Saturday, May 28, 2016

Islands and Sandbars of Balabac, Palawan

Palawan is the number one island in the world.

Balabac, Palawan epitomizes the reason why Palawan is simply the number one.

Balabac is a second class municipality in the province of Palawan. It is situated in the southern end of Palawan island, It consists of 32 islands and 14 barangays. It is only 50 kilometers north from Sabah, Malaysia, across the Balabac Strait and lies in the Sulu sea. 

My favorite spots in Palawan are Coron and El Nido. I learned this island from a fellow traveler named Anj of Kilometer Zero (0917) 833 1003 /  (0998) 998 1003and she was the one who arranged my tour in Balabac.

Before the Balabac trip, I visited Port Barton and stayed in Puerto Princesa for my van pick-up in the city. However, I was not fetched by my ride to Rio Tuba and good thing Barakah was there to save my tour.

The van ride to Rio Tuba normally was good for 5-6 hours but since I was in a hurry, I was able to ask the driver to step on the gas in order for me to catch the boat ride to Balabac. I was able to arrive at the designated place and time. Unfortunately, the boat left at 10:30 am and I had to wait for the next boat which left past 12 noon.  

Past 3 pm, the boat arrived at Bancalaan Port.

Good thing my boat ride was already there for my much-awaited tour of the islands of Balabac. Reymart and Richard, siblings, were my guide and the boat operator. 

Day 1 

Our first stop was just 15 minutes from the port where we departed. The sea was quite rough that day but that was part of the adventure!

Before I continue with my blog, Kap Andong requested that I should not give the name of the islands and being an obedient person, I will simply put the initial of the island.

P Island
One of the best islands that I have seen in Balabac is this island. The name of the island comes form the word "Tawan" which means sharp. It is one of the nesting areas of the sea turtles. 

It is a white sand beach island with pristine clear waters. The temptation to swim was there and I was not able to resist the temptation.

Next stop was C Island. It took us 45 minutes before we reached the spot. Fishermen usually docked at this island.

C Island

It is one of the islands inhabited by the locals.

C Island

Next stop was the Starfish Sandbar. There were 3 sandbars in the area and we visited two of the 3 sandbars. 

Last stop for the day was the C Island. It took us 30 minutes before we reached the said island. C Island is also one of the nesting areas of sea turtles and 3 eagle species. 

We camped at this island, cooked our dinner and enjoyed our sumptuous dinner. 

The tour will not be complete without our sunset viewing.

I was the only person in the tour and I enjoyed the comfort of being alone in the tent.

Day 2 

The following morning, we woke up 4:30 am and prepared our meal. By 6 am, we were already heading towards our first destination. The weather was sunny that day. A perfect day for my tour.

Past 8 am, we reached the Anjela Sandbar and then passed Mansalangan island.

Punta Sebaring
We stayed for a couple of minutes and headed to our next destination. After one hour, we reached Punta Sebaring. 

the finest white sand in the Philippines
Punta Sebaring boasts of having the finest white sand bar in the Philippines!

Afterwards, we went to the next island, S Island.

Next destination was the T Island.

T Island has the best rock formations and the perfect place to shoot your landscape pictures. I roamed around the island and captured breathtaking pictures.

You have to stay long in this island and explore its beauty and mystique. 

I did not mind the time and I did not mind that it was past 1 pm. I was capturing pictures!

I trekked the top of the rock formation and the view was even more amazing!

According to the locals, the island is owned by this man whom I forgot the name.

Next stop was C Island. Another island to enjoy your swim.

And the last stop was SS Island and it was just 5 minutes away from C Island. It also has the rock formations of T Island.

Matangguli Sandbar
We saved the best for the last. I was told that there was this last sand bar and the name of the sandbar was  Matangguli Sandbar.

We headed to Balabac mainland, specifically to Barangay 4, Poblacion, Balabac.

There I met Kap Andong and her wife. Kap Andong is the boat operator. 

I roamed around the small town of Balabac.

There only two places to stay in Balabac.

I stayed in this place.

You can visit the entire town in less than an hour of walking.

By 6 pm, I went to the port and watched the day as it ended.

5 sandbars
10 islands

I will go back and conquer Mangsi and Onuk Island!


  1. Looks so pristine, it has not drawn much on tourism development. I really wanted to come and experience.

  2. wow!!Your post is really awesom . thank for share!!!

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  4. Camiaran Island is dubbed Palawan’s pink beach, it is similar to Sorsogon’s Subic beach, the sand in this island turns a light shade of pink when wet

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  7. For your consideration.

  8. I have read out online that, there are no tourist facilities whatsoever on this island but it would be fun to visit if you knew someone from there.
    goa family package

  9. So an update for my trip as of mid-February 2018:
    I went down to Rio Tuba in Mid February and was told it is not safe for foreign guests (non-filipino) to go there at the time being. I had a very nice lady at the docks of Rio Tuba calling around to numerous numbers I gave her and some family that she has down there. The same response from all, they strongly discouraged foreign tourists from visiting at the moment. I spoke with a man sailing through the Philippines and he also told me that he would not stop for anywhere for muchtime in and around the Balabac region. They are still operating boats (quite expesive – 6-7,000php for 3 day trips) for Filipinos though.

    Perhaps you can take a public boat down and have no problems. If boat operators that make money from tourism are encouraging foreign guests to stay away though, it’s probably for a reason. To the foreign tourists, is it really worth putting yourself in danger or the other people with you as well?