floatsome and jetsome

Hilutungan Island Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 9 › view all entries
I first heard of Pandanon Island because of my friend Lizer. He knows that I naturally love the sea. And he just wants me to drool over the pictures of beaches, islets and its surrounding turquoise waters..  He showed me his shots and there were all beautiful that I was so envious I kept goading Dyan and Wangni (close office buddies) to organize a trip there… But when I got to Pandanon I was none too impressed or perhaps it was just to hot for me to appreciate the beauty of the lagoon or maybe I'm just more inclined to deep waters to be pleased being suspended on shore. Although I find the island dead, my friends see it as a paradise. They already rejoice at the sight of the heaving white sand of the island.
So I was all alone with my own thoughts and my own opinion I had no choice but to see the island the way they see it. And soon after, I began to enjoy! We took hundreds and thousands of pictures while my other friends were real busy grilling the pork and fish for our lunch.. The pleasant morning heat wore on and Dyan, Wangni and I STILL busied ourselves taking pictures under the sun. We just stopped when our shoulder started to hurt which was in time when the food was ready! haha! Lazy asses!

Even with my dissatisfaction, there are still a few things that are worth noting in the island. There were available huts for you to rent the moment you dock and there is no reservations needed since it’s not a place were tourists flocked.. Thus, you can have the island by yourselves. You can also get good shots in the east lagoon (which has a striking view), in the centerpiece columnade pavilion (it was used several years back in a national shampoo commercial) with a picturesque white chapel for weddings and in the concrete port building.

For other amenities like tables, grills and even food can also be availed from an island cooperative which the proceeds go to the community. The resort has no overnight facilities although campouts or home stay arrangements are possible. We opted to go home after lunch so we didn't bother about the tents!

Getting there.

Rent motorized boats from any point in Mactan, from the northend port of Punta Engano beside the Hilton, through any of the beach resorts in Maribago, Agus or Marigondon, to the southend port of Cordova. Summer weekend prices start at about P3,500 for ($74) a 30-person sized boat to about P5,000 ($106) if you don’t haggle.
Discounts are common depending on season and boat size. We paid P4000 ($85.10) for the bangka although the original price when it was given to us was P10,000 ($212.76). This rented bangka took us to Pandanon, Hilutungan and back to Maribago Beach Resort.
 
In pandanon we paid 100php each for the entrance. ($2.12)
 
After lunch and paying the entrance fee and hut rent we headed to Hilutungan for snorkeling. Hilutungan, a marine protected area, is also among the best places to snorkel. The outrigger boat driver told us that Koreans collected P300-P500 ($6.38-10.63) user’s fee in Hilutungan but I guess thats a cheap pay when you get to dive to one of the best dive sites in Mactan.

By the way, the fees are prohibitive: P300 per user if he dives and P500 if he takes videos underwater.
To snorkel or even just come within the buffer zone of Hilutungan, one is charged P100. If the snorkler take photos underwater it will cost him 300php and 500php for videos. Few local divers go to Hilutungan now. Fewer still are the snorkelers. On that day we were the only snorklers found in the surface of the water floating like jetsome and flotsam in the area.
 
Yes, we had so much fun snorkeling in Hilutungan. It’s the first time that we’ve seen so many fishes up close. The fishes were not tamed. They come squirming at you if you have some food in your hands. The one we used to attract fishes to us was a “puso” (hanging rice). I was dead scared when I tried to feed the fishes with the h-rice because there was this BIG as in Huge (not shark huge, though) if my math is good, I think its 1 foot long fish rushed hurriedly over my hands to snap at the rice.
I was so stunned I quickly swam away screaming. Hehe. With the snorkel the fish size was magnified and I can see its eager bulging eyes and it's mouth opening and closing as if it wanted to greedily devour me. I thought it was going to attacked me that was why I panicked and acted like a scared cat (afraid of a fish, haha). Well, from then on, I didn’t try to feed them afraid that they might come close to me again. I just contented myself from seeing them from the surface. Hehe..

 
blurbmoi says:
Congratulations on your feature Den! Great pics!!! the clouds look like they're connected to the seas haha. Merry Christmas friend!:p
Posted on: Dec 25, 2009
planisphere says:
congrats day! good job!
Posted on: Dec 25, 2009
ctjevans says:
haha, funny story about hand-feeding the fish :)) Merry Christmas Dennie!
Posted on: Dec 24, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
my first shot!
my first shot!
my second...
my second...
my third.. wheres the action? hah…
my third.. where's the action? ha…
Marions ready to back flip..
Marion's ready to back flip..
whoop!
whoop!
okay, heres Dyans turn..
okay, here's Dyan's turn..
alright! score? 2/5? haha
alright! score? 2/5? haha
boo!!! back flippers
boo!!! back flippers
lets do synchronize jumping!
lets do synchronize jumping!
oppps! did i say freestyle?
oppps! did i say freestyle?
Im missing the fun because i have…
I'm missing the fun because i hav…
a pose before the back flip :p
a pose before the back flip :p
First try. what am i doing?
First try. what am i doing?
see? its not a back flip! :(
see? its not a back flip! :(
Second Try
Second Try
whoaa.. still the same
whoaa.. still the same
Third try..
Third try..
.. better? did you see it? haha
.. better? did you see it? haha
synchronize jumping with me now
synchronize jumping with me now
ooopp! missed!
ooopp! missed!
after the day:
tired and...
after the day: tired and...
.. dark
.. dark
Hilutungan Island
photo by: nomaden