Travel Diary: Day 4 - Island Hopping at Balabac

Candamaran Island, Balabac, Palawan
Candamaran Island, Balabac

It's my fourth day in Onok Island and I had enough of relaxing. I asked Kuya Totoh days before if I could go island hopping. It should've been done earlier but the weather is not cooperating, so this delay is pretty late since I need to leave the day after tomorrow. In the end, I'm still happy because we pushed through! How did it go?

I say it was great! Though I'm not confident with the "good" weather the boatmen were saying (Read: Onok Island Love at First Sight), the difference in the weather 3 days before is noticeable. The waves in the morning became relatively weaker and the wind is obviously quieter. It's a good day to go island hopping, plus, the route does not go against the waves so it's like a walk in the park.

Location of the islands in reference to Onok Island


MANSALANGAN SAND BAR

Using a now smaller boat without outrigger, we went first to Mansalangan Sand Bar. This wide sand bar lies open in the sea. It is secretly connected to Mansalangan Island in the distance where fishermen are harvesting. This island felt lonely though with the absence of anything but water. But anyone who likes this view will enjoy this sand bar.

Mansalangan Sand Bar, Balabac

Mansalangan Sand Bar, Balabac

Mansalangan Sand Bar, Balabac

Going to the next island, I felt my sun burn. In this hour of the day and with my no-sunblock skin, the pain interrupts a little in the moment. Funny though because I'm more worried and frustrated that my DSLR's battery is out of juice and I can only rely on my GoPro for my blogger shots.

Side story: The generator was malfunctioning in two consecutive nights. I emptied all batteries and power bank that I have. It was two nights of total darkness.


CANABUNGAN ISLAND (CANIBUNGAN ISLAND)

Canabungan Island, Canibungan, Balabac

We reached Canibungan Island in about an hour. It was a long strip of island where some huts reside. It was owned by Mitra. Landing here made me excited because I saw Kuya Fidel's boat which only means my "supposedly" tour-mate is here - Ayene. It was a long chat of our backgrounds and experience so far. I got the feeling that we could've gone farther in introductions if I pushed through with their tour.

Side note: I was supposed to have an island hopping tour after an overnight at Onok Island. But because I fell in love with Onok, I dropped the other tour and extended my stay in Onok.

Canabungan Island, Canibungan Island, Balabac

Canibungan is much like other islands. White sand beach with the sand getting softer as we reached the edge.

The view is much like the other side of Onok (Read: The Other Side of Onok Island) except that it's more exposed and littered. Most of the areas were covered by grass-like plants and fallen trees. I felt less sweetness and serenity in this part of the island unlike in Onok. The area is wide open it makes me want to put out an umbrella. The water though is glass-like and calm, it begs for a floating shot. 

Canabungan Island, Canibungan Island, Balabac
You can see starfishes in this island.

As much as I wanted to hang out with Ayene, we needed to part. I have one last island to visit - Candamaran Island. I read from a blog that this is one of the most sought-after island. I knew then why.


CANDAMARAN ISLAND

Candamaran Island, Balabac, Palawan

Candamaran is sooo big we stopped over at two different parts. The first one is an extension of an inside forest but it's so wide and long you can go running every morning. The calm water is like a trend in Balabac, every island seems to have it. There's nothing much to see under water, it's all sea weeds. Still I did my favorite floating shot. haha! 

Side note: They said Candamaran Island is owned by Mr. Enrile. As to whom exactly, I don't know, just.. Enrile.

Candamaran Island, Balabac, Palawan


The next stop (still in Candamaran) is another beautiful chilling place. Who wouldn't be if it's a cool and relaxing beach with no one in sight? And no I didn't felt lonely. I can go imitating music videos here but the best thing is still, taking a nap. Lay on that white and soft beach or pitch a hammock. The rustling of leaves and the sound of a soft wave will be your only company. That is, if the boatmen didn't go with you. During mine, they just left me there on one side while they smoke on another.

Candamaran Island, Balabac, Palawan

Candamaran Island, Balabac, Palawan
Legit sun-kissed!

At the end of the tour I felt so lucky. I've been to a part of the Philippines blessed with beautiful islands. Canibungan, Manasalangan and Candamaran are just a few of the Balabac Group of Islands and each one is surely worth the distance. Hell those 12 hours of travel to Balabac has already paid off. What more if I visited it all?

I can't wait to go back. ;-)


More side notes:

- I learned how important it is to have a good camera. There are times you just want to capture a beauty and make it evident in the picture. It's all about experience and memories, but my memory fails to support me. 

- I learned how it is more important to have an extra power source, may it be battery or powerbank, better if I can have a solar-powered charger that I saw in Onok. But if you want to cut off all gadgets, then no worries! Just bring yourself.

- With the heat in the Philippines I can charge a solar charger power bank in the duration of my travel time, and that includes commuting to and from work.

- I used Canabungan and Canibungan in this post but please know that I'm just confused on what is it really called. Haha Either way, they will understand as long as you said "ca--bungan".

- Though the three islands are owned by someone, it is not closed to tour coordinators unlike Onok Island which permits just a few.


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