The plan was to visit Cresta de Gallo the moment we docked at Magdiwang, Sibuyan. We had an earlier booking for a place to stay overnight in Magdiwang which is Sanctuary Garden Resort. We were told by another passenger on the ferry that it would be best to stay in San Fernando because it’s nearer Cresta de Gallo. We thought of changing plans the last minute, however, the owner of Sanctuary Garden already picked us up at the port. Thus, we went with the original plan of proceeding to our journey to Cresta de Gallo upon check in at Sanctuary Garden Resort.
The owner of Sanctuary Garden looked for a tricycle and banca that will take us to the island. He didn’t use the resort’s rates because it will be very expensive. After changing to our swimming attire, lunch was packed by the staff of Sanctuary, we immediately left the resort.
The tricycle ride was long and butt wrenchingly rough. It took us 2 hours to get to Cajidiocan from Magdiwang. The coastal views were very scenic. The low tide seas were very obvious because the sea bed were showing. Then, we immediately proceeded with the banca ride to the island -another butt wrenching ride (this time with splashes of water) for more than an hour.
Cresta de Gallo is a kidney shaped island, as many would describe it. It’s just about 5 hectares long. Not too man people have been to the island as it’s very far and would need to ride different means of transportation to get there.
While we were getting closer to the island, we can’t help to be excited to get off the boat. The crystal green waters were becoming evident as we approached the shore. There were no fish swimming, i wondered why. We jumped off the boat, soaked our feet into the coarse white sand. Then, we looked for a shade under a tree where we can eat our packed lunch.
The view was breath taking. We were the only tourist left in the island and there were only 1 or 2 fishermen resting in the island. It was low tide so the sand bar isn’t evident. Under the scorching hot sun at 2 pm, we walked farther and went to the other side of the island. I did have a quick dip at the shore and savor the tranquil moment with no nearby island visible to the naked eye. I sat on the white sand and closed my eyes for a moment. There were sea urchins so I had to be careful not to step on them while we go back to the banca.
We were told that there’s an entrance fee of Php 10 but the lady who gets the fee weren’t around. The island is privately owned according to the fishermen and the house is at the other end of the island (from photo above). There are plans to build nipa huts this year for tourists who visit the island. There are only 2 small nipa huts were people can stay. You may opt to camp there but you have to bring your own tent and food.
After an hour of staying at the island, we headed back to Cajidiocan in Sibuyan and had to endure the 1 hour banca ride and tricycle ride back to Magdiwang. We arrived at Sanctuary Garden at 6 pm, just in time for dinner.
The journey is not easy but the end result is really worth it. The island is really beautiful and am glad to have endured the long journey. We are grateful to the owner of Sanctuary Garden for helping us arranging it at the last minute. We really appreciate the hospitality.
Here’s chronological series of events of our journey with time on May 26, 2014:
06:00 – departure from San Agustin, Tablas
10:20 – Arrival at Ambulong Port, Magdiwang, Sibuyan
10:30 – arrival at Sanctuary Garden, check in
11:00 – journey to Cajidiocan begins
12:30 – arrival at Cajidiocan
12:45 – banca ride begins
14:00 – arrival at Cresta de Gallo
15:15 – left Cresta de Gallo
16:00 – arrival at Cajidiocan
18:00 – arrival at Sanctuary Garden
Cresta de Gallo journey Expenses (computed for 2 pax)
Ambulong Port to Sanctuary Garden – free
Sancuary Garden to Cajidiocan tricycle rent (for 7 hours)- Php 1,000
Banca rent – Php 2,500
Overnight stay expenses (computed for 2 pax)
Sampaguita room (aircon) at Sanctuary Garden – Php 800
Food (packed lunch, dinner and breakfast) – Php 935
San Agustin to Sibuyan ferry tickets – Php 648 for 2 pax
San Agustin Terminal fee – Php 20 for 2 pax
Sibuyan to San Agustin ferry tickets – Php 648 for 2 pax
Sibuyan terminal fee – Php 24 for 2 pax