My personal paradise in the Visayas

In Photo: Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort top view

Part One

HAS it really been 12 years since I stayed alone in what’s probably the most incredibly beautiful island in the Visayas—Sumilon?

This place holds so many special firsts for me. This is where I learned how to dive, even before I can swim. Carcar and Oslob is literally a step back in time, the Spanish era to be exact.

Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort is in the southernmost tip of the island of Cebu where the Bohol and Sulu seas converge. The 24-hectare coral island is surrounded by crystal-clear waters and is the site of the first marine protected area in the Philippines, that was made a marine sanctuary in 1974 under the guidance of the Siliman University Marine Research Department.

Pristine white-sand beaches are situated in different areas of the island.  Its Sandbar is well-known for its changing shapes and shifting locations around the island depending on the season, and the more permanent 1-kilometer lagoon beach in the northern side of the island, where guests can lounge in beachside cabanas or take a kayak and explore its natural lagoon and its ancient mangrove forest teeming with fish and various bird species.

Payag and Pulo restaurant

A visit to Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort is like having an adventure island all to yourself. During dives, one will find varied marine species and even occasional sightings of black tip and white tip sharks in the area. The marine sanctuary offers an exquisite diving experience, as the depths blossom into colorful encounters of various tropical fish species, coral formations and even large pelagic fishes that seek sanctuary in the area. On the south side of the island is a lighthouse that rests on a protected tree park, right beside it is a “Baluarte” a relic of the dreaded history of piracy in the south. Built as part of a warning system that runs through the southern towns of Cebu, it is instrumental in warning the townsfolk to imminent attacks by slavers and marauders in the 19th century.

The resort has 31 well-appointed rooms that will surely delight the weary traveler looking for a place to stay in the south of Cebu.

Their private villas offer a private cliff-side enclave for families seeking complete privacy and relaxation right in the heart of Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort. Designed by the CEO of Bluewater Resorts with its signature contemporary Filipino design, each villa has a floor area of 106 sq m and comes with its own private dipping pool and veranda that offers an almost unimpeded view of the ocean and the rest of the island. Guests may enjoy its amenities that include a mini-bar, Netflix connection, cable television, telephone, hot and cold shower, bathtub, coffee maker, private veranda and its own dipping pool. Their Premier Deluxe and Deluxe rooms are built overlooking the ocean. Designed with the intention to capitalize on the natural beauty of the place, each room offers a panoramic view of the majestic southern Cebu mountain range and the surrounding sea.

infinity pool, lighthouse and baluarte, one-bedroom villa

The resort’s infinity pool is just perfect for those Instagram worthy moments, it is built overlooking the Bohol sea and offers a great view of the south Cebu mountain ranges. The island boasts of a full-service restaurant called the Pavillion that serves a delectable selection of local and international cuisine. In one of the highest points in the island, its octagonal design and high “Nipa” thatched roofing and open air construction allows diners to have an almost 360 degree view of the area. Pulo, the soon to be opened restaurant at the lagoon area will cater to the growing number of tourists visiting the island.

For those guests who would like to take a more intimate encounter with nature, the number of island trails offers hikers plenty of opportunities to wander in the island. One can also take a bike ride into the heart of the island and explore its nooks and crannies. As a spelunking enthusiast, the island holds many mysterious caves and opportunities for bird watching abound, as the island is home to 22 endemic bird species.

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