What to do in Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort?
Sumilon Island might not be as famous as Bantayan or Malapascua in Cebu, but it has started to draw its own name in the tourism map. Thanks to Bluewater Resorts, an all-Filipino company who had developed the island to showcase its natural beauty. It has gained popularity over the years. I remember last year when we visited Bluewater Sumilon, there were only two groups in the island: a family and us. But this time around, the resort was fully-booked and several small groups came in for a day tour. So you might wonder, what are the activities that you can do in Sumilon? Let me walk you through the island.
1. Beach Bumming
Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort's trademark is the shifting sand bar. From the name itself, you might know already what makes this sand bar stand out. Depending on the season, the powdery white sand changes its shape throughout the year. In Bluewater Sumilon's website (click here), you will see that the sandbar is like a half circle surrounding the private dock, while in my photo below, the sand bar is more of an oblong than a half-circle. The shifting sand bar is the best place to bask in the sun. Just bring your sarong and some booze and you'll definitely enjoy an afternoon by the beach. If weather permits, Bluewater Sumilon also arranges a bonfire dinner by the sand bar.
|The shifting sand bar|
2. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Did you know that Sumilon Island is home to the first so-called municipal marine park or fish sanctuary in the Philippines? Indeed, it was established in 1974 as a marine park under the guidance of Silliman University and its marine laboratory. Having said that, you are guaranteed to have an overwhelming snorkeling and diving experience in Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort. Just proceed to Aquamania Water Sports Center where you can borrow snorkeling and diving gears. The Island Getaway package (click here) at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort includes either an introductory dive or a one-hour massage.
When we went snorkeling at the marine sanctuary, we were so happy to have said hi to Nemo! The water is so clear. The fishes might not be as big as the ones in Palawan but they were so cute to look at nonetheless. Make sure to wear your aqua shoes as the sea bed is a bit rough.
|Underwater at the marine sanctuary|
|We found Nemo|
|The corals vary in size and shape|
|Swimming with the schools of fish|
3. Swimming and Having a Dip at the Jacuzzi
If beach bumming and snorkeling is not your thing, Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort has a medium-sized pool overlooking the cerulean waters of the Bohol Sea. Watch as the sun rises and be allured with its warm colors. For a more relaxing experience, there are Jacuzzis surrounding the pool.
|The pool at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort|
|One of the Jacuzzis on the island|
4. Kayaking or Fish Feeding
If like us you are staying on a glamping tent, you will probably be near the lagoon where you can go kayaking and fish feeding. The lagoon is surrounded by lush greenery and is gifted with a variety of fish. There is a floating hut where you can just lounge in the aftrenoon while having a smoothie.
If you decide to come out of the water and commune with nature, go trekking! Up in the woods are the centuries-old lighthouse and baluarte (watch tower). Do not forget to wear your trekking shoes as the rocks are a bit sharp. The trek is not steep but it is advisable to use a trekking stick (available at the trek's starting point) for easier navigation. Best to do this in the morning or at around 3 to 4pm.
|Trek's staring point|
|A view from the top: people kayaking at the lagoon|
|The lighthouse in Sumilon Island|
|The ruins of the 18th century watchtower|
The trek in Sumilon Island took us about 45 minutes with stopovers in between. And to our surprise, we saw this when we reached the lighthouse! Haha! May shortcut naman pala! But I still recommend that you take the long route as this will give you the chance to have a nice view of the island. The shortcut will just drag you into the woods. Kinda boring! So, go ahead, bring lots of water and your camera and trek it away!
6. Relax and Rejuvenate at the Spa
This isn't your ordinary spa. There are no executive rooms or steam bath or sauna here. But I am telling you, you should try the hilot massage at the payag-payag (cabanas). Why? First, the ambience is so relaxing. Imagine the sound of the waves and the refreshing sea breeze engulfing you as the therapist slather an all-natural virgin coconut oil all over your body. Second, the techniques employed are a fusion of centuries-old traditions from all over the Philippines. Add to that, the treatment induces relaxation and promotes healing.
|The spa overlooking the sea|
|A view of the dock from the payag-payag|
|Ever wondered how clear is the water in Sumilon Island? Here it is.|
7. Pay Tribute to Senor Sto. Nino
Before leaving the island, you might want to say a little prayer for a safe trip back to the mainland to Sto. Nino. There is a simple grotto at the back of the Jacuzzi where they placed an image of Sto. Nino as if he is watching over the island and the sea.
Now, next time you are heading to the Queen City of the South, you might want to consider including Sumilon Island. In my honest opinion, it is one of my top ten beautiful eco-tourism destinations in the Philippines.
BLUEWATER SUMILON BEACH RESORT
Sumilon Island, Bancogon, Oslob,
Cebu, Philippines 6025
Phone: (63 32) 318 3129 / 318 9098
Mobile: 0917 631 7512 / 0999 885 8337
MANILA SALES OFFICE
Rm. 704 Cityland Herrera Tower Rufino cor. Valero Sts. Salcedo Village,
Makati City, Philippines
Phone: (63 2) 817-5751 / 887-1348
Fax: (63 2) 893-5391
ESCARIO SALES OFFICE
CRM Bldg., Escario cor. Molave Sts., Lahug, 6000 Cebu City
Phone: (63 32) 412 2436