Finding Serenity on Sumilon Island (+Where My Friends Ate the Famous Cebu Lechon)

If you’re in Oslob, do not miss the serene Sumilon Island! Since we finished our whale shark encounter before noon, we rented a boat for P2,000 and paid P50 each for the environmental fees. The island is called as such because of the word sumilong which means “to shelter.” They say stranded fishermen use the island as a refuge from storms.

The boat was big and could carry a maximum of 20 people. After the 15-minute ride, our guides moored our boat and we plunged into the clear waters. I was like a kid in a candy store because the corals were dressed in psychedelic colors. Be careful though because the currents can be strong. Swimming started to become exhausting that our guides had to toss a rope for us to hold.

The first thing I observed about the island was its practically untouched state. While there’s a handful of infrastructures, these were built around the trees and limestone cliffs. The shore doesn’t have your typical colorful umbrellas that signify a commercialized island. Even the Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort is serious in preserving the island’s natural charm.

We also met a French exchange student named Joffrey. He’s been here in the Philippines for the past five months and he seems to embody the true spirit of a traveler. He even visited more places in the country than me. Huhu. Our group’s Mr. Congeniality, Norman, didn’t waste the opportunity to ask him about his experiences. I took the chance to ask him about the best arrondisements in Paris as well as if he’s familiar with One Direction (he is but doesn’t like them). Hay Eunice, wala ka talaga pinalampas. 

We spent almost two hours on the island and headed back to the whale shark diving site. After taking a bath, we hailed a bus bound for Cebu but got off in Carcar for its famous Cebu lechon. Please do not expect a fancy restaurant. There’s an area inside the wet market that has stalls selling the roasted pigs. The vendors will even allow you to taste lechon bits for free. Once you’re done purchasing, the vendors will lead you inside a small eatery and serve you the native dish with puso (wrapped rice).

Each kilo is around P280 (in the city, it can reach P600) and if like me, you do not eat pork, the eateries offer other dishes. I might not have tasted the lechon but Aujen said it was crunchy, tasty, and milky. For your ride home, try Carcar’s chicharon.