From General Santos and our South Cotabato trip, an 8-hour overnight ferry brought me and Regine to the Sarangani Islands, one of the Philippines’ most remote island groups.
As expected, these parts were very much offbeat. In fact, we were the only tourists for almost the entire time we were there.
After arrival in Balut Island, we trekked our way to the forest-topped summit of Balut Volcano, the highest peak on the Island.
The cloudy weather did not stop us from seeing faint views of east Indonesia. We even saw what could be remote northern islands of Sulawesi or Maluku.
On our island hopping tour, we found a pink-sand beach at tiny Olanivan Island!
As well as many scenic beach coves in Sarangani Island.
Before heading back to General Santos, we made a final stop at Sabang Hot Springs and enjoyed a lazy afternoon at the town proper while waiting for the return ferry to the mainland.
Highlights: Balut & Sarangani Islands
General Santos-Balut Island ferry
Balut Island summit view
Balut Island forest summit
Approaching Olanivan Island
Mount Apo & Sarangani mainland view
Olanivan pink sand beach
Marcos at Olanivan pink sand beach
Balut Volcano & Sarangani Islands
Marcos at Bulae Cove
Local children at Paras Beach
Wooden miniature toy boats
Marcos at Paras Beach
Isla Pabrosis Beach Resort
Tuke Maklang Beach Resort
Huge bat colony on a tree
Marcos at Tuke Maklang
Tuke Maklang Beach sunset
Tuke Maklang Beach Resort viewpoint
Halo-halo in Balut Island
Sabang Hot Spring
Islet off the coast near Mabila Port
Places — General Santos
5PM — Arrive at Lion’s Beach Port & reserve tickets for Balut Island ferry.
10PM — General Santos to Balut Island ferry — P600 per person.
Places — General Santos » Mabila Port, Balut Island (Sarangani Islands, Davao Occidental, Davao Region) » Balut Volcano » Mabila.
5:30AM — Arrival at Mabila Port
8AM — Sarangani Municipal Hall / tourism office courtesy call — Since we didn’t have contacts for the guide prior to our arrival. We had to wait for the offices at the municipal hall to open, and ask assistance on how we could go about the trek. They were so helpful and assigned us a guide for the day.
Check-in at “The Pink” Guest House — P600 triple fan room.
10AM — Balut Volcano summit trek — Trekked the whole way to the summit. Then, went back to the town proper mostly by habal-habal (motorcycle taxi). P500 per guide.
2:40AM — Arrival at Balut Volcano summit.
Trek back down to Brgy. Gomtago Proper
4PM —Arrival at Brgy. Gomtago Proper
Transport to Mabila poblacion on habal-habal (very rough rocky road) — P500 per habal-habal.
5:30PM — Rest at Mabila, Balut Island.
The area surrounding Mabila Port in Balut Island is the town proper or poblacion of Sarangani Islands. It is part of the Municipality of Sarangani in Davao Occidental Province. It gets confusing because there is also the similarly named Sarangani Province found in mainland Mindanao. Sarangani Island (singular) is a separate island located beside Balut Island.
Places — Balut Island » Olanivan Island » Sarangani Island
7AM — Start Sarangani Islands boat tour — P1,900 per boat (including next day return journey, back to Mabila).
8:30AM — Olanivan Island sightseeing.
11AM — Bulae Cove, Sarangani Island sightseeing.
11:30AM — Rest at Tuke Maklang Beach Resort.
2PM — Paras Beach sightseeing.
3PM — Isla Pabrosis Resort sightseeing.
4:30PM — Tuke Maklang Beach Resort sightseeing.
Rest at Tuke Maklang Beach Resort.
Places — Sarangani Island » Balut Island » General Santos.
Tuke Maklang Beach to Balut Island ferry (charter).
12NN — Arrival in Mabila, Balut Island
1PM — Start Balut inland tour by habal-habal — P600 round-trip per motorcycle.
2PM — Sabang Hot Spring sightseeing.
4PM — Rest in Mabila
11PM — Balut Island to General Santos ferry — P600 per person.
This trip is part of Marcos' 12 Days Southcentral Mindanao Highlands & Islands & 2016 Detours travel series.
5:30AM — Arrival in Puting Bato Port.
Series: 3 Days in Sarangani, Davao City & Cebu
Series: 6 Days in Lake Holon, Lake Sebu & South Cotabato
This trip is part of Marcos’ 12 Days Southcentral Mindanao Highlands & Islands & 2016 Detours series.
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