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Friday, December 25, 2009

Virgin Island, Cebu

After spending the night at Bantayan Island, the next morning after having a quick breakfast I went walking along the long shore of the island passing through nearby fishing villages, other resorts surrounded by tall coconut trees. It was low tide then and many fishermen and even young children from the nearby villages have come to harvest oysters and clamps with their bare hands.


Around 7am, the boat that will take me to nearby Virgin Island arrived. Going there only takes 30 minutes from Bantayan Island (45 to an hour if you're coming from the furthest part of Bantayan). The boatman encountered a little difficulty of steering the small boat towards the deeper part of the sea because of the lowtide with the ocean rocks hitting the underneath part of the boat.


Once he managed to steer clear of the obstacles our trip to Virgin Island was both calm and silent with only the boat engine roar and a bit of splashing sound coming from the water. I saw a few birds hovering above us, larger than most birds I usually see in the big city.


Upon arriving I was greeted by a few dogs who were pets of the caretakers of the Island. I understand it is a private one and again owned by some lucky dude. (Which reminded me to put "buy an island" on top of my to-do list if ever I win the lottery). Virgin Island (or Silion Island) has a wide picnic area in front of the boat docking area, the white sands are said to be formed from coral remains and the island itself lies on top of a coral bed, thus explains the rocky area on the shallow part of the beach during low-tide.



I sat down for a few minutes then took my leisure walk around the shore. Every step I make the dogs would follow me as if they were the only inhabitants of the island and would just want to catch up a conversation with visitors who wander into their place.


I dipped into the shallow water and because of the low tide, swimming to the deeper part means going further into the sea. It would have been perfect if it were high tide. Afterward we had lunch with some of the caretakers there, we brought along fish to grill to be shared with them and they also shared some rice and an island cooked meal consisting of vegetables and fish.


My stay at Virgin Island, albeit short was a great one as I've explored Bantayan Island the previous afternoon by riding on the back of a motorcycle and what better way than to further explore a neighboring island as well.


Before leaving I took another round of walk along the shore taking a few more photographs and with a schedule to chase (the 12 PM ferry back to Hagnaya port), I left the island back to Bantayan Island, a few minutes after 10:00 AM.



Even if it was an abrupt visit, still it was a better way spending your morning than setting up your laptop or desktop computer at work. While riding the pump boat back to Bantayan, I conjured up a thought that someday I plan to do this kind of trip for a much longer time, lets say, a couple of weeks or better, a month compared to the usual 5 day break. Anyway, this trip was just the 1st and 2nd day of my 6 day journey to Cebu and Bohol.


-The island has an entrance fee of 300 pesos per pump boat. (good for 4-6 people)
-Pump boats can be rented at a fee of 600-800 pesos (4 persons)

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