Thursday, May 29, 2008

Enchanting Camotes Island

Just off the northeast of Cebu is a picture-perfect tropical group of islands called Camotes. This off the beaten track comprises of four islands: Pacijan (San Francisco town), Poro (town of Poro where the pier is and Tudela), Ponson (Pilar town, a marine sancturary) and Tulang (an island barangay of San Francisco). If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, a bit of solitude, with no karaoke bars to keep you awake, then Camotes is a perfect place for you...a great place to unwind.

My original plan was to go to Bais, a city near Dumaguete, after my work in Cebu is done, to watch dolphins and explore Dumaguete. Then I missed my 9 am flight on Friday because PAL was overbooked (they are allowed by law to overbook up to 10%, according to PAL) and was only able to get a seat in their 4 pm flight. Meetings in Cebu were rescheduled and I decided to cancel my Dumaguete trip.

I was resigned to the possibility that I might be spending the weekend and my 2 days vacation in Cebu which I'm not very excited about. Don't get me wrong, Cebu is a great place to stay but work takes me there regularly for the past 9 years. So I've seen a lot of Cebu, and the nearby islands. While waiting for lunch on Saturday, I browsed in the net looking for photos of old houses in Cebu. I was thinking of visiting President Sergio Osmena's house and other old structures in Pari-an. Camotes was mentioned in one of the Cebu heritage websites I was reading. It was serendipity.
I’ve heard of Camotes a few years ago from a business acquaintance in Cebu who mentioned that he bought a beach-front property in Camotes, and he’d invite me after he has built a kubo there. I googled Camotes and some links came up. By Saturday afternoon, I’ve booked a room at Santiago Bay Resort, and bought tickets from Ocean Jet.

Two hours from Cebu City’s pier 1 is Poro town in Camotes. Ocean Jet’s departure was delayed so we arrived at Poro a little before 9 pm. The mode of transport is motorbike, or habal-habal in Cebuano. To get to Santiago Bay Resort is a 45-minute ride on habal-habal. The roads are concrete, with just a bit of rough road before San Francisco town. I didn't see much of the scenery on the way to the resort. So I was pleasantly surpirsed when I woke up to this view from my window.

More photos of Santiago Bay.

More of Camotes tomorrow.


Panaderos said...

This place is truly beautiful! I'm going over to your next entry na to read the continuation. :)

Unknown said...

It is beautiful...Enjoy and thanks for droppin' by, Panaderos.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Luna! I envy you, girl! This is one advantage of being single. You can go anywhere without making endless plans. Samahan mo ako sa islands pag-bakasyon ko!


Unknown said...

Sure, Crissy..basta ba ilibre mo ako e!:D

Thanks for leaving a comment. Di mo napigilan 'no?! Haha

Oman said...

Just plain WOW. Really beautiful shots of the beach.

Unknown said...

Thank you, lawstude. I'm not a morning person, but for the first time, I was at the beach at 7am to take photos.:D Amazing how this picturesque beachscape urged me to wake up early.:D

Anonymous said...

It is like a very big and private garden, a paradise all your own. Mukhang napakatahimik. Kahit yung dagat, di maalon, at green ang tubig.

Am happy for you that you are able to go to such beautiful places.


Unknown said...

true...this place is a paradise. an ideal place to recharge. at perfect ang dagat sa mga katulad kong di magaling lumangoy.:D

thank you, Ike.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! My husband and I booked for a four day stay in December. From the pictures you have, I'm overflowing with excitement now. Can't wait to be there. The resort is really nice. Am glad you have this blog! :)