Islands and Beaches

Refreshing Balut Island

Davao del Sur

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | May 01, 2013

photos from TV Patrol Southern Mindanao Reporter Vina Araneta

Balut Island is composed of twelve barangays whose residents are mostly Sangils, B’laan and Muslims who are warm and welcoming. Its long stretches of white sand beach, azure clear waters and equally blue sky make it an ideal getaway.

Island life is simple as it gets. Unspoiled sandy beaches to while away time swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, diving, even playing beach volleyball. Hot springs are also good for relaxing tense muscles. Or go island hopping.

Balut Islands’ points of interest:

· Olaniban Island has a 3-km beach line and a lighthouse. · Sabang Hot Springs’ waters temperature can reach up to 80C. · Tuke Nunsol or Bolae Cave has coarse white sand. · Balistic/Villalobos Islet is where Ruy Lopez de Villalobos landed after a storm. · Bubo Beach

Farming and fishing are the sources of livelihood for the locals.

Seafood is the main food. You will be surprised at the variety of fish that you can eat and the number of ways it can be cooked.

The coco crab with its powerful pinchers is a delicacy that one must taste in Balut Island.

Other island inhabitants are large fruit bats that hang on trees in broad daylight.

March to May is the best months to visit Balut Island.

HOW TO GET THERE:

Major airlines have daily flights to Davao City from Manila and Cebu. From Davao City, take the bus or van to General Santos City.

Or you can go directly to General Santos City from Manila and Cebu as major airlines also have daily flights to GenSan.

From GenSan airport, take a taxi to the port of M/V Song of Dolly located at Lions Beach or at the Puting Bato Wharf for M/V Nieky 2 and M/V Sabhang.

M/V Song of Dolly 3 is docked at the Lion’s Beach in General Santos City. Travels thrice a week from Gensan (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) for P360 + P20 gate fee. You may call RD Group of Companies at (083)552 4435 for inquiries and reservation.

There are no daily boat rides to Balut Island so coordinating with these shipping lines is a must before embarking on a journey to the island.

The ferry leaves at 12 midnight and takes around 5 hours to reach the island. Island hopping boat fee: PhP1,500-2,000 (US$35-47) depending on the boat capacity and islands to visit.

You can stay at JVL Inn in Barangay Mabila or in Tuke Maklang Beach Resort for PhP1,000-2,000/night (US$24-47).

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