Apo Island - The Sea Turtle Island

Apo Island - The Sea Turtle Island

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Apo Island is situated in the southeastern tip of Negros Island specifically Negros Oriental, Philippines. The name APO was derived from a Filipino word "grandchild". The island is known of its best marine sanctuary where it's a haven for local and foreign divers who never fails to visit this place. Early break of dawn me and my travel mates gathered at Cebu South Bus Terminal as our meeting place. We then took a yellow bus (Ceres Bus) via Lilo-an, Santander Cebu (ETA is 3-4 hrs. from the city).

From there, we took a 30 minute ferry boat ride that's bound to Dumaguete City. When alighted, we rode a jeepney via Malatapay market--the drop off point to reach Apo Island. You can rent a boat that costs P2,000-3,000 or if you're lucky enough you can take a ride with other boats carrying other locals or foreign tourists and negotiate to split the cost of the boat with them.

Depending on the weather condition, the trip to the island will take 30-45 minutes or even an hour but in our case it took us for only 30 minutes. Once you see a turtle rock formation, that is your indication that you're in the island premise.

We then look for a place to stay as we arrived at Apo Island. Since the sun has already set after settling in, Joseph (proprietor of Joseph Bacalso Films and Stills) our exclusive photographer (some photos uploaded in this blog are his) then decided to take a snap of the sunset with a theme "Evolution of Man". It even won the second prize in a photo contest plus the famous McDonalds Love ko 'to pose as the twilight emerged.

After the photo shot, we then get back to our lodge and had our dinner. Since electricity is not available after 9:30 PM, we decided to stay on the seashore for some chitchats, stargazing, story telling, feeling the sea breeze and listening to the rippling sound of the sea.

The following day while preparing our morning meal, we met two foreign divers who joined us for breakfast. The two were friends. They love to travel a lot. Before this Apo trip they came from Bohol. They were backpackers who loved diving so we suggested to go to Palawan, Bantayan and Malapascua Island. Travelling doesn't give you experiences and memories but you gain friends as well.

The crystal clear water of the island is so tempting that it won't take a NO for an answer. So while waiting for the sea turtles to arise, we took some poses, climbing and splashes. While enjoying the water, someone called out informing us that the sea turtles slowly emerging to the surface. We hurriedly went to the station where we rented life vests and started off our sea turtle adventure.

This was my first hand experience swimming with sea turtles. As I tried to dip my head back to the water I saw and followed one sea turtle but made a sudden U-turn. I was startled that I might hit the turtle so I flipped my arms backward and same goes with the turtle. Hahahaha. Such a great encounter. Every time that memory flashes, it always put a smile on my lips. Bad thing our underwater gadget was not working with an unexplainable reason. That experience with nature will always linger in my heart. It was an unforgettable nature at its best life experience.

Aside from sea turtles, you can also see some underwater species. Starfish, sea snakes various fishes and coral beds. But what scared me the most was the sea snake. As far as I know this type of sea creature is dangerous as it can take away your life depending on the amount of venom injected once you're bitten by the snake.

When you are under the water, you will definitely get amazed with what you're going to see underneath. It's like a different world, so beautiful and full of different colors that are pleasing to the eyes. This isn't my first time to see the underwater world but it always feel like it's the first time. Because every underwater world has its own beauty to capture and has its own memories to treasure. Like every oceans, beaches or seas; never fail to capture the horizon. And one of the beauties of nature is the -- SUNSET.

Never will I fail to capture such a beautiful horizon whenever possibility arise. It always makes me feel so grateful to see the wonderful creation of God. And not all have the chance to experience what I've been. I am always grateful for every sunset I witnessed. It's a way of saying for me that I had a wonderful day and that there's always a promise of a new day.

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