People don’t take trips, trips take people.John Steinbeck
When you think of emerald waters and immaculate sands in an archipelago, what do you usually have in mind? For sure the Philippines is one of the countries that is endowed with great and marvelous works of nature. I know what is on your mind. Yes, Boracay island is one of my favorite islands here in the Philippines. It was in the year 2017 when I first visited the island and true enough unexpectedly it became one of my favorites. I fell in love with the warmth and hospitality of the locals and at the same time, the place has a distinct positive vibe and energy in it. I could vividly remember my closest friend who is a traveler and an adventurer answered me when I raised her the question “Of all the places you have visited in the Philippines, what is your most favorite?.” She firmly answered. “It is the sunset of Boracay.”
When I first came to Cebu, eleven years ago I only knew a few famous and well traveled islands. Little did I know that there are actually additional 167 islands as part of the Cebu peninsula. Imagine! But what is a chance that you are actually going to discover one or better yet, each of its “isla de paradisos”? We, together with my travel team, the Destination Dream team set for an adventure just 112 kilometers from Cebu city.
Guintacan island as or Kinatarcan island as known from the locals is an island of the province of Cebu in the Philippines. It lies about 25 kilometres off the west coast of Cebu and 12 kilometres northeast from Bantayan Island. The island is within the municipality of Santa Fe and comprises three barangays: Hagdan, Kinatarkan and Langub. Offshore are numerous coral reefs and seagrass beds.
We left Cebu city at around seven in the morning. We rode a bus from the North bus terminal to Daanbantayan port. From the port you can ride public ferries or you can hire pump-boats from the locals. The island is just an hour ride from the port.
We were welcomed by clear and pristine beaches and a serene island vibe. We waited for the misty rain to subside so we could have a land survey of the surrounding area. We settled and pitched our tents along the beach. Good thing that the good weather cooperated with us. Before this trip we made sure that there isn’t any upcoming storm or any peculiarities in the forecast.
Before the sun set, we had a chance to have a glimpse of this islands hidden gem. We walked around the surrounding area and interacted with the community. The locals here are very friendly and welcoming. We rediscovered that there is an altar with a grotto overlooking the sea just a few steps north of the beach. This is for the religious devotees to reflect and express their faith. I felt stillness embraced me as I witnessed the panoramic seascape.
We were able to catch the very picturesque sunset of Langub beach, 10 minute ride via “habal habal” (the local motorcycle/tricycle ride) or 15-20 minute walk southward. I could fully say this a mirror image of Boracay shore and sunset. Just come and see!
The Langub beach is my personal favorite. It is because of its finest and immaculate sand plus the majestic view of its sunset minus the hassle of a mob. You could enjoy your solitary time with just nature and you or with your loved ones.
The lifestyle here` is very laidback and simple yet peaceful and fun. The locals needed to be supported so that their economy will grow. The island is starting to recover from the damages of the super typhoon Haiyan. Currently the community is using Solar power to support their daily needs and activities and to optimize power consumption. The island is innovative and resourceful in that they are using rainwater mostly as their water source and is contained in their reservoirs.` The locals also friendly and helpful. They can help you look for a room to stay here if you did not intend to camp. The accommodation is very cheap and affordable. As low as 200 pesos per head per stay and you’re good to go!
The social organization SPFTC (Southern Partners and Fair Trade Center) initially developed the Kinatarcan total Wellness resort. The resort will provide total wellness and tranqulity to tourists. It also boasts of a healing garden, two earth domes and other wellness offerings in addition to the clear and emerald waters and white beach. (Ehda Dagooc , April 07, 2018, 12AM)
But wait! There’s more!
Another site to be awed is the hidden Laaw lagoon just north of the island. You could hire a vehicle going to the lagoon and then then a 20 minute trek. This lagoon offers a livelihood to the locals especially during off seasons of fishing, they get their seaweeds from the lagoon as a source of food and livelihood.