Apo is derived from the Filipino word for grandchild

There’s a volcanic island near Dumaguete that we’ve wanted to visit for some time. Apo island which (according to Wikipedia) is derived from the Filipino word for grandchild. We were all there for one reason—to witness sea turtles in the wild! Unfortunately, I don’t have an underwater camera, so I don’t have pictures of the turtles.

We took a bus at around 3 am at the South Bus Terminal. Jeremie, Vince, and I stayed up all night at Starbucks talking about outer space, games, parallel universe, and other far-fetched stories.

When we boarded the bus, it was freezing, and I immediately regret not bringing a jacket with me. I eventually dozed off. All night, I shifted on my seat to avoid getting a stiff neck, adjusted my legs so it wouldn’t go numb, and woke up every now and then to see where we were.

Waking up inside the bus

Sunlight woke me that morning. The scene on the bus looked unreal partly because it was too quiet and everyone was asleep, and because I was reeling from the lack of sleep. Outside, the sea merged seamlessly with the sky. The water was calm, there were no waves in sight, making the horizon look infinite.

At the southern tip of Cebu, we boarded a ferry, then rode a tricycle, transferred to a jeep that took us to a port where we waited for a small boat.

In the boat with Jeremie In the boat with the guys

Rock formed by years of waves crashing into it. It seems as though the island used to be submerged in water.

Rock formations
Staircase that leads to a cave-like path

A staircase led to a narrow, cave-like path where it revealed the resort where we were staying. It was tucked on one side of the island hidden behind rocks.

The small bar/restaurant was too pricey for me, but we had no choice since there are only two resorts on the island.

Resort bar Mango shake
The dive shop Our room was on top of the dive shop
Our cozy room

View of Dumaguete’s peaks from the island.

View of Dumaguete
Inviting waters Ladder on the beach

The water was inviting if it weren’t for the venomous sea snakes and lionfish swimming around. We took a swim and were surprised that the water was deep despite the low tide. It was fun snorkeling all day, watching the corals underwater. There were air bubbles coming out from the rocks. The corals and fish looked pretty healthy.

Hanging out by the beach Coconut trees outside our room

When the sun wasn’t too hot anymore, we went for a walk around the island.

Sun peeking behind a rock Kat posing in front of a rock formation
Lovely rocky beach Rock patterns Our brave guide

Our brave guide was a dog who went with us during the hike. When he saw that we were lagging behind, he stopped and waited for us before moving on.

Dayon kamo sign in the village entrance Hiking through the village
Temporary closure due to storm Water reflection of the local houses
Other side of the island

The marine sanctuary that’s been temporarily closed due to damages caused by a storm that passed a few months ago.

Looking down from the cliff Rest area up the mountain Fishermen down below

We reached the top!

Sunset + insects
Mr. dog who took us up there safely Group photo

How lovely it looked from up there. I wanted to stay longer but it was getting dark and we had to navigate through the trail quickly before it was too late.

Turquoise waters
Pink cloudy skies Hiking back to the resort before dark

The next day, we set off to see the turtles. I don’t have proof, but we saw several of them—probably 5 or 6 swimming in the shallow water and eating seaweed. They were very gentle and seemed unafraid of humans. We maintained a safe distance to avoid scaring them off.

Rock formations Rock formations

Locals catching fish in the early morning.

Fishermen on their boats Fishermen on their boats
More fishermen Our boatman

They gave us one of their catch! It was still alive when it boarded the boat.

Fresh catch
Vince swimming in the emerald sea Life savers in the boat
Boulders in the sea
The resort from the waters Group photo

Lunch was lovely. Nothing like freshly grilled fish while enjoying the beach.

Grilled fresh fish

And while we were talking with the locals who cooked for us, this pig was making a lot of noise. He looked funny peeking from his little window. He eventually calmed down after someone gave him some water.

Pig peeking in a window

Back in the mainland, we enjoyed lovely fresh mango and banana shakes.

Eating lunch in the mainland

Waiting for a bus to take us back to the city.

Waiting for the bus

And the day ended with a gorgeous view of the sun setting.

At the port At the port