Friday, April 20, 2018

at Belo Beach, Olanggo Island, Cebu

Just 3.1 miles east of Mactan, Cebu is Olanggo Island, well known for its Wildlife Sanctuary and snorkeling sites. Many would go there not just for swimming or snorkeling but also for bird watching or bird photography as well as sunset photography. Migratory birds from Sibera, Northern China and Japan would flock the island as they seek refuge away from the cold winter Climate of these countries.

However, we did not go there for the birds as it wasn't the migratory season. We went there for the beach and for some quality time with friends. Lucky that my friend April was able to book us a budget friendly accomodation. So we packed our bags and met at Punta Engaño pier.

Going to Olanggo Island

Punta Engaño pier we paid 5php terminal fee and 15php for the boat ride. It took us around 20 minutes to reach the island. Then, we took a tricycle at an agreed fare to our accomodation. 

Belo Beach

Belo Beach, is a family owned resort located in Brgy. Talima, Olanggo. They have one available room for guest accomodation and we were lucky to have booked it. The resort was just far as exepcted though, and the road was a bit of a struggle but we managed to enjoy it. The resort is still being developed and when we got there, we had the place for ourselves. 

The owners were very accomodating. We call them Nanay and Tatay (Mother and Father). They made sure we were comfortable and assisted us with any of our request. When we needed something, their sons would immediately take their motorcycle and buy the things or food we needed. When we asked for fresh fish for grilling, their sons bought them and Nanay and Tatay happily grilled it for us even without asking them too. We left the place so grateful for their hospitality.

Aside from snorkeling and swimming, you can also enjoy a relaxing view of the ocean in the morning. You can actually see boats lined up in the sea as they bring tourists for diving and island hopping. Naynay and Tatay also let us borrow their snorkeling gears. However, place doesn't have a shoreline,  so we had to go to another beach for swimming during our first day. We went back to Belo Beach in the evening and spent the night with some drinks. It was a blast!

Room Rate - P1,600.00 (airconditioned)

Shalala Beach

Since my friends wanted to go to a resort with a shoreline, we hoped on a tricycle that took us to Shalala Beach. The property was just ordinary and great for a "barkada" getaway on a budget. There are several cottages, a volleyball area and rooms for overnight stay. The entrance fee was only P20.00 each.

The property is situated on the edge of an inlet, facing the Cumungi Island. The water there was too shallow and on a low tide you can actually cross over to Cumungi Island by foot. The current goes towards the open sea, so using our floatie wasn't a good a idea.

We spent the afternoon for some picture taking, a little swimming, slight drinking and a bunch of bonding. As the sun went down, we went back to Belo Beach to continue the fun.

Shalala Beach Rates:
Walk-in Entrance Fee - P20.00 per head

Cottages (Good for 10)
Day Use - P400.00
Night use - P600.00
Excess - P20.00 per head

Rooms (Good for 2)
Airconditioned Room - P1,50.00
Fan Room - P1,200
Excess - P100.00 per head

Tent  - P300.00
Picnic Table (with chairs and umbrella) - P250.00, good for 5

You can contact Belo Beach and Shalala Beach through their facebook pages.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Philippines is known for its beautiful and serene white sand beaches, little do people know that the Philippines also has hidden pink paradises. You've probably heard of the pink-tinted beach of Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga. You probably also thought that it's the only pink sand beach in the country.

There are actually other fascinating pink beaches in the country, there is Sila Island in Northern Samar, Tikling Island and Subic Beach, Calintaan Island in Sorsogon and Pundaguitan Beach in Davao Oriental. Maybe there are more that are still undiscovered. So when I learned that Samar has a pink beach, I immediately planned to travel and bought a tent to shelter us for an overnight stay on the Island.

The blushing pink sand of Sila Island is caused by red corals and shells, pulverized by waves and got mixed with the white sand. The pink sand is highly noticeable on a hot sunny day, so the best time to visit the island is in April or May.
My red hair on the sands of Sila Island

Our habal-habal driver in Capul helped us arrange for a boat trip from Capul to Sila Island. He went to our hotel at around 9 AM and took us to Kuya Kasing, the boatman.

The sea was really peaceful that morning and I was excited. It was around an hour boat trip from Capul to Sila Island. I was even more excited when I saw the pinkish sand of Sila Island.

The beach is really peaceful. I like that there were not many people there. It's a total opposite of Boracay or other prominent beaches. In fact, there were only 2 groups when we arrived and only us that spent the night there. The caretakers are also friendly and approachable.

How to get to Pink Beach, Sila Island via Capul Island
  1. From Tacloban, Leyte take a Van going to Calbayog. The fare is P220.00 per pax.
  2. From Calbayog, take another van going to Allen, Samar. Tell the driver you will get off at Dapdap Port, Allen. The fare is P100.00 per pax.
  3. Pay the 5 peso terminal fee of Allen port and take the boat that will go to Tarnate or Capul. We went to Capul because the boat to Tarnate wasn't sailing. The boat departs daily at noon. The fare is P100.00 and will be collected once you get off the boat in Capul Island.
  4. From Capul take a special boat that will take you to Pink Beach, Sila Island. Negotiate with the boatman for a boat that best fits your need. A good for 5 boat costs P1,500.00 for 1 way and another 1500 from Pink Beach going back to Capul. You can spend a day and night Capul or just go straight ahead to Pink Beach, Sila Island.
    Our boatman is Kuya Kasing. He took us to Pink Beach from Capul for P1,500.00 and from Pink Beach to Allen for P2500. You can contact him before going to Sila Island at 09127397227.
* There are also flights directly to Catarman or Calbayog. From Catarman or Calbayog, just take a van going to Allen.
* The boat from Capul to Allen, Samar (mainland) departs daily at 7 AM.

Where to stay in Pink Beach, Sila Island

 There is no accommodation there as of the moment but they have an open cottage which is also available overnight. I recommend pitching a tent to get the most out of the beach camping experience.

Tips in going to Pink Beach
  • The best time to go to Pink Beach, Sila Island is in April and May when the sun is hot and the sea is more peaceful. Pink tint is also visible on a sunny day.
  • Bring snorkeling gears
  • There is no store there, so be sure to bring enough food, drinking water, and other necessities. 
  • Bring your trash back to the mainland or ask your boatman to dispose of it. 

Our trip to Capul Island was really unplanned. Our original route to Pink Beach, Samar was San Isidro to San Vicente then to Pink Beach, our plan B was Allen to Tarnate Island, then to Pink Beach. Early on our trip from Tacloban to Samar, when we reached Catbalogan, I received a text from the boatman I contacted that there is no trip from San Isidro to San Vicente that day because of the holiday (we went there on a holy week). Our initial agreement a couple of days before our trip was that he will pick us up from San Vicente to Pink Beach for only P2,000, that also includes picking us up the next day and taking us back to San Vicente. Since the boat going San Vicente was canceled, he is willing to pick us up from San Isidro to San Vicente Island for P7,000 but he also suggested that we just look for another boat in San Isidro that would take us for a cheaper price.
We decided to just go for plan B because 7,000 is way more than our budget. When we got to Allen the boat to Tarnate Island is also not sailing. I was getting frustrated, I have been wanting to go to Pink Beach since last year and last year we also missed the boat from San Isidro to San Vicente, so we went for our Plan B and went to Haven of Fun resort in San Antonio Island. It's a good thing, the locals suggested that we take the boat to Capul, stay there for the night and take a special boat to Pink Beach.

When we got to Capul Island, a habal-habal (motorbike) driver took us to a resort to check in first, before going on a tour.

The driver took us to the historical watchtower of Capul, there is a park in front of it just by the sea with a good view of a wave interference.

The Capul watchtower was still under maintenance when we arrived on the Island. This watchtower used to serve as a guidepost to the Acapulco-Manila galleon trade, passing through San Bernardino Strait. Acapulco is also where Capul got its name. This Island used to be their last stop from Manila to secure provisions before setting out to Acapulco.

Wave Interference - 2 waves meet

 Our next stop was a resort. We wanted to swim but it was almost sundown when we got there. We also would have pitched a tent here if we have known we were allowed to in the first place instead of checking in a hotel.

It was getting dark and it started to rain, so we decided to go back to the hotel. Our habal-habal driver said he would have had taken us to Beto cave if we arrived earlier or if we stay for another day.

It was an amazing experience. Island life is so laid back. We have witnessed pigs, cattle, and poultry just crossing the road. You will see lots of trees and coconuts and even livestock along the way. Everything there was simple. The mode of transportation is just motorcycles, no cars. The breath of fresh air is so relaxing. The only regret I have is not being able to visit the cave and the historical church of Capul, we just passed by it. Its church is surrounded by a fort and is being pushed to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

How to Get to Capul Island.

1. Get to Allen, Samar
From Tacloban take a van of Grandtours that will go to Calbayog, Samar. IT will take 4 hours from Tacloban to Calbayog. It is highly recommended to take the first trip or before 6 AM. The fare is P220.00.
From Calbayog, take another van that will go to Allen, Samar. The trip will take around 1 hr. The fare is P100.00

There is also a direct flight to Catarman, Samar. From the airport, you can just walk a few meters and take a tricycle to the City terminal for only P10.00. It may take around 15 mins.
Then, take a jeepney going to Allen. The fare is only P60.00, travel time is around 1.5 hours.

2.  Go to the port and pay the P5.00 terminal fee.

3. Take the boat that will go to Capul, Island. The boat only sails once a day at 1:00 PM. Be there earlier than 12 PM to make sure you can ride the boat. The fare is only P100.00. The boatman will collect the fare when you arrive at the Island.

4. There are habal-habal when you get to the port, you can just deal with them for a special tour. Our tour cost us P500. Our habal-habal driver, Kuya Jojo, took us to the hotel, then to the watchtower, then to Magluyoan Beach, then back to our hotel. He also fetched us from the hotel the next day and helped us arranged a special boat trip to Pink Beach. You can contact him at 09303225649.

Where to stay in Capul Island
  • Jadil Alpha Hotel was where we stayed. A room for 2 with Air conditioning system and a private CR costs P800, and a room for 2 with only a wall fan and no private CR is P500.00 only.
  • Magloyuan Beach also has accommodations available. You can also pitch a tent there for a small fee.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sometimes my inner adventurous self would want to find some thrill, so I look for an activity that will satisfy that desire. This time, I dared my self to do and extreme sport. Together with 2 of my roommates, we went to Poog to try the rock climbing for the first time. We packed our lunch and our bag, ready for an adventure.

When we saw the crag, we suddenly got nervous and excited at the same time. We set up a small picnic at the ground while our guide, Enie set up the harness to a beginner's route. It was supposedly easy but for us first timers it was still challenging.

wearing the climbing shoes provided by our guide.

The Poog crag was personally bolted by our guide Enie Yonson and his team. It also has a lot of bumps and holes for footholds, handholds, and ledges which makes it good for beginners and first-timers. Enie was also patient enough to encourage us to continue the climb as he holds the harness for us. He also taught us where to hold and where to stand. It was such an exhilarating experience.

with our Poog rock climbing guide
So if you are up to the challenge of rock climbing even without experience then the Poog Crag may be for you. Climb at your own risk.

How to get to Poog Crag, Cebu for Rock Climbing.
1. Take a bus from Cebu City South Bus Terminal going to Toledo and tell the conductor you will get off at Upper Poog-Toledo Highway crossing. You will notice a byroad going to the mountainside with stores in the area. If you forgot your lunch or you feel hungry you can also buy food from the stores.

selfie inside the bus going to Poog
2. From there, you can walk to the Poog crag for a good warm-up or you can ride the Habal-habal motorcycle for only 10php each.

see that sign? that can also be your landmark to get off from the bus

Tips before going to Poog Crag. 
  • Don't forget to contact the guide before you go there. You can contact Enie Yonson through his Facebook account. His number is also on his profile. The fee is 500 php inclusive of all equipment and gears. You can also climb as much as you want.

  • If you are a first-timer, it's still best to try out wall climbing at the gym first to get the hang of it.

The Author

My photo
She is a self-supporting MBA Students while working as an online freelancer. She has been an online freelancer since 2010 and has maintained a 5 star-feedback and 100% Job Success Score. She blogs about the lifestyle of a freelancer and her passion for traveling. She is a Digital Nomad. Please see About Me page for more about her and the blog.



at Pink Beach, Sila Island, Samar





Lazada Philippines

Popular Posts