Apo Island, Negros Oriental

 

Where to swim with the turtles in the Philippines?


This is by far, our favorite island destination in the coconut republic!

We especially love the nice people and the quiet ambiance, and ohhh the beautiful, pristine beach!

When we planned this backpacking trip, Frenchie especially said his demands-- that he wanted to go to places that are less touristy. He doesn't like the crowd. That's all. ;)

Apo Island was suggested to us by my family relative, Anna who went there on an impulsive travel planning and left the island after one month of staying!

With that in mind, we were sure ready for an unexpected time of our lives!

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We were also flexible of our time, so we can stay longer or shorter-- either way. And Apo Island was the best place to take a breather. Really!

We didn't book anything, we just simply went there and asked around. When we arrived, we saw this sign, and being totally exhausted from a long trip, we decided to stay there for a night...

We were the only guests there and we were frequently visited by these birds who made this hostel their home too!

The island people live a very modest life. Poverty is very visible but each and every person wakes up to make a living, so to speak. Most of the men are fishermen or diving instructors. The women make a living by renting some diving gears to tourists or minding a sari-sari store. Since the whole island lives in a scheduled generator-- all lights out at 9PM sharp, they share one TV screen!

Frenchie and I decided to explore the island after recharging from exhaustion. There were only three big resorts in Apo Island-- Liberty Lodge, Mario's Homestay, and the more private and pricey one, Apo Island Beach ResortWe went to ask around if they still have an available room for us. They said, they have and we were really lucky and grateful that we did the survey first and not booking anything online because we were able to get a "friendly" price. We paid for Php 550.00 for our (huge!) room in Liberty Lodge...

With an outside view like this...

There's so much beauty and nature in Apo Island. You can take a hike to the Lighthouse...

Or to the Apo Island Viewing Deck...

Or simply swim (and snorkel) with the turtles. Oh yes, we did! And yes, you can!

Or enjoy the romantic and lovely scenery of the whole island!

And of course, share a drink or two of beers with a local guide! If you're too nice, he'll even play a song for you with his Axl-like-voice!

If we only had a choice too, we would have wanted to stay a tiny bit longer!


#frenchieatpinay tips

1. We were lucky enough to go there on off season, but if you're going on a busy time, book ahead of your reservation. Both Liberty's and Mario's Places have very friendly and welcoming staffs. We love them!

2. For food variety, you can easily approach a local in the village and ask them to prepare a meal for you. They usually offer the fresh-picked-fish-of-the-day. Oh so good!

3. Rent your goggles and other swimming gears at the village association. This is their means of livelihood, so I encouraged you to support them while you're there. You can see the renting prices by the board. But if you plan on staying longer than a week, it's best to bring your own gears. ;)

4. Take a hike or a walk each day. Such a good place to do your morning run/swim! This is the warmest place we've been to, I mean with the people. They are so nice and helpful.

5.Oh lastly, a mosquito killer (with no scent) was our life saver on this trip. I bought a box at the sari-sari store! It was the first time Frenchie has ever saw such one. Oh, only in the Philippines (I guess!)

 

APO ISLAND is one of the best in the Philippines, come and experience it!