Is it too early in the year to have one checked off? Do you also have the same feeling that every time you accomplish something, you still add a lot to your list, and it seems like all your life goals become endless? We always say “Bucket List Check!” but you never really cross anything out. In fact, you just add more to your cannot-die-without-doing’s.
Apo Island did not only give the chance to swim with the huge sea turtles, but it allowed me to immerse in clean blue waters and snorkel to look at colorful fish and corals up close! It was a marine biology tour at its “beginner” finest. I wish I could have tried diving, but not just yet!
Yes, though always a part of any Top 10 Philippine Destination article that you might encounter, I was a little confused if the Apo marine sanctuary was closed or not. When I did my research, there were links asking if it was closed. All I know is you pay 2,000 pesos when you arrive at the Malatapay Boat Port for a round trip ticket, and you can start swimming with the fish and turtles once you arrive! You can actually do a day tour in Apo depending on your origin location. As for me, I took a 6-hour bus ride to and from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental on the same day. I heard that there are houses there that you can stay in, but an overnight stay at the island means a night without electricity.
You go there to see aquatic life in its natural and ecological beauty. When I say natural, a rarity because of its preserved state without the use of feeding or luring sea animals for tourism purposes. I was happy that this is not done at all in Apo. You can see God’s wonders just a few strokes away from the shore! No need for another deafening pump boat ride just to see pure bliss!
One of the downsides though, was that there were still litters in some parts of the place. For the very reason that it is a marine sanctuary, I was expecting zero tolerance about cleanliness and environmental consciousness especially from tourists! There were just a few garbage, but this could be improved on, right?
When I was there, there were three main things that came to mind: What if I bump into the turtles while swimming? Why is there such an instapeacerenity (as I always say, short for instant peace and serenity) as you witness underwater mammals do their thing? The same peace I felt when I swam with the whalesharks in Oslob, Cebu. Why is the Visayas region so blessed with the best damn beaches? Ahhh, I love.
It is a must that you visit these places at non-peak seasons. When I went there, there was no sign of crowded-ness and photobombers at all. Apo Island will sea ya! Soon!