I was born in Cebu City and lived in Mactan for 7 years. Most of my earliest memories involve the ocean, barbecue on the beach, and a little red swimsuit that i used to wear. The water always makes me feel like i’m a kid again; there’s a different kind of calm that comes with it.
So it comes as no surprise that Honday Bay was my favourite tour of the whole trip, despite having to wake up at 630 am for it.
Puerto Princesa as a whole is the cleanest city i’ve seen in a while, and you can say the same thing about their waters. Flawless! There’s no random potato chip bag floating or bottles strewn about on the beach. You can walk around and not be afraid that you’re about to step on some drunken teenager’s vomit. And all the locals make such a beautiful effort to keep it that way! It’s really inspiring.
It’s known for its beautiful, fine white sand, big beach, fish feeding and as a great snorkelling spot. Now if you don’t have equipment, it’s okay. You’ll stop by a shop that rents out snorkels and masks, waterproof cases for your phones and cameras and sells bread for fish feeding. Don’t worry, everything is sterilised 😉 And trust me on that, because i have an almost obsessive fear of other people’s saliva. Haha.
Pandan Island is so pretty. Niki and i just floated about for a short while before doing anything, looking at the mountains around us and enjoying the great sun and warm breeze.
After our few minutes of making muni-muni, we decided it was time to check out the local coral reef. We didn’t go out too far, but that’s because you really don’t have to go far to see anything! The whole area is rich with life and you can swim with the fish even on the shallowest end!
We didn’t buy bread to feed the fish, because we wanted to watch other people make the effort while we just watched. Haha! Niki’s not too fond of live sea creatures approaching him :p
Our second stop was Pambato Reef. There is no beach here, just a docking station of sorts where you get oriented with the area. They set out a trail for swimmers to follow, around 50 meters long , so that you get to see a good deal of the coral life. The waves were a little rowdy so it took some effort, but nothing an average swimmer (me) can’t handle.
It’s a great experience for newbie snorkel-ers, since there’s a “trail” to follow and guides that can help you through your swim. Just take heart, strap your swimming vest on (required) tight and just relax 🙂
Our final stop was Luli Island. A friend told us it stood for “lulubog, lilitaw”, since that long sand bar disappears during high tide.
You can feed the fish here too, but the main attraction, aside from the pretty beach, is this high diving board, which i forgot to take a photo of. Boo! Like all the other beaches, it’s super clean, but the sand isn’t as fine as Pandan.
We were supposed to check out Starfish Island too, but no one in our tour had water booties, which are necessary for the stony island. So maybe that’s for next time!
We were back on the road by around 2 pm, back at our b&b before 4. I heard it gets insanely full during peak seasons though, so you may want to avoid that. All in all, Honday Bay was a great experience, and something i hope everyone gets to try out at least once 🙂