Saturday, February 21, 2009

a Sumilon island adventure, part 1

Going to Sumilon is an indulgence. The travel time from Cebu City is 3 hours which tells you a lot too on the toll on gasoline and on the driver (me). The overnight rates for two starts at Php 7,500 which includes breakfast and the boat transfers. (In contrast, day trips are at P1,500 per person but with a lunch buffet).

at low tide, the coral garden rises, exposing a spectacular display of colors
Canon EOS 350D, 1/125s, f/6.3, 100mm, ISO 1600

coral landscape
a coral landscape in lowtide at the northend of the island
Canon EOS 350D, 1/50s, f/8.3, 18mm, ISO 100

In return, the island offers you the exclusivity of a resort tucked way as if it were a secret and a rare opportunity to enjoy a real marine sanctuary that is literally untouched.

eastern beach
the Eastern beach gives a view of the islands of Cebu (above) and Bohol
Canon EOS 350D, 1/640s, f/7.1, 40mm, ISO 100, -2/3EV

Sumilon Island is a 24-hectare coralline atoll, 10 minutes by boat off Bancogon, Oslob, some 125 kilometers away from Cebu. Together with Apo Island in Negros Oriental, Sumilon is the country’s first no-take marine reserve in 1974. How its administration flitted from the municipality to Silliman University back to Oslob and now on lease to the private Sumilon Bluewaters Resort is complicated.

beach lounges
lounge chairs begging for sunbathers
Canon EOS 350D, 1/1400s, f/4.0, 17mm, ISO 100

Sumilon lagoon
the lagoon looks green, even mysterious with its thick mangroves
Canon EOS 350D, 1/125s, f/5.6, 50mm, ISO 100, -2/3EV

Inevitably, Sumilon became a blueprint of no-take fish reserves, triggering a blue revolution that today, there are more than 60 marine sanctuaries in Southern Philippines, and more than 600 in the Philippines. The success of the sanctuary model also led to international recognition and emulation in countries from the Pacific Islands to South America.

western cove at Sumilon
the island has numerous sandy coves and beaches
Canon EOS 350D, 1/100s, f/6.3, 17mm, ISO 100, -2/3EV

boat docked at shifting sand bar
the shifting sandbar in the northwest end of Sumilon serves as the dock for boats servicing the island and the private pier at Bancogon, Oslob
Canon EOS 350D, 1/5000s, f/5.6, 18mm, ISO 100, -3/2EV

Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort
Sumilon Island, Oslob
Cebu 6025
Telefax No. +6332 4810801

continued in Sumilon, part 2

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