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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sarangani's Marorong Islet

Last but not the least is the Marorong Islet. This is the last attraction we visited since it is near at Mabila Port. Marorong Islet is located 130 meters away from Mabila Port. It is also called as Ballistic Islet which derives from a word bullet because of it's bullet or rocket shaped like that nestles the ruins of what was once a bastion of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos.

Marorong Islet was already renovated, they added sea wall along the islet to keep waters from coming in during high tide. It has a little shore portion but we haven't see it because it was already late in the afternoon when we get there and water is about to go high.

marorong islet balut island

Island hop in Balut Island can be done in one day but if you want to stay there for more days and nights during other outdoor activities, you can check in at JVL Inn or stay at Tuke Maklang Beach Resort. JVL Inn is located in Brgy. Mabila - it is just a walking distance from Mabila Port. It is safe because Mayor Jerry Cawa owned Tuke Maklang Resort and JVL Inn.

JVL Inn is a comfortable place and affordable too. Room rates range from PHP 1,000 to PHP 2,000 per room and per night. Usually rooms are good for groups like 5-8 persons according to one of the JVL stuff we talked.

mabila port balut island

Also don't worry about the foods as JVL Inn has a cafe downstairs. Their foods are affordable and delicious too.

We left Mabila Port at 9:00PM. Every Sunday, M/V Song of Dolly 3 fare is only PHP 300.00, original fare is PHP 360.00. Again, we traversed 5 hours before reaching the Lion Wharf in General Santos City and the night we left Mabila Port, it was really raining hard.

Some of my friends asked me why am I not afraid traversing the ocean in the middle of the night, I said "that's one of the fun thing in life - taking a risk :D". I do pray also, in fact the boat captain leads the prayer before leaving the port.

For more travel details and expenses breakdown in Balut Island , check out this post - Olaniban Island Balut Island

Original post can be found at

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tuke Maklang Beach Resort at Balut Island Sarangani

After visiting Sabang Hot Spring, we then headed to Tuke Maklang Beach Resort. At far you can see blue green waters, but some part of it has a lot of sea weeds specially at the shallow portion - still Tuke Maklang is nice.

tuke maklang beach resort balut island sarangani

The resort was already developed, with 2 available rooms, each room is good for two persons. You can bring tents and pitch it for free. There are open cottages available too for only Php 100.00.

tuke maklang beach resort balut island saranganiOpen Cottages in Tuke Maklang

You can enjoy sports here too as they have volleyball sand court and jet ski. They have small boat (kayaking) but the time we asked to rent it, they allow us to use it for free. :D We enjoyed boat riding even though we don't know how to use boat paddle.

Aside from that, you can check out the back of Tuke Maklang Beach Resort, another set of white sand beaches but not yet developed.

tuke maklang beach resort balut island saranganiAt the back of Tuke Maklang

Tuke Maklang Beach Resort was owned by Mayor Jerry Cawa. The entrance fee is only PHP 10.00. They have also canteen where you can have short orders and halo-halo. So when you're planning to visit Balut Island, don't ever skip this place. You can stay here overnight, more convenient and safe.

Getting there should be included when you hire a boat for island hop. Please check out the post about Mabila Port in Balut Island, Sarangani. Few people only visited this place as Balut Island is not yet well known to people and it takes a lot of time before you can reach the place.

But you know what, traveling in remote places is more fun, educational, adventure, you'll discover how simple their lifestyle is, know their culture and beliefs.

Other Photos Taken at Tuke Maklang Beach Resort

tuke maklang beach resort balut island sarangani

tuke maklang beach resort balut island saranganiAt top of this wall resides numerous bats

tuke maklang beach resort balut island sarangani

tuke maklang beach resort balut island sarangani

Original post can be found at

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sabang Hot Spring at Brgy. Lipol, Balut Island Sarangani, Davao del Sur

The next spot we visited in Balut Island was the Sabang Hot Spring. Some suggested to go there at night right after the island hopping to let ourselves relax and experience a bath in hot spring.

sabang hot spring balut island sarangani

But to our surprise, Sabang Hot Spring has a temperature that can be hot as 80C - you can really boil an egg here! Sabang Hot Spring is about 16 meters wide. There were two enclosed hot springs there. The small one and the heart shaped one. The heart shape hot spring has the hottest temperature as it is very near to a huge volcanic hole where you can see the water is really boiling. It produce sulfur also - which they said it's good for skin and used by many spa.

sabang hot spring balut island sarangani

According to the boat operator, Sabang Hot Spring, Olaniban Island and even the M/V Song of Dolly 3 are owned by RD Group of Companies.

Maybe few years from now, there will be available spas near the Sabang Hot Spring. It might be fully develop also as the place was already promoted on TV and a recommended tourist attraction in Mindanao.

Sabang Hot Spring is located at Barangay Lipol and about 1 hour and 30 minutes travel from Olaniban Island.

sabang hot spring balut island sarangani

sabang hot spring balut island sarangani

While strolling around Balut Island and while heading to Sabang Hot Spring, we witness these scenic view of Bolae Cove and Tuke Nunsol. Really breathtaking. Check out these photos.

Original post can be found at

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Olaniban Island in Sarangani

Mindanao is comprised of beautiful islands that are unknown to many. Exploring the southernmost part of Davao del Sur and southwest of Saranggani Island, I found a beautiful island called Balut Island - not so known to many. Balut Island is a volcanic island, known also as Balut Volcano which is an hour away from Indonesian Islands. There were no reported volcanic eruptions in the history.

Olaniban Balut Island

Balut Island is composed of 12 barangays according to the locals we talked to. Mostly populated by Muslims, Bilaan and Sangils. Sangils are natives of Indonesia. Saranggani Island is rich in marine and aquatic life. They have a lot to offer like fine white sand beaches, underwater caves, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking and other fun outdoor activities that could possibly make Sarangani Island become one of the best tourist spots in the Philippines.

How To Get There

From Davao City Ecoland Terminal, we ride a Yellow Bus liner bound to General Santos City around quarter to 8:00PM. It's a 3 hour bus ride and from General Santos City bus terminal, we took a motorcycle that brought us to Lions Beach Wharf where M/V Song of Dolly 3 boat waiting for us. M/V Song of Dolly 3 will leave at exactly 12:00 midnight, so better manage your time, book first on the boat.

Olaniban Balut Island

M/V Song of Dolly 3 will dock at Mabila Port, Balut Island. They don't operate on a daily boat ride schedule. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday midnight were the only schedules available bound to Balut Island and from Balut Island, the same days but leaves Mabila Port at 9:00PM. From Lions Beach Wharf to Balut Island, it will took 5 hours. Instead of seats, the ferry provides a bed to each passenger to have a comfty sleep while travesing.

Olaniban Balut Island

At 6:00AM, M/V Song of Dolly 3 will dock at Balut Island first port to unload cargo from the ship. A lot of supplies were unloaded on the ferry for Sarangani Island locals needs. Then will dock at Mabila Port after unloading cargo.

It is a must to meet Hon. Mayor Jerry Cawa or chieftain Hon. Abet Jawed as soon as you get to Sarangani Island. They can assist and guide you. They can also help in recommending pump boats to be use for island hopping.

Olaniban Balut Island

We hired a pump boat for island hopping for only Php 2,000, boat capacity is 8-10. There are other boats to hire in case you exceed to 10 persons. And make sure to hire a pump boat with two engines. 2 main reasons: faster and engine back up in case other engine will stop working in the middle of the sea.

Olaniban Balut Island

We first stop at Olaniban Island. From Mabila Port, it took us 1 and half hour to reach Olaniban Island. The island was nicely shaped. Fine white sand, crystal clear water and undeveloped place - a truly perfect getaway. It has a lighthouse which was built by Americans during their reign. A really recommended place to visit. Watch out the other spots we visited in Saranggani Island that I will about to discuss soon. :)

Sarangani Island Travel Expenses Breakdown

Yellow Bus Liner Bound to GenSan - Php 250.00
Motorcyle - Php 10.00
Lions Beach Wharf Terminal Fee - Php. 20.00
M/V Song of Dolly 3 - Php 360.00
Pump Boat - Php 2,000

Ferry Bound to Balut Island Contact Number
RD Group of Companies (083)552 4435

Other means of travel in case M/V Song of Dolly is not available
M/VNieky or M/V Sabgangat located at Puting Bato Wharf

Other Photos Taken at Olaniban Island, Sarangani

Olaniban Balut Island

Olaniban Balut Island

Olaniban Balut Island

Olaniban Balut Island

Original post can be found at

Friday, January 4, 2013

Taboan Public Market in Cebu City

Before leaving Cebu City, you should visit Taboan Market in Cebu where you can find a lot of dried fishes. Vary from different type of fishes, squids and shrimps for a very affordable price.

The famous dried fish is Danggit. A small and thin fish available as salted or unsalted. I prefer both as both salted and unsalted taste good to me.

I bought dried danggit for only Php450.00 and dried squid for the same price per kilo. You'll get a lot of dried fish when you buy 1 kilo. Taste good specially when you dipped it to a vinegar with garlic and have a best fried rice - a very tasty breakfast!

Aside from dried fish, other Cebu's delicacies can be found there like dried mangoes, otap, chicharon car-car and other delicacies.

How To Get There

If you're not familiar with the transport routes in Cebu City and you're planning to take public transport, then you'll find it difficult to get there. I suggest to get a cab, all taxi drivers know this place as this is one of the famous market place.

A Kalesa (Kartanilya) from Carbon headed to Taboan Market

Original post can be found at