Travel Tips in Apo Reef
Well, most of Filipinos are not aware where is the World's second-largest contiguous coral reef. They do not have any idea that it is right here in our country and few hours away from the Metropolitan AND you don't have to spend so much just to get there.
I got the chance to visit the famous place for divers, beach lovers and travelers. Apo Reef is well known for its underwater life, and divers from all around the world are visiting this natural park to get a glimpse of exotic species, sharks, manta rays and for not divers they are looking for "NEMO". (We all know NEMO, right?)
Anyway, this post is intended to give you some helpful tips on what to expect in the Island if you are planning to visit it.
1. Be prepared for a 3 hour boat ride from Sablayan Port to Apo Reef.
Yea, this is a butt numbing boat ride, if you are not used to long boat rides, you'll definitely get bored. Luckily, my trip to Biri enhanced my patience skills to 200%. HAHA. Nothing will beat my experience there. Ooh, the waves are not that huge but the current is strong especially during daytime.
2. Bring all the things you NEED for survival. There are no stores/establishments in the island.
Since it is a remote island, you should bring all important stuff before leaving the port. Making a list of things to bring will help because it is really hard to find resources in the middle of the ocean. Bringing drinking water is a must and you should bring at least 3 Liters per person for an overnight stay.
The whole island of Apo Reef. How does it feel to be surrounded with water?
3. Light is very essential next to water.
Apo Reef's solar panels were destroyed when the typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines. It really gets dark at night but the caretakers in the island light torches in the abandoned building. Good thing PLan B, is fully equipped. They brought portable lamps and each one has flashlight. (Bonfire is not allowed)
4. There is no decent bathroom.
Don't expect that the bathroom is well maintained. Their bathroom is one of the worst bathrooms I have ever seen. Sorry but I think, the people who maintains the place should do something with this. Bathroom is a basic necessity. I had to clean it up and put some tissue and wet wipes on the bowl before I use it. The doors are shattered, floor is so dirty, and the smell is horrible. Well at least they separated boys from girls. :)
I think they should maximize the use of building, it is still new but neglected.
5. No fresh water for bathing.
Being a remote island, there is no source of fresh water. Even the deep well pump produces salt water. So better bring your lots of water if you are planning to cook or stay in the island. This made me realize how important FRESH water is. I bathe with Salt water and it is not refreshing at all but it will do. I felt like I was in Survivor.
6. Never miss the underwater life!
You should bring your own snorkel. It is basic and hygienic. Also, there is no snorkeling gear for rent in the island. Your Apo Reef experience is not complete if you did not explore the World's Second-largest contiguous coral reef!
Credits to Sir Macoy Mejia
7. Wake up extra early for snorkeling.
Not a morning person? Well, you definitely wake up earlier than your usual in this island. Never be late in snorkeling. Perfect time for doing it is between 5:30am - 7:00am, it is feeding time for fishes and the water is calm.
8. It gets hot even during night time.
If you have hypertension or easily get irritated with high temperature, better bring a portable fan because it is really hot all throughout the day even at night! My friend slept outside the tent but still had a hard time falling asleep because of the humidity.
9. No signal reception.
Don't expect that you will get a nice reception in the island, even if you go up to the lighthouse. It is 3 hour away from the main land and our country is not yet equipped with such facilities.
10. Leave nothing and Take nothing.
This is a Golden Rule. As a responsible traveler, we should always conserve and preserve the places we visit. We should respect what Mother Nature gave us and take good care of it. Dispose your garbage properly and never take sands or corals as souvenir!
I think that is all you need to know. Well, if you have something else to share feel free to do so and leave it in the comment section. Enjoy traveling and keep on exploring!
Ano, TARA GUMALA?