Mindanao, the Philippines’s second largest island has a veil of mystery draped around her. Feared by the uninformed but loved by those who know her true worth and beauty. This series is my tribute for Mindanao, where I’ve been crisscrossing over the years and where a part of me also comes from. Buluan Island, a gem of a piece of land off Barangay Buluan in Zamboanga Sibugay’s municipal capital of Ipil is beautiful. And that is even an understatement.
The island is tear drop shaped as seen from above with a tadpole like profile. The apex fringed with a white sandy beach and gradually rising up to the top of the hill. On a beautiful morning, its ghost like when seen from Ipil’s port, about 20 minutes by speedboat.Buluan Island is actually private property but it doesn’t stop locals from visiting the place. With just a small land area, the island can be encircled by banca in 15 minutes, there are only a few huts and a military detachment present. This keeps the area safe. On any given day, only a few people really visit the island to swim. That’s why when I was there, together with Grees, from Zamboanga Sibugay local tourism office, I had the beach all to myself.
Just imagine, the water is so pristine that one can still see one’s feet below, like looking through clear glass. If you hold still, small fishes will just come near and even nibble on your skin!
Boating around the island, several small silver fish by the hundred, which the locals call lupoy, often break the surface and leap a few centimeters. With the sun still near the horizon, these fishes occasionally flash!From time to time, fishermen drop by in their motorized pumpboats bringing fresh catch and our group readily bought cheaply a few kilos which we had for breakfast: grilled fish, kinilaw (raw fish in vinegar) and crabs. One of our companions climbed some coconut trees and gave us fresh young coconut water to down all these stuff.
After having eaten, I again took to the water and just enjoyed the sea.
Buluan Island is just two kilometers from Barangay Buluan, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay and 20 minutes by speedboat from the port of Ipil. To visit, coordinate first with the local tourism office located at the Provincial Capitol in Ipil.
My gratitude to Ms. Eda Daarol, OIC, Provincial Tourism Office, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.