Read part 3 here.
Day 3. 13 February 2016 (Saturday)
The island hopping tour was arranged by the resort we stayed at. We met with Mang Carlos, our bangkero, at around six in the morning. While waiting for the boat to be ready, we had the chance to take photos around the beach.
We first sailed around the sea to “watch” the dolphins. There were lots of dolphins, but we weren’t able to see them up close.
After almost an hour (or so) of cruisin’ the sea, we finally reached Balicasag Island. We really enjoyed watching the clear waters of the island. The beautiful rainforests of the sea and its tiny inhabitants welcomed us as we got off the boat.
The entrance fee costs Php 250 (if I remember it correctly) exclusive of the snorkeling paraphernalia. If you wish to rent the snorkeling gears available, additional fees of Php 150 for the snorkel (mask) and Php 150 for the aqua shoes apply.
I had to say that I consider snorkeling as the highlight of Day 3. Even if I don’t know how to swim, I was able to enjoy the view under water with the help of my company. To be honest, I was really worried at first because I didn’t have the confidence to do it. But then, you’ll never know unless you try. And definitely, no regrets. Zipline nga kaya ko, eto pa kaya?
While we were snorkeling, another issue came up: the problem with our planned Siquijor side-trip. We weren’t able to book our reservation with the pension house we’re planning to stay at since the schedule of the boats are unclear. According to what the people we’ve asked said, the schedule of the boat from Siquijor to Tagbilaran is waaaaaay beyond our schedule and we would definitely miss our flight back to Manila.
Fate must be on our side since Kuya MJ, our snorkeling guide, is from Siquijor. He assured us that there are ferries/boats that will take us back from Siquijor to Tagbilaran on Sunday night.
After more than an hour of staying at Balicasag Island, we set sail again towards the Virgin Island. We had to switch boats and Mang Carlos entrusted us to his fellow bangkero. Much to our dismay, the boat that took us to Virgin Island kept on having motor issues which stopped the boat from time to time. The weather didn’t look good as rainclouds were continuously forming ahead of us. I really thought we’re going to be stranded in the middle of the sea and all I could do was keep my faith that everything’s going to be alright and God wouldn’t let anything bad happen to us. It wasn’t a smooth sailing experience at all.
Anyway, all of the feelings of anxiety and dismay were completely wiped out as soon as I saw the island. The number of tourists was overwhelming as always, but I chose to focus more on the clear waters and powdery sandbar of the island.
After a while of strolling the island, it’s time to go back to Alona.
We got back at the resort at around one or two in the afternoon. We took a quick bath, freshen up, and watched a volleyball match (for my friends) before checking out. It’s about time for our Siquijor operation.
We had a hard time taking a transportation from Panglao to Tagbilaran Port, as we found all offers overcharged. Finally, since we’re already running out of time, energy, and patience, we decided to ride the van that cost us Php 100/pax.
Read part 5 here.