WE DID
To avoid the hassle of commuting and hiring a private boat going to Apo Island, we opted to avail a group tour from our hotel instead. For only P1,000 per person, transpo, boat rental, snorkeling gears and even lunch is included. And for us, that is sulet.
Aside from the given, there are also dedicated guides assigned per group and since there are 6 of us, nasolo namen si kuya.
Our day started even before 7am since we have to register and get our gears before heading off to the port. The groups were diverse though we were the only Filipinos on the tour at that time.
Land travel from our hotel took almost an hour while the boat ride lasted for less than 30 minutes. We didn’t land on the island per se because we have divers with us as well.
For non-divers like us, we were accompanied by our respective guides to snorkel around the area. Not long after we jumped into the waters, a very special creature already made an appearance.
I have seen this pawikan so many times from the photos of the blogs I have visited while doing my reasearch. I was expecting that I will no longer feel the excitement when I see one but I was wrong.
I was wearing a snorkel but I know I did smile when I came face to face with it. Not literally because we have to be 5m away from them at all times though it was a surreal feeling. Ganun pala yun.
We tried our best to thread silently while following them (we saw a small and big pawikans btw) until they fed themselves enough for them to go home.
The famous pawikan of Apo Island.
Shhhh guys, wag maingay!
Snorkeling and More Underwater Shots
After our pawikan sightseeing, I told our guide to take underwater shots since he is a good diver.
Kuya was holding my SJCAM even at the beginning of the tour and we don’t really know if he took good photos until we went home and viewed it on my phone.
I really wanted to upload more photos but I reminded myself that this is a blog and not a photo essay. So here are samples of what our tour guide captured. You can visit my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter sites for more. Naks, may promotion talaga.
You have my permission to copy this awesome underwater group shot!
Rich marine biodiversity, check!
It seems like Nemo is attacking me!
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed at Harold’s Mansion for 2 nights. It is near the city center and walking distance from Silliman University.
I just learned that there is a travel agency offering a tour package to Dumaguete which includes a day trip to Apo island. You can choose between dozens of different hotels and resorts, and enjoy great deals for the whole package.
Interestingly enough, overnight stays at Apo island itself are also available! Not sure if you’ll find what to do there for so long, but it’s a really cool option if you are really a hardcore diver and don’t want to waste time commuting to the island each morning.
SANSRIVAL & SILVANAS – Of course, we didn’t miss out the famous sweet treats from Sansrival Cakes & Pastries. After buying a lot of it for pasalubong, we tried more of their pastries while my other travel buddies were exploring the city.
• Join a group tour. It will be more affordable than renting your own boat plus commuting to Apo Island.
• Snorkeling gears are included in the tour package though you can bring your own if you have sanitary issues.
• Always put on some sunscreen and hydrate yourself at all times.
• Kindly do not disturb the pawikans and make sure that you are just viewing them from a distance – 5m to be exact. You can be fined if you are seen touching or too close to them.
You may reserve your room and Apo Island group tour package at Harold’s Mansion at this number: 0917-302-4455.
TRAVEL EXPENSE SUMMARY
|Snorkel at Apo Island (Harolds)||
|Tip to Apo Island tour guide||
|RT trike from Harold’s to Robinsons||
|Merienda at Sanrival||
|Dinner at Ted’s Batchoy||