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Sumilon Island Itinerary, Philippines


The Ultimate Island Getaway in Cebu

I've always felt relaxed when I hear the whistle of the sea and feel the salty air in my hair.  It's a wonderful feeling to be at ease and, at the same time, to enjoy everything that's around you.  Well, let me tell you about a time how I got to that state of mind.

When my cousins were feeling a bit adventurous one day — which every cell of my brain screamed "YES"  we headed to the South side of Cebu to a place called Sumilon.  I had heard about it from a friend of mine whose boyfriend worked there as a resort nurse.  I saw their pictures and I knew I was in love.


Sumilon is a 24-hectare coral island located at the southeastern tip of the Municipality of Oslob in the province of Cebu.  The only resort found on the island is the Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort.  It is 125 kilometers away from Cebu City and in close proximity to Dumaguete.  I did some research and discovered that Sumilon means "take refuge."  Well, it definitely suits the island. Let's go!




How to get there: Cebu City to Sumilon Island (Updated 2019)

From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport:

You can take a cab going to South bus terminal.  Estimated fare is 250 PHP - 350 PHP, depending on traffic.  Or you can take it straight to Sumilon port, but we try for the cheapest travel method, which is by bus.

Alternatively, if you're familiar with Uber and/or Lyft, then you can download and use the mobile app, Grab, to book your transportation.


From the Cebu South bus terminal: take the Ceres Bus


Bus Fare: 140 PHP – 170 PHP (one-way, air-conditioned)

Bus Route: from Cebu to Oslob 
Drop off: Bancogon, Oslob at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort’s Port
Travel time (bus/private car): 3-4 hours

*Prices may have changed.  



From the Cebu South bus terminal, look for the Ceres bus headed to Oslob.  Ask the driver before hopping inside the bus just to make sure you're not going somewhere you don't want to be.  Before paying the driver (or the person collecting your money), to drop you off at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort Port.

Our plan was to get there before sunrise because it's a long ride ahead from the city — more or less around four hours to get to the port, depending mainly on traffic.  It was a good thing for me because I hadn't really had a great night's sleep since I just arrived from visiting my grandparents; I slept the whole bus trip.


There is also another route going to Sumilon Island and that is through Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental which is much closer to its shores.  When you get to the drop-off point, there is a small reception area before embarking on the boat to the island.  A 1-day tour package includes everything: a round-trip boat ride to Sumilon Island, lunch and activities.


Bluewater Sumilon Island Day Tour Rates per person

Monday-Friday1,500 PHP
Saturdays to Sundays and Holidays: 2,000 PHP
50% discount for children ages 6-11 years old, FREE for ages 0-5 years old


Boat schedules
Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort’s port at Bancogon, Oslob to Sumilon Island:
08:00 AM, 09:30 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 02:00 PM and  04:30 PM.

Going back from Sumilon Island to Mainland Bancogon:

09:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:00 NN, 01:30 PM, 03:30 PM and 05:00 PM.

Take note that advance booking is required.  It takes around 7-10 minutes to reach Sumilon Island.  For Boat Transfer Requests there is an additional fee of 1,500 PHP for regular boat trip schedule from 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM and 2,500 PHP after 05:00 PM until 08:00 AM.  Keep in mind that boat requests are only available until 08:00 PM, depending on boat availability and weather conditions. 

Book your hotel stay with Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort
Please contact the resort for more information, this is not a sponsored post.


I really don’t have the tragic thought of a boat breaking to pieces and the sea swallowing us whole, but it's a nice thing they hand out life jackets right after you have your seat.  It made me feel much safer.


It was a smooth 20-30 minute boat ride to the island with our weather condition.  We were welcomed with white fine sands like grinded tic-tacs and a gorgeous sun for a gorgeous tan.  We were so excited and, of course, brought out our cameras right away.  At that time I felt my nerves filled with fun.  To celebrate the thrill, we had unlimited jump shots taken.


We stepped on the island with anticipation and just couldn't wait for our day-trip to start.  We had a simple orientation of do's and don'ts while we put on sunscreen.  Simple acts of fun: we assisted each other rubbing sunscreen on our backs like little kids getting at a birthday party.  Guess what?  We found out my sun block was 2 years expired  another good laugh to start our day.  I’m just not used to using sunscreen and never bothered to use it after I bought it.  No wonder I always looked extra tanned and burned after every beach escapade.


Tips
- Power outlets: are commonly type A, with standard voltage 220 V and frequency 60 Hz.  Be sure to bring a universal plug adapter!
- Money matters:  We recommend getting your currency exchanged via Western Union (WU) since you'll get a better rate than at the airport.  You can send your travel budget to yourself and pick up the exchanged amount at the local WU.
- Convenient phone apps:  Grab for transportation.

Suvival Terms

CR is the term for the toilet
- Salamat means "thank you"





What to do in Sumilon Island




Welcome to Paradise!  Now what!?

Sumilon Island holds such beauty and exploring the island made me really excited.  My heart shouted: summer + sumilon + fun = SummerLon Fun! The day-tour package lets you enjoy different island activities like snorkeling, island trekking, kayaking, swimming, fish feeding and even free use of resort amenities like the infinity pool, jacuzzi, beach huts and shower rooms.  What I like about this trip is that you can do it in a day and head back home by night.  It would be more relaxing if you can stay for another day.  Why not if you have some extra cash?

One important thing: there's only one resort in Sumilon.  Book your hotel stay with Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort.

Here are my top 10 things you can do in Sumilon Island.  Enjoy!  I hope this gives you enough reason to visit this beautiful island  the island that inspired me to start blogging.



1. Hiking around the Island

We decided to hike for our first activity on the island as my feet were craving for a nature walk.  Hiking just never fails to amaze me.  It was steaming hot that day and every leaf among the trees served as a shade radiating pure beauty.  Good hiking shoes, a powerful sunblock protection, a nipa-rimmed hat and a pair of shades are your best line of defense from the heat.  I wasn't armed with good shoes; all I had were my worn-out slippers, cheap sunglasses and that's it.  And I also had a wooden stick with me.  Maybe right now you're wondering why we had such a tool for a simple hike?  It was actually provided to serve as a weapon to fight off wild animals — just kidding.  You use it to dance around like Charlie Chaplin when you see something weird crawling around — just kidding again. It just serves as your hiking buddy whom you can hold onto when you're getting tired from walking.



2. Lighthouse, Protected Tree Park and Baluarte 

During the hike we get to see Sumilon's Historical Landmarks.  Because I didn't bring sturdy shoes, I felt sharp edges in my feet every step of the way.  It was like walking barefoot and all I can do was laugh through the pain.  Along the way you'll see a Lighthouse where you can climb to the top and take some pictures with Fiona (from Shrek), and you might even see Shrek hiding under the bed.  For those who have a fear of heights, I guess it's time to face your fears.  The Lighthouse is situated at the southern part of the island around the protected tree park.


That summer was blazing hot and you can actually see how it affects nature.  Maybe if you got lost in this kind of area somewhere else, you might bump into little Red Riding Hood.  Even though the Protected Tree Park looked totally dead, I tried to bend some branches and there were still green life within them.  I guess it's just summer's effect on the trees.  I hope the place looks livelier during the rainy season.


“Baluarte” is a shelter where people go during war.  This is found at the Protected Tree Park just nearby the lighthouse.  It was said to be a historical watchtower built as part of a warning system to thwart slaver traders and marauders in the 19th century.



Walking around the island was totally mesmerizing.  Although it was really hot, it didn't bother us at all.  Or maybe it did a little bit but we were too entranced in the moment.  I spotted holes in the ground with insects having their siesta time. Even these tiny creatures were having a good time.  The tiny branches I stepped on made sounds like sticks burning during a bonfire.  The island was enough to make you smile all day.  I've noticed some shells and even a starfish attached to a stone; sooner or later they'll become one with the stone and no one would know. As what they said about islands before they surface above the water, they were home to a different kind of species. It's quite amazing if you think about it: right at that moment we were on top of something that had lain deep beneath the ocean long ago.


It was just a short hike but it took longer because we always needed to stop in different places to have take pictures.  We were a bit worried because others in the tour group had to tolerate our loud noises and pleads to take pictures.  They were understanding and I know they had more fun because of us; every joke we said made them laugh too (or maybe they just did that out of respect).



3. Snorkeling

Snorkeling was also included in our day-tour package.  It was afternoon when we decided to go for a swim, but not really a day for finding Nemo.  The waves were a bit strong and it felt like the sea wanted to swallow us whole.  Still, we managed to swim around and found some fishes, only a few, as the tides pushed them away.  I bet they looked wonderful if the water was calm, so try to do your snorkeling the moment you arrive or at least in the morning.

We were told that Sumilon is the first marine-protected area in the Philippines and was made a fish sanctuary in 1974 under the guidance of Siliman University Marine Reserve. 


4. Kayaking


Kayaking was next.  They have a natural lagoon surrounded by tall mangroves and that's where I felt like I was in Africa.  I was paddling through the Amazon River and there went my wild imagination!  The water was muddy-like in color and might make you expect a crocodile hiding along the branches.  It makes you want to keep going until you see something you don’t want to see.  I was craving for trouble.

It was pretty scary when we got to the end of the lagoon.  The mangroves were bigger and more of them lurking around forming like a great green monster.  You never know what's waiting for you under those green, muddy-colored water splashing as you made your way through it. 


5. Have a meal overlooking the ocean

Don’t forget to drop by this area and take a swing on their fabulous hammock. As you swing, feel the air, see the sky and let your soul unwind.  We were exhausted from the heat of the sun.  It really didn't matter, was what we kept telling ourselves, just as long as we're having fun and well-fed.  We needed to refuel and get something to feed our baby worms inside.  Good thing our package also included a Lunch Buffet.  Yum yum yum yum!  Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch with one round of a non-alcoholic drink.

After devouring a bountiful amount of fresh fruits I was all ready to have my siesta time, but the day wasn't over yet.  Next on the list was swimming time!



6. Take Photographs


This is my thing: I take out my camera and click click click all day.  We took pictures at almost every corner of the Island.  A beautifully secluded island located at the southeastern tip of Cebu.  A place away from Home, yet still feels like Home.  I've often wondered if only everyday life feels like this; relaxing, refreshing, invigorating and all pretty "-ing" words out there.  Life would be totally great; it would be like Heaven on Earth.  When a leaf falls from the river, it doesn't try to hold on to a rock, it doesn't go against the river.  Instead it goes with the flow. 


7. Walk in the Sandbar

The fine, white sand beach of Sumilon was captivating.  A truly fine gem in the province of Cebu.  I spent the rest of the day in the beach and swimming in the waters.  After a day's hike, it was totally refreshing.  Be reminded that the sandbar occasionally changes in shape and location, depending on the season. 


8. Infinity Pool

They have a pool with a beautiful view of the ocean with shades of color from blue to aquamarine to blue green dancing in the horizon. 


9. Jacuzzi


The jacuzzi was a very relaxing spot too.  The bubble massage and the view made me want to stay there for another day.


10. Relax by the Beach

This chill-out spot is a place where you'll want to hang-out and close your eyes.


Sumilon is a fantastic place for me and I got to enjoy nature at its very best.  I got to relax and free my soul from worries.  It felt like I had a month off; it was worth every penny I spent.  Everyone should feel this every time they go on vacation.  Have fun and be safe ^__^



Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/bnb booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for: meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks adds up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city / food tours).


Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare why not go to Oslob and see the famous whale shark or also known as "Butanding."

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is The Captivating Camotes Island, this time on the east side of Cebu.


2 comments:

  1. Hi,

    do u know the bus schedule from cebu city - sumilon and vice versa?

    do they have a bus station in the ferry port in oslob going back to cebu?

    ThankS!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello,

    I've been busy,sorry for the late reply.Every 30 minutes there's always a Ceres Bus going south both air-conditioned and unconditioned buses.Bus Trip starts at 4 A.M. till 8:00 P.M..

    The Sumilon port area is just nearby the road and at the same time Ceres Buses passed by that road.

    Thank you for dropping by..Enjoy your trip! ^_^

    ReplyDelete