Beauty queen-turned-actress Charlene Gonzales was on point with her memorable answer during the Miss Universe pageant in 1994.
When asked about the number of islands in the Philippines, Charlene responded with a rhetorical question "High tide or low tide?" before she eventually explained that there are “7107 islands during low tide, and 7,108 during high tide.”
Lo and behold, more than a decade after, here we are with a new set of numbers. The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) has recently announced that there are 534 new islands in this archipelagic nation - Philippines. This isn’t just a number but more so, this means more islands racking up our bucket lists for 2017.
Now more than ever, we are compelled to explore more of our beloved country with its 7,641 islands. In here you will find 11 out of the 7,641 islands, that is there, but not always.
Luli Island, Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa
One of the famous islands in Honda Bay is the Luli Island - an island named after the Filipino phrase “(lu)lubog, (li)litiaw” which literally means sink and rise. Visitors can only try their luck at setting foot on this island once its low tide in the Sulu Sea.
Pansukian Naked Island, Siargao
Better known for it’s hollow-like tube waves, Siargao Island isn’t just for riding waves. It has its well-kept secrets too including this 200 square meter island that is pristine in every angle - white sand beach, crystal clear blue waters, and a healthy underwater life.
Kambiling Naked Island, Santa Monica, Siargao
From the town of Sanata Monica, one will be able to enjoy an island that is less than a hundred meters wide. Overnight stay in this island is not allowed since it slowly disappears as night falls. Enjoy one of the finest sand in Siargao with a few-minute visit.
Burias, Banaybanay, Davao Oriental
Burias island, a sanctuary for giant clams and budyong, does not only serve as quarters for the coastal guards in the area but also offers a piece of serene for those shying away from flocks of tourists.
Sanipaan Vanishing Island, Samal
Aptly named as so, Vanishing Island is a few minutes worth of sail time from Barangay Tambo in the Island Garden City of Samal. Its fine sand beaches houses starfishes, sea grass, mangroves and houses on stilts.
Naked Island, Britannia Group of Islands, Surigao del Sur
One of the three most visited islands in the Britannia Group of Islands, this sandbar is surrounded by cerulean waters along the Lianga Bay.
White Island, Camiguin
White Island is a 80 to 100 meter wide stretch of white-sand beach. According to tourists visiting the island, its vista includes towering volcanoes that exude a luxurious Hawaiian vacation.
Manlawi Sandbar, Caramoan
One of the most stunning sandbars in Caramoan, its scenery reveals a wide stretch of rippling wide sand and crystal clear turquoise waters. Visitors can also explore its verdant rolling hills where one can see a bird’s eye view of the island.
Snake Island, El NIdo
Previously know as “Vigan Island”, this crawling-reptile named island is well-known for its long curving sand bar connecting it to another isle. It’s a 45-minute boat ride from the mainland and is part of the El Nido Group of Islands. It also has a land formation that can be climbed and will give its visitors a 360-degree view of the island.
Dumog Island, Tubigon, Bohol
It may be more appropriate to name Dumog an islet as it is characterized as a sandbar off-coast Bohol and bounded in the west by Cebu. The perfect time to enjoy the sandbar is early morning up until noon when the tide is low. During afternoons, the island submerges a few inches underwater which can be a whole lot of fun if you’re up for a soaked-kind of nap.
Manjuyod Sandbar, Bais, Negros Oriental
Visitors usually dock at its shore for lunch and after an early start of a day chasing dolphins. From afar, one can see several nipa huts seemingly emerging from nowhere. It’s the epitome of the phrase saying, “simple is beautiful” with barely nothing but a few nipa huts, one will surely feel happy and salty.