Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Cebu: Sumilon Island's Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort
Sumilon Island is a 24-hectare coral island off the coast of Bancogon, Oslob, Cebu. The island hosts the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort which developed the island into an eco-friendly haven for those who want to get away from the stress of city living.
Previously, this marine sanctuary had been accessible to just anyone. Unfortunately, just like in many places around the country, locals and visitors alike left their garbage on Sumilon's beautiful shifting sandbar, which is known for changing shape and shifting locations around the island depending on the season. With the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort there, the island is well-maintained and protected from this utter disregard for the environment.
I got the chance to visit Sumilon Island over the weekend. I took the first flight to Cebu. One thing I noticed about NAIA Terminal 2 was that the lines were much longer than NAIA Terminal 3 and 4. I usually ask for front row or exit row seats. But effective March 1, 2010, PAL now charges Php224 for the seats! So I thought, since it was a full flight and I wanted convenience having had no sleep, I'd get a front row seat. Unfortunately the next step was to pay at the cashier. And the lines were even longer! So there goes Philippine Airlines' paying for convenience... FAIL!
As soon as I arrived, I was brought to the Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort where the rest of the group was billeted. For the morning, we were going to make our way through various centuries-old churches of Southern Cebu (I'll talk about that in another entry), as we drove down to Oslob.
Without the stopovers, the trip from Mactan to Oslob is about three hours. But with all the stopovers and annotations, we arrived in Bancogon in six hours. The resort has its own port facilities in Bancogon. If you arrive in the evening, there are rooms available in the mainland if you're not comfortable making that boat ride to Sumilon Island in the dark. The boat ride is about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the water condition.
Sumilon Island was made a fish sanctuary in 1974 under the care of the Silliman University Marine Reserve. Which is why the island offers really great diving opportunities. There are a lot of activities available to everyone such as kayaking, snorkeling, trekking, birdwatching, windsurfing, etc. And for those who simply want to relax, they have lounge chairs by the beach, an infinity pool, and benches conveniently located all over the island for those who want to find a quiet spot for themselves to sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
As soon as we arrived, we were served a sumptuous lunch which was soon followed by cocktails by the beach and a barrio fiesta dinner. Sumilon Island is a perfect honeymoon destination. And the resort can arrange romantic beach dinners or sunset picnics on the water just for you.
The daily breakfast buffet is served by the beach which is an experience in itself. I wish I could have stayed longer on the island to enjoy it even more.
How to get to Sumilon Island
From Dumaguete City, the resort can arrange pumpboats to bring guests directly to Sumilon Island. Travel time is between 30 minutes to an hour depending on the sea conditions.
Or you can take the ferry from Dumaguete to Bato Port, Oslob where the resort can pick-you up and ferry you to the island. The earliest ferry leaves Tampi Port, Dumaguete City at 5 a.m. while the last one leaves at 6:30 p.m.
From Cebu City, you can either take a bus, van, or hire a private vehicle to take you to Bancogon, Oslob. Private cars take about 3 hours while buses could take you up to four hours. Car rentals are Php3,000 while vans cost about Php5,000. The public vans charge Php200 per head, while buses cost about Php90 for air-con and Php45 for ordinary buses. Both buses and public vans depart from the Cebu South Bus Terminal.
Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort
(032) 4810801 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(02) 8175751 / 8871348