Hilutungan Island is one of the seven satellite islets that forms the Olango group of islands off the coast of Mactan, Cebu. Hilutungan, like the other islets in Olango, is a low-lying coral island with with an elevation of no more than 10 meters above sea level. This island is a marine sanctuary and a favorite destination of snorkelers and divers because of the variety of small and large reef fishes found here, as well as barracudas, manta rays, seahorses, sea urchins and star fishes. Hilutungan has a small community, a church and an elementary school. There is stretch of white sandy beach, a sand bar and a nice resort if you'd like to stay for the weekend.
These guys are not pirates, they're called Bantay Dagat (Sea Patrol)---a group of civilian volunteers who keep a 24-hour watch on Philippine coastal waters up to 15 kilometers from the shore. Bantay Dagat forces have trainings on conservation, protection, management and development of fisheries and aquatic resources; they also curb destructive fishing practices and illegal fishing in municipal waters. Bantay Dagat also collects fees from tourists (100 pesos per person)--part of the money collected is being used to protect the marine sanctuary.
To reach Hilutungan Island, you can rent an outrigger at the Hilton Pier in Mactan, or take the regular ferry at Angasil pier to Olango Island. From Sta. Rosa pier in Olongo, there are outrigger boats that ferry passengers to and from Hilutungan, but I'm not sure if the schedule is reliable. There are also organized transfers when you're booked at dive resorts.
Posted for My World-Tuesday