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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


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