We’ve been to Bohol many times, but we never got the chance to visit Panglao island. Out of sheer curiosity, we decided to go there to see what’s up. From doing research beforehand, we learned some details about the who’s who of the touring industry there. Panglao island hopping is one of the many tourist baits of Bohol. You can either go on a land tour, or go get wet. It all depends on whatever suits your liking. As we are lovers of the sea and its beautiful creatures – Panglao island hopping was an easy choice to make.
Viao (cp#: 09164645214), who is a big local operator of pump boats intended for island hopping gave us a quote of P1,400. The problem is we had to meet up with the assigned boatman at the break of dawn, which is around 5:30 am at Aquatica in Alona Beach. So, the day before we were already staying at Travel Lodge in Venancio P. Inting Avenue, Tagbilaran City. A/C room for only P500.
We woke up early at around 4:30 am, then hailed a tricycle and told the driver to bring us to the drop-off point nearby the Borja bridge connecting the mainland to Panglao island. There are single motorcycles and tricycles waiting there. We rode on a single motorcycle because it was much cheaper; just haggle with your charm. Travel time was 45 minutes.
Sure enough, we were approached by our guy. So we boarded the boat and went off to sea. First thing we did was Dolphin watching near Pamilacan island. Our local guides were good spotters. We later encountered such beautiful creatures and opted to record a video, since they were moving too fast.
We moved on to our next stop – Balicasag island. From afar it looks like white sand beach, but upon closer inspection, it’s covered in rocks. The water was so shallow and it was sketchy for us to reach the island itself trying to avoid hitting the coral formations.
Panglao Island Hopping
Shallow waters. Hence, we were transferred to a smaller boat for an additional fee.
The small boat carried us over to the Balicasag island trench where all the fish action is at. We were also advised to bring bread crumbs with us for the fish feeding.
Sergeant Majors dominated the view underneath the sea. We even saw a lone turtle swimming by.
We were snorkeling for a full hour. Later on, we went back to the island to order food. Expensive! We ended up with roasted yellow-fin tuna. It was yummy though.
Next stop was Virgin island, which is actually just a sandbar! It was the exact opposite of Balicasag island. The waters were so shallow that we had a hard time wading across them.
We could observe a lot of starfish sporadically scattered on the sandy bottom.
As soon as we arrived at Virgin island. We were greeted by sellers of sea urchin and salawaki to be eaten raw with vinegar at P10 each. We were told that they’d charge as much as P50 to foreigners.
Another thing for sale on the island. It was so hot, so…
But what we were most interested in were the barren parts of Virgin island. It does look like we’re in the middle of nowhere. Panglao island hopping was one of our best adventures ever!