After swimming with the whale sharks, I talked to the receptionist at MB Sunrise. I’ve read blogs about Sumilon Island and I wanted to ask for a local’s advise on whether or not it is worth spending money on. I was pressured to make sure that my friends and E have an amazing time in Cebu since I was the promoter of the whole trip, which is why when he said yes I immediately asked for his help on how we can get there. According to him, we just need to take a tricycle from MB Sunrise to the port going to Sumilon Island and from there we will ride a boat to the island. I was about to ask him if he can call a ride for us when he asked if we needed a ride and what our estimated time of departure was (oh kind sir you are heaven sent!) and that payment per person for the ride was P50.
A Hidden Gem
I’m not a hundred percent sure, but it seems as if only a few locals go to Sumilon Island. I think this is because of the impression that you need a lot of money to enjoy a day there. An overnight stay can cost you up to P12k but a day tour only costs P1500 and you get access to their amenities (I’ll talk more about this later).
When we got to the port, what welcomed us was this amazing view. We were briefed right after we paid P1500 each for the day tour. I was amazed that for P1500 we get access to the resort (a.k.a. the whole island, because if you go there by yourself you are only allowed access to the sand bar), the activities (kayaking, fish feeding, snorkeling, and trekking) , access to the infinity and bubble pools (because, you know a pool that bubbles is AMAZING) and a set lunch (and they do mean SET: appetizer,entree, dessert and drinks!).
After our briefing, we went straight to the dock. Please take note that the boat leaves the port every hour to go to the island. The ride from the port to the island takes around 10-15 minutes.
Because of the weather, we accessed the island through the sand bar. There were people at the sand bar but they hired local boats to get there (I think they charge P1,500 per boat which is good for four persons) and as I mentioned earlier their access was limited to the sand bar. When I got off the boat, the view just stunned me. I have been to other islands/beaches in the Philippines but Sumilon was different. The island has this “time to be one with nature and relax” charm that made me fall in love with it.
Just a brief background on how the island got the name Sumilon. It is said that the island became a safe haven for fishermen when the waves got rough – sumilong in tagalog.
One With Nature
After notifying the crew what we wanted for lunch, we went down to go to the beach. The first thing that I did when I reached one of the kubos was sit down, close my eyes and enjoy hearing the splash of the waves. It was so peaceful compared to other beaches I’ve been to. I was finally one with nature and I felt happy.
When the boys got back from getting a locker for us, we proceeded to the lagoon area. It was just a few steps away from the beach so we eventually decided to do that first.
The island is not 100% developed yet, so the kayaking bit didn’t really last that long, but it was still great. E and I even spotted different species of birds while we were kayaking.
Since the waves were particularly hard that day we decided to just sit back and relax. Surprisingly everybody enjoyed just bumming around. I guess that’s because most of the time we forget to take a breather. We decide to rush through things, to count down the hours before the end of each work day and because of that our mind is used to the hustle and bustle.
We decided to have our lunch first before trekking, and it was a good decision. The trek can take you 45 minutes to an hour to finish, with our without a guide. After eating I asked the front desk if a guide was available, see you have an option to trek on your own or trek with a guide. We eventually decided to do the trekking by ourselves because we were given a map and the path was marked with blue flags.
It’s my first time to go trekking. I’ve always wanted to do it but things happen and plans were just plans. We started near the main area. The path is rough, but easy to follow. At one of our stops, because there was a seat where we can take a bit of a rest, this was the view that welcomed us.
After a few more minutes of trekking, we reached the old light house beside the new one. After this, there’s a shortcut that will lead you straightto the sand bar, but there’s another path. We chose the other path, because we wanted to really go around the island.
We eventually reached the sand bar, even if we got lost thanks to Palos’ poor decision making skills. Unfortunately the tide was high so the sand bar was submerged so we went to grotto, then the cave, then back to the start point.
Leaving the Island
With around 1.5 hours left before the last boat ride back to Oslob, we decided to just swim. Sure our bodies were tired because of the trekking and kayaking, but it was definitely one of the best days ever. E and I even talked about going back to the island, and one day we will.
When we got on the boat I whispered to E that we had to go back and spend at least a night or two there. We will definitely go back to Sumilon.
I know that not everybody will like it there, primarily because some prefer partying ’til dawn like in Boracay. I have nothing against that, it’s just that I prefer hearing the waves vs. party music. If you are looking for a day away from the city and from stress or if you just want to go back to basics and experience nature at its best, Sumilon is a must visit place for you.
You can check out their website by clicking the link below. As I mentioned, we availed of the day tour, but you can also stay there overnight and I think they offer different packages.