Balut and Sarangani Island (Mis)Adventures - Life is so full of tae!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Balut and Sarangani Island (Mis)Adventures

Balut Island
I have been warned a thousand times that it's not easy to get there. But what they don't realize is that they are talking to Sarah. What would not be easy for me? *smirks*

Balut Island can be crossed with 50 to 70-seater cargo vessels from the port of General Santos City, which usually only sail at night and most often fully booked. And depending on the vessel, the journey takes about 6-8 hours. Since we only have the weekend to explore the southernmost point of the Philippines, taking the alternative route - the fastest, shortest albeit thrilling ride - would be our best option to make the most out of our trip,

We went to Brgy. Margus, Glan - a two-hour drive away from GenSan - where we hired a small fishing vessel just enough to charter the six of us to the Port of Mabila. After deliberate negotiations, we agreed to pay Php 6,000 for the boat to take us to Balut Island, some neighboring islands, and back the next day.

We hopped aboard only to realize that we'll all be basking under the 10-AM-til-high-noon sun since the boat didn't have any shade at all. Great. Sunugan ng balat na ito. Well, sunog na dati ang balat ko kaya lubos-lubusin na lang natin. Although I was secretly hoping the heavens would weep because it was that hot.

Going to Balut Island

The first few minutes of the boat ride was peaceful and calm. I sat and leaned against the wall of the driver's deck, which provided a little shade and thought it was a perfect spot to sleep and regain all the energy I have drained traveling from Davao City at dawn. After all, the sea seemed to be sleeping.

And just when I was about to reach a point of deep slumber, a splash of water hit my face and the next thing I know, we were already wet from head to foot. I realized the warnings were serious and real when my travel buddies brought life jackets with them (the boats do not provide life jackets, by the way since they aren't really passenger boats). I, on the other hand - unprepared and reluctant to take heed to the warnings - had to rely on my swimming skills in case something happens. Whatever that something is, it got me a little excited.
Going to Balut Island
The boat ride is already an adventure itself 
It seemed that the sea might have woken up at the wrong side of the bed that it was raging and throwing huge waves, swaying our boat side by side. Note: It is still summer. Mahina pa daw yan. While some of my friends were having mini heart attacks, I was thrilled. But eventually, exhaustion took over excitement that I decided to climb the top of the deck and slept. I guess, I was just too tired to mind the angry waves. Drowning was the least of my concerns, a 30-minute shut-eye was all that I ever wanted.

An hour later, I woke up regretting the whole sleeping-under-the-scorching-sun ordeal. The sun was unforgivable it roasted my skin two tones darker. Hindi pa nga kami nakakarating, nalechon na ako. But to wake up to a crystal clear water in different shades of turquoise, maiinis pa ba ako nito? I am in love.
Going to Balut Island


I don't think I will ever get tired falling in love with the color of the sea. Watching it glisten like diamonds under the glorious sun as gentle breeze brushed against my sun-kissed skin while I listened to the symphony of the rolling waves lifted up all the feelings of excitement, anxiety, happiness, exhaustion, and fear. There was nothing but peace. If a moment like that meant having a sun-burnt skin, then the sun can have me time and time again.
Going to Balut Island
Bagong gising. Haha. Balut Island on background and it looks like a duck.
Okay, seems like this is going to be long. Boat ride pa lang yan, parang ang haba na ng sinulat ko. And I've got a lot of things to share. But I don't want to overwhelm you with the details of this trip because most of the things we did could be a typical tourist's nightmare.

You don't want to hear about how we got lost in the mountain for trekking to trails that don't exist, or how we took shortcuts only to walk 2-hours longer, which led us to remote areas where we found graveyards, dead chicken (and questions started spurring on our minds like, bakit lamang loob lang ang kinuha?), and other weird random stuff we saw along the way. And I don't want to talk about how we risked our lives crossing the feared Balut-Sarangani channel with a smaller fishing vessel on a rainy night because it's not something I would encourage you to do.

I don't want to sound scary here because it is nothing sort of scary. And I don't want to discourage you from going there. For the record, whatever we experienced has nothing to do with the place or the locals. The place is a paradise and the locals are as hospitable as can be. But I guess we're just blessed (or cursed) with a drive to explore, discover, and try something new no matter how odd and perilous things can become. We always lack itinerary, get off the beaten tourist spot, and seek to experience what most people would rather miss.

So for those who have read our previous getaways, these crazy misadventures will no longer take you by surprise.
Balut Island
Approaching Port of Mabila, Balut Island
Balut Island is not known to many people. In fact, a few of my friends didn't know this island existed until I uploaded the stunning paradise on Facebook. If Balut Island is still a mystery to you, please do yourself a favor, add this to your bucket list and experience such rich, unspoiled, and grandiose beauty like never before.

Like I said, I'm not here to share our detailed experiences like I usually do but I want to share sneak peeks of what Balut Island can offer because the rest is for you to discover. Two days is actually not enough to appreciate the gorgeous island. But we did everything we can to maximize the trip. So if you're planning to visit the Island , here are some of the place and activities you wouldn't want to miss:

Conquer Balut Island's Highest Peak
To start off, since I was with my travel/hiking buddies, scaling Balut Island's highest point is a must. And we did it only to have our breaths be taken away, both figuratively and literally.
Balut Island
Sarangani Island as seen from Balut Island
View of Saranggani Island from Balut Island

And no, you don't need hiking skills to reach the top. You can hire a habal-habal for Php 100 per head to take you to the viewing deck. Or you can also opt to go higher where lush flora and fauna abound. But please, do so with a local guide if you don't want to risk getting lost like we did. Haha.
Balut Island
Balut Island
Three small islands from Indonesia can be seen from here.
Go Island hopping and Snorkeling
Surrounded by turquoise crystal clear waters and rich marine life, almost every spot around Balut and Sarangani Islands is a sweet snorkeling heaven. 
Balut Island
Sarangani Island
Imagine a whole day of Island hopping in this kind of boat, di ka pa ba malelechon. Haha
Sarangani Island
Unspoiled beaches in Saranggani Island

Visit Olanivan Island
Funny how this can be the highlight of our trip but we don't have a single photo here. Just this:
Olanivan Island
Olanivan Island
And this:
Olanivan Island
Seafoodtrip! Olanivan Island has all the seafood goodness you need. Guaranteed fresh fishes (gumagalaw pa) that cost Php200-300/kg in our city can be bought for only Php80/kg here.
I would say, we really had a great time that we found no time to whip out our cameras to snap a picture of the moment that is too beautiful to forget. Actually, we didn't have photos in some of the places we've been to, like in Tuke Maklang - a cove where we stayed for the night, awakened by the sound of screeching bats early in the morning (it's actually a sanctuary of fruit bats), and the rest of our adventures that actually needed documentation. But hey, we just didn't want to ruin those memorable moments by snapping photos from time to time (and we are just all lazy to take photos btw haha. although part of me wish I actually took photos because...blogger. duh. haha).

And I guess, that's it.  (Sa totoo lang, tinatamad na akong magtype)

As always, I am in awe of God's greatness as manifested by nature's magnificence. Balut Island is just one of them. And to witness and experience it first hand is, indeed, such a humbling experience.
Balut Island Getaway
Uwian na!
Til our next adventure!

17 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to visit beaches in the south! Good read Sarah!!! <3

    www.caramielrush.com

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  2. Ang ganda ate! Wish I was as brave and could go on adventures like you!

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  3. Whoah! So nice the place. And so sexy ha. :D

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  4. OMG! Ang ganda! Gosh! I really envy you! Ang dami mong napupuntahan. :)

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  5. Been waiting for this post. Naa na diay. Nice read sarj! Isa ni sa akong gustong adtuan.

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  6. I love island hopping but I'm not a good swimmer so it is a must for me to wear life jacket. hehehe!

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  7. That's a lot of fun! The water is really lovely and you can see how clear it is. I'm sure the trip is worth especially when you go to islands as beautiful as these!

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  8. The island looks gorgeous. You are so adventurous. I admire your confidence in the water. I would also have an heart attack if I experienced what you have experienced in that boat ride to the island.

    www,hintofglitter.com

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  9. I miss this kind of adventures. I remember we went to Mt. Gulugod Baboy in Nasugbu Batangas and went straight ahead in the nearest beach spot. Sayang lang wasn't able to blog the adventures I had few years ago kasi last year lang ako nagstart ng blog hehehe.

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  10. Nice adventure and lovely photos :) Ive been to Gen. San but never been to Saranggani. Nice water. It looks clean and clear :)

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  11. Wow! Good for you! I've been wanting to visit Balut Island, we have a church there, pero never had the opportunity 'til now. I hope someday.

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  12. Love your adventure Sis, the photos shows it all, and the way you tell the whole story is amazing, parang feel ko tuloy kasama ako sa trip ninyo. I never been to Balut Island but it something that I want to do someday visit Saranggani Island and explore Balut Island.
    www.sweetcuisinera.com

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  13. It looks scary.. LOL! For somebody who doesn't know how to swim, hopping on that boat can be quite scary but Balut Island looks like Paradise from your photos.

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  14. I wish I can snorkel soon once I gave birth!

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  15. You write with action, parang na iimagine ko sarili ko with you in that trip. :) There's so much life in you.

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  16. Wow ang ganda! At ang tubig, ang linaw. It's like paradise. Wish to visit Balut island too :)

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  17. Hi! I spent my holly week 2016 in Balot and Sarangagi Island and it was one amazing experience of my life. Your photos looks great!

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