the long sandbar
At the northern end of the island is an exceptionally long sandbar - 300 meters long (give or take a couple of meters). From the air (or from Google Earth), the island looked like a tadpole, with the sandbar as its tail.
I’ve been there once before and spent a quiet and relaxing weekend (I was the only guest at that time) on the resort there aptly called Sandbar Beach resort. You can’t missed it as its the only one there, the rest of the island has rocky shore and all sand seemed to be deposited at this northern end. And with the genius of Mother Nature, the current’s direction was just perfect to form the sandbar.
The resort is family owned and one of its members, an unassuming and quiet man named Mang Sonny, takes care of the place. He is one of those who stayed in Concepcion and decided that the island is where he belongs. Mang Sonny is an active member of the community when it comes to protecting nearby islands and their surrounding waters and has been advocating the use of environment friendly fishing methods.
rustic as it can be
There is nothing fancy about the place. Its as rustic as it can be, though there had been a few basic amenities that had been added since the last time I was there, like a new cottage. Its interesting to note that the cottages, currently there are 3 of them, don’t look uniform. That's because different family members own these cottages (which doubles as their vacation houses when they are there).
one of the nooks to laze around
So what does one do in such a place? If you were like me, I’d laze around, or spend the afternoon in a hammock, waiting for the sunset.
shallow water by the sandbar
Or you can frolic in the clear waters by the sandbar. On the sandbar you have inviting waters just a few feet from you on both sides, talk about doubling the shoreline.
There’s also that option of island hopping. You can rent Mang Sonny’s boat and spend the whole day checking out the nearby islands (like Agho) and maybe get a closer look at the ubiquitous Pan de Azucar (Mt. Manaphag)
Interested in planting your feet on the soft sands of Bulubadiangan? Here are a few notes:
- Cellphone coverage has improved since the last time I was there (good thing for emergency purposes, bad thing since your boss can still reach you)
- There now a small store, manned by one of Mang Sonny’s daughters. The nearest sari-sari store used to be an island away
- You’d have to bring your own drinking water, though you can buy “mineral water” there.
- They have a generator for electricity, mostly just for the lights which are turned on after sunset. Lights off at 10PM
- There’s ice! You can enjoy cold drinks after a hot day on the beach
- They provide beddings (banig or mat, pillow, blanket) if you rent one of the cottages (Php 800-1500)
- From Iloilo, you’ll need to go to the Tagbak terminal for the buses headed north. The HPQ bus goes directly to Concepcion, but it stops every so often to pick up everyone and everything. I prefer to ride the Ceres bus that goes to Sara. From Sara you can ride a jeep to Concepcion which is only 7.9 KM away. Travel time from Iloilo is 2-3 hours.