Bucket List No. 86 : CAMOTES ISLAND, CEBU

1381986_10200693186758479_91695665_n We were really lucked out to have zero-rain on the dates we have decided to visit Camotes Island. Judith, a classmate in College, and I decided to grab the chance to sail to the island in this long weekend of October. My end of semester at work, and we got heaps of time as it was local elections 2013 nationwide, therefore Monday Oct. 28 is holiday, esp.for schools.

Yes, finally Camotes Island, Cebu, Philippines is finally ticked on the bucket list. From Cebu City, it’s an hour to get to Danao City (where the ferry port is) and hop on a huge ferry which travels two hours Danao City port to Camotes Island.

1001585_10200698091201087_1169582047_n Judith’s camera failed on the date setting on the first photo and t’was 01/01/2004 then LOL! At photo above, finally corrected!

526461_10200693186718478_1057870936_n 1185572_10200693188038511_950962157_n Photo at the top-most and photo above is at Buho Rock, one of the destinations in Camotes Island. Cool, clear waters and for the ‘bravehearts’ you can jump off from the diving spot going straight to the clear waters in the ocean. No not me! I’m a  coward! LOL!

1384081_10200693173278142_568811617_n White beach called, Borromeo Beach above. 15 mins on the east from the Camotes Island’s ferry port (we call pier).

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998538_10200693173518148_2071365746_n Lake Danao Park at both photos above. Kayaking is available at 50 per head of one hour use, at this fresh water-mangrove area. Bit eery when it’s getting dark, so we opted-out because sun’s already about to hide 🙂

1391898_10200693186518473_456644192_n Roads in Camotes are amazingly concrete, I would say 95% of them.

1381415_10200693171758104_1894337531_n Timubo Cave, and I have bravely gulped the warnings of “not for the asthmatics” because oxygen lowers down at the bottom-most. But because I’m stubborn and a rebel, I have discovered one gem that I could not let my eyes pass, the crystal bluish water below that many tourists (most Koreans) have enjoyed swimming. Though I am not brave enough to face any Anaconda so I didn’t go farther than the pool-like thing where most people are dipped.

971512_10200693154517673_1650237711_n The great Santiago White Beach where everyone meets at night, chat over the adventures during the day, some cold beer and mango shakes, and the day is witnessed gone.

559723_10200693154717678_1580377284_n Baywalk at photo above. Their public market is impressive, tucked beside a mangrove view area, therefore the diners at all-fame barbecue could have a very romantic ambiance when eating by the bay.

The travel was worth it and have set-foot on the island I was “blank” about in the past LOL.

I will do another entry post for Camotes Island and will entail choices of accommodations. But will leave you with a hint-tease : Mangodlong Paradise Resort is a paradise, indeed!

995735_10200698088521020_127705321_n

Travel tips and facts about Camotes Island:

1. One review that I should put in here to aware the readers is : upon arrival and research about the Philippines, you have for sure met the adjectives describing us to be friendly, happy, hospitable, accommodating – which of course are all true! BUT me myself, a filipina and someone who comes from Cebu was even disappointed how UNfriendly people from the restaurants of Camotes are. I might be saying this unfair but you deserve to know. Disappointing and sad that there is a beautiful spot, white-beach island which is just waiting for flock and discovery of more tourists then this is gonna be busy just like all other popular places in the Philippines… but seemed like, the locals are not used to “invaders” a.k.a. guests/strangers.

– it might be explained by, their lack of visitors compared to most tourist spots in the Philippines

2. Restaurant staffs in both hotel and these beachside eateries, especially the independent beachside eateries has no manners : shouting and fighting teenage siblings, because restos are run by families/ rude manners/ chef serving your food with hair down and sweaty face/ waiters no shirt on cleaning tables, etc.

3. Most people doesn’t know how to say THANK YOU and EXCUSE ME. So disappointing when even the small city of where I live in Mactan Island in Cebu, little kids do this to everyone, and most people are superbly friendly and helpful.

4. No nightlife in Camotes

5. No selections of restaurants or drinks or food just like in Boracay (Boracay is the best in the Philippines if you look for the word, EVERYTHING).

6. Only single motorbikes, single means no cabs on the side/ not a tricycle, are available for transport at 50 pesos from pier/port to your hotel per head.

7. Tours at famous places at 500 pesos, like 7 spots whole day tour. 500 pesos and 2 liters of gasoline at your expense, on top of the 500 pesos. You will stop at a gasoline station and the driver would let you pay the 2 liters which would cost approx 120 pesos for the 2L.

8. Attendant at the Timubo Cave are absolutely rude, doesn’t know how to say Good morning, unfriendly, smoking and puffing their smoke infront of you, and doesn’t even answer questions, so rude.

9. Less choices of accommodations. Pito’s Sutukil has an accommodation too. But in little islands like this and people not used to seeing strangers, better stay at top hotels like Mangodlong Rock Resort because staffs are well-trained, and no reason why you’d go out from resort anyway, everything’s there, plus there’s no restaurant choices outside.  You will just collect disappointments from people’s attitudes especially from Nena’s Restaurant down at the cliff because they are the ones with internet rent, water refill and drinking water in bottles sold, and small variety store, but the attitude of staff absolutely horrible.

10. In summary, good for 1 or max of 2 nights stay at the island, more than that, it could be absolutely boring.

Addio amici miei!

Kisses from many sun and sand,

Fritzie xx

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