Breakfast was served around 0630H at the rooftop of Hotel Palwa. The light meal consist of your choice of eggs (scrambled, sunny sude up), toast and either iced tea or coffee.
After breakfast, we hailed a tricycle to take us to the bus terminal of Ceres. We dropped off at the Malatapay Port. The travel time will take approximately 30 minutes and the fare is no higher than P40.00 (I don’t remember anymore, sorry!)
We arrived at Malatapay Port around 0830H. The walk from the main road to the port will take only less than 10 minutes.
We were met by Robin (09202625385). He was our contact for our day trip at Apo Island. I arranged with him to guide us and for our lunch. He arranged for us a boat that will take us to Siquijor Island which was earlier cancelled (see earlier post). Boats hang around the port area and can be rented as well (small banca – P2,000 and P3,000 for big banca). The boat ride took only 30 minutes.
Apo Island is a volcanic island covering 12 hectares in land area. It is located 7 kilometers off the southeast of Negros Oriental. It is considered as one of the world’s best known community-organized marine sanctuaries and as such it has been well documented by the global science community. The project was started when Dr. Angel Alcala, a marine scientist from the Silliman University Marine Laboratory explained to the local fishermen the importance of creating a marine sanctuary in the area. Initially, there was hesitation on the part of the locals; but after a 3-year dialogue, Dr. Alcala was able to convince the island community to establish the sanctuary. Assisted by the staff of the SU Marine Laboratory in 1982, the local fishermen selected an area along 450 meters of shoreline and extending 500 meters from shore as the sanctuary site.Since then, the project initiated on the island led to the creation of hundreds of other marine sanctuaries in the Philippines.
(for complete information – click here)
We paid an entrance fee of P100 and an additional P50 to snorkel at the marine sanctuary. Robert also provided our snorkeling equipment, life vest and booties (with corresponding rental fees).
See videos below of Apo Island’s turtle sanctuary