Monday, May 31, 2010

dolphin watching, balicasag, virgin island

our second day in bohol. thru the help of our friendly google, i decided to go to balicasag. it was always the "i" who decided since this was my plan. everything was in my hands. after all, this was my idea from the start. all i asked from my family was the financial and a bit of moral support.

dolphin watching, balicasag, virgin island. this is usually the itinerary. a lot of locals who offer this tour, hang around alona beach in panglao. some have their laminated pictures with them in order to convince the tourists to take the tour but i didn't choose to hire a boat through this. instead, i rummaged a lot of blogs and then, i came across a boatman named viao. (not sure with the spelling) he was recommended by a number of people in the blogs that i've read and i then made a reservation for this day. i didn't make a deposit ahead and he just simply told me that may 31 was for me.

then came may 31. thank heavens, we had a good night's rest after our day tour in bohol. we even skipped dinner for that good night's rest.

 Early Boats in Panglao

Morning Sun in Panglao

we had to wake up really early because we had to leave at around 5:30am. tierra azul, the place where we stayed, took the initiative to pack our breakfast since we told them ahead that we would be having this tour.

(1) Dolphin Watching

we first headed to pamilacan island since dolphins could be spotted around the island.

Dolphins around Pamilacan

Closer Shot of the Dolphins

the tour is best if started early because dolphins have a great chance to be spotted early in the morning and they don't frequently surface anymore when the sun is way up in the sky.

but during our tour, the dolphins were a little late. it was already past 7am when they finally surfaced. we didn't see dolphins doing stunts like jumping out of the water because the dolphins that do stunts are of different kind, according to the boatman. 

we only saw these dolphins from afar since they obviously got scared with the sound of the boats, constantly on the look out for them.

(2) Balicasag

after chasing the very evasive dolphins, we headed to balicasag island. this island has a marine sanctuary and has a resort, if tourists decide to stay for the night.

Boats in Balicasag

Balicasag Island

we landed in this part of the island at around 9am. this part is close to the sanctuary wherein we can go snorkelling and go fish feeding. this part also has several cottages and you can have your lunch in one of these cottages.  cottages are for free if you order food from there. you can choose from an array of fresh fish and have it cooked the way you like. they also have chicken and pork. actually, it was more of like a "sari-sari" store for they even sell cup noodles.

you should better ask your boatmen for a recommendation and you need not worry about your boatmen since the cottage you will choose, will provide your boatmen's food for free, as an incentive for bringing you there.

Our Lunch in Balicasag

balicasag being a remote island, prices of food naturally go overboard. all fish cost at a fixed price of Php300/kilo. i can't remember the price of the pork but i can remember how i grimaced with the mere mention of the price. in addition, we also had to pay for their cooking talents which cost us another Php200. this kind of lunch back in the normal world is like having lunch in the "carenderia" but in the island, this should rightfully be termed as a feast. our lunch cost us Php800 with 1 liter of coke and a small bottle of mineral water.

in order to forget the superfluous prices, we just wallowed in snorkelling. though, it was again too pricey. since the big motorized boats are not allowed in the sanctuary, small canoes are being used instead. 

snorkelling fee - Php150 per person
snorkelling gear (provided by the boatmen) - Php200 per person

their gear already includes the shoes. better if you bring your own gear. you may be given a defective gear which would then make you think you are just throwing away your Php200 in the water. in spite of that, snorkelling and fish feeding in balicasag are so worth the price!

balicasag sanctuary is still a young sanctuary, with many young corals and quite a number of different species of fish. one thing i like about the sanctuary is that you won't have to go great depths in order to see these marine treasures.

(3) Virgin Island 

it was past noon when we left for virgin island from balicasag and it was really hot! but who cared? we were on vacation!

Virgin Island - The Stretch

Virgin Island

it was i think named virgin island for its pristine white sands. i guess any island with white sands has "virgin island" as its name. i can also remember the island in bantayan being called virgin island. i just wonder how many virgin islands the philippines has.

this virgin island is not inhabited and it is owned by the local government of panglao and so, no expensive entrance fees. one drawback for it being government-owned is that it surely lacks on maintenance and due to the irresponsibility of some people, trashes were everywhere. i hope people will love the island more, so that it will remain as what its name stands for.

Virgin Island - Sea Cucumbers

Virgin Island - Sea Urchins

there were a lot of locals selling sea cucumbers and sea urchins. some had vinegar for you to eat the sea urchins raw. more of like "balot". @_@

we finally had to give in to the extreme heat and left the island a little bit early. =(

Boatman Viao
Boat - Php1500 (dolphin watching, balicasag, virgin island)

*viao has several boats. he wasn't with us during the trip for he had to go to tagbilaran. i wasn't sure if the boatmen who were with us were his employees.

more bohol pics here.



  1. hi!i like your blog! you have contact number/s with *viao??me nd my wife are going to cebu nd bohol this may'll be a great help!thanks!

  2. hi there! :) thanks for dropping by.

    i contacted viao in this number: +63916-4645214

    hope you'll have a great time in bohol!