HOME
GALLERIES
WAYPOINTS LIST
MyPHWaypoints new
Links
Contribute
Contributors
 
Resorts Listing
POIs by Province
FREE Travel Brochures!
 

 

 
VISITS
803828
Copyright 2001-2016 waypoints.ph

 

Pandan Island
Town/City:  Sablayan
Province:  Occidental Mindoro
12° 51.380N   120° 45.050E
Listed in Gallery:   Island Beach

Like this destination?

waypoint data    map and vicinity info    route(s) to this waypoint
view other POIs of Occidental Mindoro Province    View Sablayan town/city feature

Click on any of the images to see the enlarged copy and narratives of the photo.

North Pandan island is an isolated tropical getaway off the coast of Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental. Its still relatively unknown to many Filipinos, even though its easily among the top destinations in the Philippines. Its main attraction is its immaculate stretch of white sand beach, whose pristine quality rivals even that of more celebrated Boracay. In fact, it offers the sand and water of Boracay without the crowds and dizzying array of gaudy resorts. The waters around the island are shallow and temperate, making it superb for leisurely swimming and snorkelling. The quiet, laid back atmosphere is perfect for peaceful strolls and restful retreats. Nights are best spent stargazing through glare-free skies, since even proper electricity eludes this place. Pandan is simply the best place for doing nothing.

Water sports are available, but the main draw is diving off Apo reef, one of the most famous diving destinations in the country. The reef is approximately one hour by boat from the island. Aside from the excellent swimming, one can hike across Pandans forest interior to interesting points like the Spanish Nose (a big rock formation that eerily resembles a mans face) and the Wild Lagoon.

Since there are few people and no electricity, days are best spent sleeping on a hammock under a shade. At night, the stars and heavens are out en masse. Dont miss counting the meteorites before dawn! Life on the island is slow and the rhythm is dictated by nature it is a special place that will surely leave its mark on the spirit of the world-weary traveller.

Accommodations

Information about accommodation in the islands only resort, North Pandan Island Resort, including relevant fees, are available from the resorts website at www.pandan.com. Though rates are quoted in US dollars, the resort will accept equivalent Php peso payments at current exchange rates. Dont despair if you didnt bring enough cash. The French expat who runs the place is trusting enough to let you pay your balance at their Manila office. (Hopefully, no one displaces his open attitude).

How to get there

A true trekkers getaway entails a special place to reward a long, arduous journey. The most straightforward way to Pandan Island from Manila is an 11-hour bus-ferry-bus-trike-boat odyssey.

Heres how I got there:

Boarded JAM bus bound for Batangas Pier at the Buendia-Taft terminal at 3:30 a.m. Fare: P111.
Arrived at Batangas Pier at 5:45 a.m. Boarded M/V Manaoag II bound for Wawa Pier, Abra de Ilog, Mindoro Occidental. The ferry left at around 6:00 a.m. Fare: P130.
Arrived at Wawa Pier around 8:45 a.m. Walked the short distance to the highway. Took the first bus I saw bound for San Jose (Make sure it passes through Sablayan). Be prepared for some of the roughest and dustiest roads! Tip: Since the buses are invariably non air-conditioned, its best to seat yourself on the right side of the vehicle. Youll avoid most of the dust kicked up by oncoming traffic. Fare: P107.
Made it to Sablayan at around 1:30 p.m. full of Mindorine grime and feeling very third world. Took a P5 tricycle ride to Emily Hotel. Beside this establishment are the flat boats that service North Pandan Island. The ride to the island is around 20 minutes. Fare: P100 one person, P120 good for 2, otherwise everything is negotiable. Arrange for the boat to pick you up on the island on your return date.
Rest on the best beach this side of the planet at around 2:00 p.m. The place indeed rewards the journey well!

Other options to getting there is first by plane to San Jose and subsequent 3-hour bus ride to Sablayan. The resort has a direct seaplane service from Manila, but it costs a whopping 450 USD for just three persons!

Tips:

Day trippers are charged P50. The resort probably wont allow camping, especially if there are room vacancies.
Rooms cost around $10. Each guest is required to partake of the $7 dinner buffet (dont worry, its a culinary feast!) for each nightly stay. So an overnight for one person will probably amount to P1,000. Bring a partner so you can share the room cost!
A flashlight will be handy since at night, only the bar is lighted by batteries solar-charged during the day. The rest of the resort is lit by gas lamps.

Waypoint narrative by: Jay_J 2004     follow Jay_J on Facebook