Seemingly floating in the Bohol Sea, is a small island called Balicasag. It is regarded as one of the best dive sites in the island province of Bohol. This marine sanctuary is home to various fishes and corals.
My 2008 Bohol jaunt gave me a chance to explore the wonders of this island. Recalling my experience then, we were asked to start our day early for our sea tour. My friend and I were staying at the Dumaluan Beach Resort in Panglao. Our habal-habal driver-slash-boatman fetched us early. Because of the early wake up call, we were able to witness sunrise at this side of Bohol.
Our first stop that day was the much anticipated dolphin-watching near Balicasag Island. I like boat rides in the morning as the sea breeze is cool and not yet sweat-inducing. At around 7 AM, we were already in the middle of the sea, waiting for the dolphins. Accodring to our boatman, it is best to do this activity early morning as the number of dolphins decreases between 8:00-10:00 AM. There were several boats waiting for the dolphins when suddenly one boat started to chase a group of dolphins. The other boats followed and it was like I was watching a regatta.
It was my first time to see these loveable mammals. And I love the fact that I saw them in their natural habitat, instead of seeing them at a theme-park making the entire experience surreal, raw, and really gratifying. Despite being elusive, the thought of seeing them with my own eyes is something I was happy about then. After chasing the dolphins, we proceeded to Balicasag Island to snorkel and have our late breakfast.
Upon docking, I have noticed that the shores of the island is washed up with pebbles and coral pieces (some, pretty sharp, hence it is best to have a footwear). I decided first to walk along the coastline to take some photos before eating my packed breakfast under a tree. At this point, more and more boats were docking bringing in more people.
So, I decided to go swimming and snorkelling after donning a vest. I must say that the underwater of Balicasag is teeming with marine life – multi-hued corals, vibrant starfishes, diverse fishes, sea grasses and many more. Too bad I didn’t have an underwater camera then. Nonetheless, the memories of that experience are still intact whenever i visit memory lane.
Right before noon time, we decided to leave the island and go back to mainland Panglao. It was an exhausting but fun-filled day. I told myself that I should return sometime in the future (with an underwater camera at hand) and maybe do some SCUBA diving.
Small paddle boat to snorkeling site – 150.00 Php / pax
Snorkeling Gears with lifevest – 150.00 Php / pax
Aqua shoes – 100.00 Php / pax
Boat Fee – 1500.00 Php
How to Go to Balicasag Island:
From Manila, one can fly their way to Tagbilaran (Bohol’s capital). From Tagbilaran Airport hire a van, ride a habal-habal or even a tryke to Panglao and choose a place to stay. From Panglao Beach, they can arrange your sea tour to Balicasag. Alternative route is from Manila to Cebu, the once in Cebu, ride a fast-craft to Bohol.
Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.