Apo Reef Natural Park in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro is known for being the world's second-largest contiguous coral reef system and the largest in the country.
The trip started with a bus ride (Manila-Batagas Pier), transferred to a RORO (Batangas Pier - Abra de Ilog), then a coaster (Abra de Ilog - Sablayan) and lastly a boat ride (Sablayan - Apo Reef) before we were able to set foot on the island. Be prepared for a long trip since it will take about 2 hours for each ride.
Tents and hammocks became our shelter on this island. That may not sound a luxurious one but rest assured that you will be under a five-billion-star lodging.
The whole travel time is all worth it as you start to have a glimpse of this stunning piece of nature. You even get to watch a free show: the skies getting painted colourfully during sunrise and sunset.
As you plunge into the water, you'll definitely admire the life down under from corals to fishes and other marine life. We even had the chance to witness a pawikan and a shark welcoming us into their realm. And that was my first encounter with those beautiful creatures which definitely made the trip even more special.
What makes it worth paying a visit: an island where you just camp, snorkel or dive, eat, and chill without Netflix plus the lagoon and the lighthouse. The best part of it is you get to meet new friends and the feeling that they are not strangers to me anymore on our last day in the island.
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