I was already speechless with the beauty of the island soon as i stepped on this bridge.
CEBU CITY FEB 07
It all started with a text message. My friend Eric from Sykes texted me one afternoon and asked if I was interested to go to Sumilon Island with him and his schoolmates from Xavier U(Ateneo de Cagayan de Oro). I had no idea where Sumilon was so I was hesitant to say yes to Eric, but since I didn't have any weekend errands that time, I decided to agree. On Friday afternoon, I met Eric, Debbie, and Sicily at Bo's Coffee Shop at the Ayala Center and we had a short meeting on what to bring, what to do, and where to meet the next day for the trip to Sumilon. We also had to complete the amount and settle the payment in advance at the Sumilon Bluewater Resort's office.
Car to our cottage
The following day we met at Chowking's Fastfood at Fuente Osmenia Avenue. The group was there at 6 a.m. but we did not leave immediately to the South Bus Station as we needed to wait for Jesse, who will arrive by boat that morning from Cagayan de Oro. He left Cagayan at 8 pm the previous night and was expected to arrive in Cebu at 6 a.m. on that morning. As soon as Jesse arrived, we all took a taxi to the bus station to board the bus to the town of Oslob where we would get off and take our assigned private boat to Sumilon Island. We made rush purchases of snacks and other things and checked all our baggages for any missed items.
I-pods, cameras, batteries, laptops, USBs, sim cards, cellphones were all intact; so off we went to the terminal. Aside from me, who was new to the group, there was another new guy, Bodo, invited by one of Eric's friends. We all introduced ourselves to one another earlier at Chowking ,but when we were at the bus, although we sat next to each other, we were feeling a bit of awkwardness as we were still semi-strangers to one another. We had a momentary silence with each one trying to be busy with his own thing. One is reading a Marketing book, others are texting, listening to their I-pods, etc. I started to break the ice when I noticed Bodo reading a marketing book and asked him if he is into Sales. He said he is currently connected with Beckton Dickinson, a multinational pharmaceutical company.
golf cart that carries guests to the wharf
I said' Really? I used to work with the European SOLVAY Pharma." Sicliy heard us talking and she said" Coincidence. I used to be connected with Glaxo-Smithkline." And another guy, Cyrus, is also connected with a company selling hospital equipments. With the obvious common denominator, we started to feel more at ease towards one another and engaged into non-stop talking until we reached the town of Oslob. We had travelled around 125 kilometers from Cebu City to this town at the southeastern tip of the Cebu island province.
We got off the bus when we saw the signboard pointing towards the wharf were our assigned boat will take us to the island. From the mainroad we descended to the wharf and took a 15-minute boat ride to Sumilon. While at sea, I looked around the vast clear aqua blue waters and noticed that the waves were so calm that day.
our cottage facing the sea
The tranquil waters around the island actually has different hues of blue. We were welcomed at the wharf with seashell leis and warm smiles from the resort staff. We boarded golf carts and were brought to our cottages. After we unloaded our stuff, we headed straight to the lagoon teemed with mangroves where we did some kayaking. After an hour we plunged into the waters for snorkeling. This island has varied marine species. It was my first time to see some of those fishes that I never saw in Bohol
or Bantayan. After we got a bit tired from snorkeling, we went to the sandbar for swimming. The sandbar, according to information we got, changes shape and shift locations depending on the season.
We didn't leave the sandbar until it was dusk and until the resort staff came out to search for us as they got a bit worried why it's past 6 pm and we were still out of our cottages.
The resort limits its guests to 120 persons per day so the place will be good for people needing a lot of privacy. We noticed this when we went to the main restaurant and bar for dinner. Aside from our group, there was a French couple with two kids, a chinese family, and an Italian couple. We all ate dinner together like a family, as we were the only inhabitants on the island that night. We lingered at the poolside bar for some drinks and chat, then we went back to the cottage where we downloaded the photos we took that day and had fun fun viewing it on WMP, as we enjoyed MP3 music, using Sicily's laptop.
pool above, ocean below
We started the next day with an early morning trek around the 24-hectare island. We went to the 'baluarte'(watchtower), to the caves, then back to more snorkeling. You'd never get tired to snorkel with all that spectacular view underwater. We headed to the pool shortly before lunch to cool off our sunburned bodies. The sight from the pool to the ocean below is one of the most spectacular views I had experienced in a resort. The pool was located at the highest peak of the island. This is where you will also find the bar and restaurant, and resort office.
Sumilon Island is a marine sanctuary under the care of Silliman University, the American university in the nearby Dumaguete, Negros Province. The island is open to visitors but only on a limited basis. This is one of Cebu's best kept secrets and I wouldn't have known this if I said no to the invitation of my friend. On the boat back to Cebu, each of us in the group were all too happy with what we have just discovered. In fact to date, we still keep in touch after we formed the Sumilon Friendship Club.