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traveling

Island Hopping in Cuyo, PalawanJan 20, 2012
Cuyo, Palawan

Cuyo Island Hopping Tour, Palawan

Cuyo Tourism Office
I approached the local tourism office to see how we can develop a tourism portal for Cuyo. Ramil Ceralbo, the officer in charge, was very cooperative and saw the merit of such a vision. Without further delay, he arranged an island hopping tour for us to see the rest of Cuyo - with an M16-carrying police escort. It was a full day of braving the choppy waters that took us to 3 islands - Quiminatin Island, Pandan Island and Bararing Island.



Cuyo Port Cuyo Port Nikki's Pensionne Nikki's Pensionne Quijano Beach Quijano Beach Coco Verde Resort Coco Verde Resort Feroland Hotel Feroland Hotel

Quiminatin Island Quiminatin Island
Quiminatin Island is the farthest one out and took us 1 hour 45 mins to get there. It's a limestone outcropping with a small beach. What's fascinating about this island is the abundance of marble. I saw marble fused seamlessly with limsestone. There were many scattered marble rocks with its tip coming out of the sand. Further up, requiring a daring climb, is a cave where fishermen are said to get their water. Although tempting to attempt, it was foolhardy considering I only had flip flops. We took the boat and went to its smaller sister island. I was told the top of the small island has an opening that reaches down to the sea. That would have been a fantastic sight, but the waves were to much to make a shore landing.

Pandan Island Pandan Island
Pandan Island is perhaps the one with the most tourism potential. It's not too far from Cuyo mainland and it offers an interesting topography - wide beaches on both sides of the island and a hill offering an awesome view. If these beaches can only have a scattering of nipa gazebos, it makes for a relaxing day at the beach. However, without it, there was very little cover from the scorching sun.

Bararing Island Bararing Island
Bararing Island is the one closest to Cuyo. I don't know if it was the searing heat or that we were already fatigued, but we just tucked ourselves under an overhang for shade not really knowing what to do. From one of the guys, he said that on a ridge on the island, there is a coconut tree with a very deep man-made hole beside it. It was maybe 10 ft x 10 ft. in diameter, but it was so deep you couldn't see the bottom. Buried treasure? No, it's too deep for that. You don't need to dig deeper than a meter to bury treasure. Or perhaps it's a stupid treasure hunter who thought the treasure was in the next meter...and the next, etc. It remains a mystery. Too bad I didn't see the hole - we were too tired and I had to catch my boat to Iloilo.

Ending Thoughts
Cuyo was an unexpected turn for me but I'm glad I went. From a tourism perspective, it has many challenges that lay ahead, but the potential is there - island hopping, beach camping, mountain biking, snorkelling (although it may take some time to regenerate the corals), and of course, kite boarding.

With a forward-thinking tourism office, they just might get there sooner than later.

Next destination, Iloilo!

--- TheLoneRider

ps - thank you to Ramil Ceralbo, the rest of the Cuyo Tourism Office and to Ronald Chu Palay for making the trip possible and enjoyable.


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How to get to Cuyo:

  • by boat:
    • from Coron, Palawan, take MV Asian Journey. Economy P700, Deluxe P800, Tourist/Aircon P900
    • from Iloilo, Panay, take MV Milagrosa. Economy P475, Deluxe P575, Tourist/Aircon P750
  • by plane: daily flights from Manila airport terminals 2, 3 and 4, to Puerto Princesa in Palawan. Air Juan connects Puerto Princesa to Cuyo. Air Juan Bookings: florabel18cycom@gmail.com
    • Puerto Princesa to Cuyo 10.00 am, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
    • Cuyo to Puerto Princesa 11.30 am, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday

Places to stay in Cuyo:

Places to eat in Cuyo:

  • there is no fine dining restaurant, but many carinderia choices offering good cheap food

These guys like this story:

Rowie Luciano
Rowie Luciano
Von Darius Ante Anderson
Von Darius Ante Anderson
Edwin Contreras
Edwin Contreras
Ramil Ceralbo
Ramil Ceralbo
Ronald Chu Palay
Ronald Chu Palay
Leslie Regio
Leslie Regio
Gibo Trebs Llarena
Gibo Trebs Llarena
Angelo Villanueva
Angelo Villanueva
Cha Santiago
Cha Santiago
Bal Lesaca
Bal Lesaca
Urich Calumpang
Urich Calumpang
Chonny Chan
Chonny Chan
Sam Du
Sam Du
Bianca Espinos
Bianca Espinos
Cecile Ignacio
Cecile Ignacio
Alvin Clark Tam
Alvin Clark Tam
Nitz O.Sulit
Nitz O.Sulit

Comments:

Christopher M. Diaz
(Apr 11, 2012) Right, I now know about Cuyo Island. Planning to spend there my birthday...


TheLoneRiderTheLoneRider
"This is where my grandfather is from" -- Menka Ponce de Leon
(Feb 27, 2012) Like I mentioned to you, at the Cuyo municipal building, there's a long list of town mayors that date back chronologically from the 1500s. The name "Ponce de Leon" figures repeatedly throughout Cuyo's history.

Menka Ponce de LeonMenka Ponce de Leon
(Feb 27, 2012) This is where my grandfather is from. Thanks for posting, Gigit!
TheLoneRiderTheLoneRider
"Palawan land, is sacred land. Hindi basta-basta na dapat buksan for everybody. Yun ang hindi naiintindihan ng karamihan. Wala kasing respetong katutubo" -- Tif Guevara
(Feb 28, 2012) I completely agree with you. That's why I support outfits who integrate indigenous communities in their social enterprise...like Calamianes Expeditions And Ecotours (Facebook name: Coron Ecotours)

Tif GuevaraTif Guevara
"But I've also seen areas like Apo Island where the local community not only prospered through eco-tourism, but also served as a police-ing stewarts of the environment since they realize a live turtle in the reef generates more money (thru tourism revenues) than a turtle on someone's dinner plate. " -- Gigit Sulit
(Feb 28, 2012) Thanks Git. I know you appreciate and can be open to comments like mine, that's why I didnt hesitate posting it here. It's just really frustrating, the whole tourism thing in the Philippines. For one thing, the tourism initiative is not started by locals/native/indigenous who have actual claim to the land. That simply means that if the natives don't push for it they don't want it, and then come outsiders who want to open up the areas for visitors. That's simply not in outsiders' privilege to do so. Palawan land, is sacred land. Hindi basta-basta na dapat buksan for everybody. Yun ang hindi naiintindihan ng karamihan. Wala kasing respetong katutubo. Lahat tingin ng iba basta maganda DAPAT puntahan. Eh hindi naman dapat ganun lagi.

TheLoneRiderTheLoneRider
"I prefer that tourists leave our islands alone. It generates income, yes, but at what price? Eco-tourism is a myth." -- Tif Guevara
(Feb 27, 2012) I can appreciate where you are coming from. I've seen pristine areas exploited by so-called eco-tourism...and it's a shame. But I've also seen areas like Apo Island where the local community not only prospered through eco-tourism, but also served as police-ing stewards of the environment since they realize a live turtle in the reef generates more money (thru tourism revenues) than a turtle on someone's dinner plate. Thanks for posting your concern.

Tif GuevaraTif Guevara
(Feb 27, 2012) I prefer that tourists leave our islands alone. It generates income, yes, but at what price? Eco-tourism is a myth.




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