From Tambobong Beach in Dasol, Pangasinan it was easily visible as a desert island of white sand with four gangling, widely-scattered coconut palms. On our first visit to Tambobong we couldn’t get any boat to take us here. The waves were just too strong at that time of the year. It took four years before we were able to return to Dasol and to attempt to get to Colibra Island again. After our visit to the beach at Balinmanok our boat finally made its way to this island.
While browsing through the pages of a travel guide in the early 2000’s we were surprised by its assertion that the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan was “overrated.” Instead, it suggested we visited the beaches of Dasol in the western part of the province. That suggestion was filed away in our memory banks until almost eight years later when we began encountering travel blogs featuring these beaches. In 2011 we finally paid a visit to Tambobong Beach in Dasol. The beach and its surrounding attractions were indeed alluring and pristine but the roads going there were extremely rough. The poor state of these roads discouraged us from going back.
Sumilon Island is a small, 24-hectare island on the southeastern tip of Cebu just off the town of Oslob. It’s a picturesque island surrounded by pristine white sand beaches and therefore seemed an attractive side trip destination after our whale shark encounter at the latter. However, we did not even bother checking out a possible visit to the island knowing that a private resort occupied the whole place. Even a day trip here would surely be an extra burden for wallets already stretched for a 4-day vacation covering several destinations.
It’s huge and intimidating, yet docile and gentle. It’s the world’s biggest fish and holds many other records in the animal kingdom for its sheer size. The shark often inspires terror among so many for the predatory reputation of its various species but the whale shark feeds mostly on plankton and poses no significant danger to people. Experiencing this phenomenon in the wild is therefore something to really look forward to. At the waters off Oslob in southern Cebu, Philippines, we finally encountered this remarkable animal in person.