I’d say that there are three things I love most about living in the Philippines and one of them is island hopping. “Besides island hopping what are the other two things you love about the Philippines, Rusty?” I’m glad you asked. That would be Filipina and the low cost of living. Cebu provides a treasure chest of all three. Most of the Philippines will provide that though.

I’d say my most fulfilling moments while living in the Philippines included island hopping with Jessie. The low cost of living makes it possible for me to engage in island hopping. So the three are tied together like the bamboo of a nipa hut. The most expensive island hopping excursion I enjoyed was a trip to Palawan. Bantayan Island is a bargain most of the year. During Holy Week that changes. Prices double or triple. My favorite place to stay on Bantayan is Tristan’s Beach Resort. The rooms are not wonderful but the food and the service is fantastic!

Island Hopping in The Philippines

I wish I could go island hopping once a month. That’s my goal but that old budget gets in the way most months. I haven’t Light House seen during Island Hopping tripbeen island hopping at all in the last six months. I’ve gone to some resorts on the Cebu mainland but I haven’t been in a boat for a while.

Some places still high on my list are Apo Island in Negros. I want to go to Malapascua Island which is in Cebu and not far from Bantayan Island. I want to go to Masbate and I really want to go to Bohol.  Bohol is a back to nature trip and I love that kind of thing. It is home to the Tarsier, a funny little critter and the smallest primate in the world. Its big eyes look like a Gremlin. 🙂

Some of the island I have been to are Palawan (by plane) and it is marvelous. I’ve been to Bantayan many times and to a small island near Cebu City known as Pandanon. I’ve also been to Leyte by boat and to a small islet off the coast of Bogo City.

Once at Palawan you can take several side island hopping trips. One of the most popular is Snake Island. I don’t know why it has that name but there are not a lot of snakes. You’re more likely to see those if you scuba dive at Malapascua. In fact, you will almost certainly see sea snakes there. You will see plenty of wildlife at all the islands. Though at Bantayan, you probably won’t see many fish off the shores of Santa Fe where more visitors like to go.

Pandanon Island was my first island hopping trip. I went with a group of expats which was fun. I spent a lot of time on the island wandering away from them though. I walked to the tip of the island where I ran into a bunch of kids and saw their homes built on stilts. For me, it was the best part of the trip. We went to a fish sanctuary there too.  You can see plenty of fish in the water. When we were there the current was really swift though and someone was hogging the one pair of goggles and flippers.  I got in the water but all I could do was hold on the boat as the current was too strong.

Small Islands in Cebu are a good Island Hopping Destination

Beautiful Filipina at Capitcillo Islet

Capitancillo Islet is a very beautiful place. It has a light house and some ruins of old homes and buildings. There is nothing to do there but bond with family, grill your lunch, gaze at the beauty and swim. Occasionally you’ll see a woman in a bikini. That depends on if a nearby resort has a tour for the islet that day. You can camp there and that is what I really want to do.

Getting to Capitancillo is a bit expensive when compared to other places. It can cost P2500 but if you work at it you might be able to barter them down to P1500 or even P1000. When I went, we took a small fishing boat for the cost of fuel and feeding his family.

Virgin Island is near Bantayan and you can rent a pump boat to to take you there for the day. Cost vary but probably between P1500 and P3000. It only cost P150 or so to take a ferry to Bantayan Island from Hagnaya. You have to remember though, you’re not taking the ferry for the whole day. Hagnaya is on the northern tip of Cebu. It takes between forty five minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes to make the ferry trip to Bantayan Island. Rooms at Tristan’s resort with air con start at P800 but you should make a reservation as they are often taken.

Once at Virgin Island, you can buy fish caught from off the shore of Cebu and they will cook it for you too. That’s what Light House seen during Island Hopping tripmost people do when they go there. The swimming is awesome and the shoreline provides plenty of picnic locations to watch the scenery and eat your freshly caught fish.

Bantayan provides some of the most spectacular sunsets you’ll ever see. And the sunrises are nice too but I tend to sleep through those. Some of my pictures that people have liked the best are of the sunsets and sunrises at Bantayan Island.

I’ve added a photo gallery of my island hopping adventures. There is over 168 photos that I have taken. It is only a small sampling but some of the pictures I think are the best ones. Some of you will have seen some of them before.

Have you had the chance to visit the Philippines? Did you manage to fit in an island hopping trip? Leave a comment and tell me what you thought. Did you enjoy it as much as I do? The first trip island hopping trip I took in the Philippines hooked me.  Also, a little secret. If there is a Filipina you’re interest in that’s playing hard to get. Offer to take her island hopping. I’ve never seen anything that works better to hook that crafty Filipina onto your line.  Though don’t be surprised if she wants to bring her cousin with her. You’ll have to decide for yourself on that. Sounds like a bad idea to me. Take an adventure and go island hopping in the Philippines! Better yet, take a Filipina and it will then be more fun in the Philippines.

I hope you like the island hopping gallery and don’t forget to hit those like and share buttons below and to the left.

By Rusty Ferguson

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