BALICASAG ISLAND, BOHOL: turning the Tides

Last updated: December 2012.

It’s been two years since I last stepped on the island of Balicasag in Bohol, as well as things had altered tremendously. It was one thing that ended up being obvious to me during my last visit. Yes, the dolphins were still there. The tourism was still booming. The beaches stayed gorgeous. What really changed? I put on my snorkeling mask, dipped my deal with in the water, as well as discovered precisely what it was.


Dolphin Watching
Lunch at Balicasag Island
Swimming as well as Snorkeling
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Dolphin Watching

At 6am, we were already on the boat. We wished to see the dolphins swimming gloriously in the wild. It was important for me to see the dolphins again. It was my very first time to go on a sea-tour with the youngsters in the family. I desired them to see these cutesy mammals in the wild so they might appreciate it much better as well as would not be thinking about going to dolphin shows at an early age. I feared that it wouldn’t occur provided exactly how serious my niece’s movement sickness was, as well as I was wanting so difficult that the mammals would appear before us early.

Luckily, they did!

They swam as well as jumped out of the water many times to the pleasure of the kids. Dolphins came passing by in groups. It was so exhilarating seeing them in the wild, just doing their thing — swimming fantastic distances. Our energy suddenly surged upward. everybody was so thrilled. a number of times one or two dolphins would emerge from the water, making this move as if they were standing. a few of them even swam right next to our boat. In less than ten minutes, my niece revealed she had seen more than a lots as well as was already getting dizzy. We had to quote the gentle dolphins goodbye.

Lunch at Balicasag Island

The last time I was in Balicasag, my buddies as well as I, conscious of exactly how costly food was at the beach, bought food from the primary island. If you want to save money on food, here’s a tip. The night before your island hopping, decrease by the Tagbilaran Market (if you’re coming from the flight terminal or the countryside tour) as well as shop. before we came to the resort we already bought the components we would requirement for our lunch as well as asked the personnel of Bagobo beach resort to location them in the refrigerator overnight. We brought the food with us when the boatmen fetched us.

When we hopped out of our boat, we instantly looked for the person to talk to for “paluto.” The charge was just P300. Although it sounded expensive, it was definitely cheaper than buying lunch from them.

This time, however, we did not have sufficient time to shop for components so we just decided to buy lunch from the locals. After all, it would mean we would be assisting the regional neighborhood too. We were provided with a basin full of their fresh catch. We were a group of four adults as well as two kids, as well as we ordered two squids as well as one fish. The squids were to be grilled as well as the fish fried.

Dry lunch!

Swimming as well as Snorkeling

While our lunch was being prepared, we got on a boat that took us to the snorkeling site. Another tip, if you’re going to go to Balicasag Island, bring your own mask, snorkel as well as aqua shoes. Although boatmen lease these gears out for around P150 per item, it’s still finest to bring your own. After all, you can discover a inexpensive pair of aqua shoes at SM department store for less than P200; as well as mask for less than P300. You’ll requirement these to truly appreciate the view beneath the waves.

I still keep in mind the very first time I was right here for it was likewise the extremely very first time I had seen such rich as well as vibrant underwater world. I keep in mind watching in awe as a institution of fish passed by, as I floated over vibrant corals, as I swam towards as well as past the dropoff, as well as as I searched for the prettiest fish I might discover at the site. I likewise keep in mind exactly how saddened I was that people would walk on the shallow parts as well as step on anything indiscriminately.

In a way, I type of expected that the condition of corals right here would turn bad. What I didn’t expect was that it would occur this fast. It had only been two years however what I saw was a long shot from the Balicasag that I remember. The corals were dead as well as there were fewer fish. The colors had faded, eaten away by the blues as well as greys. Of course, don’t trust my word for it. perhaps it’s just me. I don’t have stats or studies to back it up; I’m speaking from experience as well as memory. perhaps I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong.

But seeing a table coral with a three letters etched on it was heartbreaking for me. See for yourself.

Shame on you, JHO. Tsk tsk
Nevertheless, it was sea-heaven for my 8-year old nephew who was snorkeling for the very first time in his life. All he did was try to discover Nemo as well as he did; he discovered many Nemos. My niece nevertheless was so scared of the depth that she asked me to just join on the beach, where she stayed as well as played with the sand as well as pebbles for the rest of the time.

Cabbage corals!
Nemo! discovered ya!
Brain things.
More fish!
My nephew, my niece, as well as my purple water shoes!
Oh hello there, Balicasag Island!
After going back to our hut for lunch, my sibling as well as I walked along the beach to the other side of the island. I was truly glad I did since I had never been to that part of the beach. The sand may not be as fine as that in other beaches however the water is super crystal clear. It was one of the things that struck us.

Crystal remove water!
I can return to Balicasag once again as well as again. I don’t believe I will ever get utilized to it. however having been right here a few times has made me recognize that a great deal can modification in a short span of time. It was truly unpleasant to see the conditions right here worsen right before my eyes. The great news is that it stays beautiful. The poor news is, for exactly how long? Something has to be done here. as well as at the rate the damage right here is going, it has to be soon.

How to get to Balicasag Island: most hotels, resorts, as well as travel companies offer island-hopping tours that include a stop at Balicasag Island. You may likewise charter a boat in Panglao Island to do the exact same tour.

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