Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pandan Island

Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental
July 24-26, 2010

     Mindoro Occidental is the western part of the Mindoro Province.  The main source of living here is agriculture.  While, the waters on its western coast comprise one of the most important fishing grounds in the country.

     Though some of the beautiful spots in Mindoro Occidental remain undiscovered, we flew all the way here via Air Philippines and arrived at San Juan Airport, the gateway to Pandan Island.

Off the beaten Path

     From San Juan Airport, we took a bus route to Mamburao and had a 3-hour ride on our way to Sablayan.  Vibrant green rice fields and high rolling mountains on the other side awed our eyes in excitement.  Unspoiled by mass tourism, the way of life here is so laid back.

     In Sablayan, after we got off the bus, we took a trike to pier and from there a trigger boat arranged by Pandan Island Resort transferred us safely to the island.

     The boat ride took us only 15 minutes to reach the island.  As you stepped out of the boat, you will admire the simplicity of this beautiful serene island.  Creamy white sand, clear pristine water, with lush forest, bird sanctuary and breeding ground for marine turtles.

     Natural fauna and flora of the island is preserved by the resort’s owner (a French national and his Filipina wife).  All accommodations are built in nipa bungalows facing the beach.  It can accommodate up to 50 persons, that’s why it’s very important to book your stay in advance. 

     The electricity is solar powered and there is a time for electricity usage.  There is no electric fan and aircon, but no worries the natural wind will do just fine. 

     Water that runs in the faucet is salty water.  That is why they provide their guest some fresh water for bathing, which they ferried from the other island.

Diving gears

     Resort’s amenities includes bar fronting the beach, restaurant where you can order a meal, kayaks and wind surf boards to rent, and dive shack for all your diving needs. 

Dinner buffet at Pandan Island

     Our dinner is a buffet meal in European dishes.  During this time, we met the other guests of the resort and noticed that most are foreign tourists. 

     The only thing that disappoints us during our overnight stay is the weather, since we went there on rainy season.  We were not able to do snorkeling and kayaking, because we can’t manage the waves.  Too bad for us! :(

     We went back to San Jose, Mindoro the next day and booked at Sikatuna Hotel.  Rooms are affordable and clean.  The hotel’s dining area is big enough to accommodate guest and those who dined from outside.  What we like best is their free airport transfer and complimentary Wi-Fi that extends up to their guest rooms.
     The next morning, we got up early to catch our flight back to Manila, straight to office because it’s Monday. :)


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