MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — You don’t have to go far for this year’s summer vacation with your family and friends.
Caohagan island that is located off mainland Mactan Island is close to home and your stay on the island will surely provide you with the much needed break that you deserve.
The island that is about four hectares big, has white sand beaches and dive spots to satisfy your craving for a fun summer adventure after spending months in home quarantine.
How to get there?
Rent a pump boat from the mainland. You can choose from three locations — Cordova roro port, the pump boat terminals located in Angasil in Barangay Mactan, and in Barangay Marigondon — as jump off areas to the island that may be reached by 20 to 30 minutes sea travel.
Pump boat rental normally starts at P4, 000 for a round trip and would normally reach as much as P6,000 if your group intends to go island hopping in the nearby islets of Nalusuan and Hilutungan that are already part of Cordova town, says Caohagan Barangay Captain Ranilo Abayan.
The two neighboring islets that are known for its beautiful dive spots are located very close or just five minutes away from Caohagan.
Abayan said that a visit to their island is free.
Tourists would normally occupy their white sand beaches that is located facing Cordova town.
They also have a marine sanctuary that is about 250 meters wide that is located on the other side of Caohagan island, facing the island province of Bohol. Their sanctuary is the biggest in Lapu-Lapu City.
Those who would want to spend the night there, can book their accommodation at a privately owned resort.
But he warned tourists to limit their expectations.
Staying on the island means that you will also have to experience simple island life.
“Dili pa develop ang isla. Natural ra gyud siya,” Abayan said.
(The island is not yet developed.)
Island residents catch rainwater for their use.
During the summer months, they purchase water at P5 to P8 per container from suppliers who operate in Olango Island or in Barangay Marigondon in the mainland.
They also buy their drinking water from refilling stations on the mainland.
And since the 798 residents are using solar power, electricity use is being regulated.
Abayon said that the use of water heaters and rice cookers, among others are discouraged.
The island’s 145 homes used to get power supply from the generator set that is operated by the barangay.
“Mobayad ra mig P35 kada gabie para sa crudo,” he said.
(We just pay P35 every night for the fuel.)
Starting February 2021 they already started the use of solar power.
But the private resort on their island that is owned by a Japanese national continues to use gas lamps at night.
“Dili gusto ang Hapon nga hilabtan ang isla,” Abayon said.
(The Japanese owner do not want any developments on the island.)
They also have stores where visitors can buy food, snacks, and other items.
Island residents go out to fish almost everyday so you can buy from their fresh catch for a seafood soup, kinilaw or even your favorite sinugba.
Unsa man, mangadto na ta?
(Haven’t you decided yet, let’s go?)