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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sumilon Island, Cebu

The Island of Sumilon is located at the southeastern tip of the Municipality of Oslob in the province of Cebu. The island has an area of 24 hectares and has clear waters with varying aquamarine hues and white sand beaches in different areas of the island.

It is the first marine protected area in the Philippines and was created as a marine sanctuary in 1974 under the guidance of the Siliman University Marine Reserve of Dumaguete City in the nearby province of Negros Oriental.

The island is famous throughout the country and internationally for the exceptional beauty of its dive sites. Sumilon has four major dive sites, which are Garden Eel Plaza, Nikki’s Wall, Coral Landscape and Julie’s Rock. The island’s diving sites are famous for their superb visibility, stunning reefs and abundance of varied tropical marine species that provide an ideal and memorable dive. There are occasional sightings of black tip sharks during dives.

A popular attraction in Sumilon Island is its sandbar because of its changing shapes and shifting locations around the island depending on the season. Other places of interest in the island are a natural lagoon teeming with high mangroves and natural caves used by fishermen to seek refuge during storms, and a pristine lake.

On the south portion of the island, a lighthouse rests on a protected tree park and beside it is a “baluarte,” a historical watchtower built as part of a warning system to thwart slavers and marauders in the 19th century.

Besides diving, you can also go bird watching, do beach picnics with the family, fishing, hiking, island tours, paddling and trekking.

The Island of Sumilon is located off the southeast coast of the Municipality of Oslob, Cebu, and is under the administration of Oslob. The island is about 125 kilometers from Cebu City and separated from the mainland by the Cebu Strait. It is also close to Dumaguete City in the nearby island province of Negros Oriental.

To get to Oslob, you can ride a public bus or a V-hire van from the Cebu South Bus Terminal in Cebu City. The estimated travel time from the city to Oslob is about three hours. The three-hour land trip to Oslob from Cebu City is a scenic ride through the southern coastal towns with fantastic views of the ocean.

From the port of Oslob, there are pump boats or small fast constructs that will bring you to the island. Another route to Sumilon Island is via Dumaguete City since it is also close to the island.


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