Sultan Kudarat’s Secret Island

Sultan Kudarat has a secret island that has the ingredients for a perfect getaway. Pristine white sand, blue and calm sea, fresh sea breeze — Balot Island!

(As told by Sultan Kudarat local Nhoy Corpuz to Choose Philippines Mindanao coordinator Ida Nanette Damo)

Kalamansig is a coastal municipality in the Province of Sultan Kudarat. The town’s name was derived from the Manobo term “Kulaman-sa-ig,” which literally means “Manobo of the Water.”

Kalamansig is bounded on the north by Lebak, on the west by the Celebes Sea, on the east by Sen. Ninoy Aquino, and on the south by Palimbang. Aside from its very fertile land where variety a of tropical fruits grow like durian, lanzones, marang, mangosteen and banana, Kalamansig is also rich in seafood products, good diving spots, waterfalls, and pristine white sand beaches.

It was my friend’s idea to spend the first day of 2013 on the beach, so we decided to go to Balot Island.

Balot Island is one of the six islets in Kalamansig. It’s located in Barangay Paril, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat. From their fish port, you can hire or rent a “bangka” (motorized seaboat) to go to Balot Island.

It’s more than an hour’s ride from the fish port. But when you see the white sand on the shore, rock formations, and coral reefs under the clear blue water along your way, you know that the time, the distance, and everything spent has paid off.

It was my first time to be there and the island didn’t fail to amaze me. The place is simply a perfect getaway for a person like me who really loves the beach.

The weather was just so cooperative that the clear water, white sand, and the peaceful surrounding of the island made for an awesome day of relaxation.

On bright, sunny days, Balot Island can be a recommended as one of the best destinations for a family vacation.

Balot Island is just one of the reasons why I’m so proud that I’m from Sultan Kudarat. So come visit us!

What to Bring:

• Basic needs such as water, food, swim wear, and first aid kit.

• Aqua shoes or strap-on rubber sandals would be ideal for exploring the seashore.

• Bring sunblock or sunscreen. The sun can be pretty harsh.

• If you want to stay overnight, bring your own tent.

Where to stay in Kalamansig:

• For your accommodation in Kalamansig, you can stay in JV Lodge which is open 24/7. Room rate: Php 700.00 per night and Php 800.00 per night for an air-conditioned room.

How to Get There:

By Bus/Van

• Gen. Santos City (South Cotabato): 214 kms.

• Islamic City of Marawi (Lanao del Sur): 259 kms.

• Isulan: 45 kms.

• Palimbang: 64 kms.

• Lebak: 10 kms.

• The only airport near Kalamansig is Cotabato City (they have daily flights from Manila)

• From Cotabato City you can ride a van going to Lebak or Kalamansig, it cost Php 350.00 (one way) per passenger.

• From Kalamansig you can rent a small bangka for Php 600.00 (for roundtrip ride) going to Balot Island (maximum of 10 persons)

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