Two Days in Apo Island

Two Days in Apo Island

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, 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!

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

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

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.

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

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.

View of Dumaguete’s peaks from the island.

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 and watching the corals underwater. There were air bubbles coming out from the rocks. The corals and fish looked pretty healthy.

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

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.

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

We reached the top!

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.

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.

Locals catching fish in the early morning.
They gave us one of their catch! It was still alive when it boarded the boat.

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

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.

Back on the mainland, we enjoyed lovely fresh mango and banana shakes.
Waiting for a bus to take us back to the city.

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

Melody

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