Do you want to spend Christmas with your family biking, discovering the food and culture of a place, and enjoying nature? Then Olango Island in Lapu-Lapu City is the place to go.
For a family of bikers, the place is a perfect place to tour even for a day. The island is 25 kilometers from end to end and has 11 barangays offering different specialty foods such the “Pan Bisaya” (Native Bread), “Salvaro” (Native Biscuit), “Sa-ang” (Seafood Shells), “Puto” (Native Cassava Cake). One barangay even showcases its handicrafts made of shells and residents showing their pump-boat making skills.
That’s aside from the island’s main attraction, the Olango Island bird sanctuary.
The island is just a 20 minute ride from a motorized boat or pumpboat docked at the Hilton wharf in barangay Punta Engao to Santa Rosa Pier.
The pump boat ride costs only P15 per head (one way), the motorcycle costs P45 including the P30 wharfage fee and P20 for labor, if transported through a ferry boat, the costs is P45 and a car is P400 back and forth.
For those, who visit the area without bikes or any vehicles, a habal-habal or a tricycle ride from the pier to barangay San Vicente where the bird watching sanctuary is located costs P20 per head.
The Bird watching entrance is P20 for local adult and P10 for children and seniors, P100 for foreigners and binoculars for rent is P100.
Visitors are expected to see different species of migratory birds coming from northern and southern countries during these months, which are expected to arrive in the island to escape the winter season in their countries.
For those who want to bike around the island, there are bikes for rent in barangays Baring and Tinggo. Rent for a bike costs P10 per hour. They can pedal around the island after the bird-watching activity and sample the native biscuit called “Salvaro” sold at P10 per pack.
The next barangay Santa Rosa offers another native bread the “Pan Bisaya” which is sold at P5 each. The bread is manually cooked.
Barangay Talima is next offering their “Humba with Buwad,” and “Bat Sunlotan,” and Ginataang Puso sa Saging,” which are sold in small eateries there.
“Puto Balanghoy,” or homemade cassava cake is barangay Baring’s specialty. It is also in this barangay where one can see the pump boat-making skills of residents without architectural or engineering backgrounds make this boats.
Barangay Tinggo also offers the juicy and delicious Sa-ang, cultured shells, which is a delicacy in the island. The increasing demand for these sea food made the residents culture the shells to ensure the supply. Each shell costs P5.
Barangay Caw-oy is where the floating restaurants are found but most of their guests are foreigners and food there is expensive, the Barangay receives shares from them through taxes.
In Barangay Tungasan, one may also arrange for a Mangrove walk and experience picking shells and other marine life in the seashore for food.
“Salpo” is an edible kind of sea cucumber and taste like a dried squid when fried, it can be found in barangay Sabang and is sold for P170 for 100 pieces. It is also in this barangay where a refreshing cold drink called “Lamaw” (Cold Buko Juice with milk) can be prepared through an order, the young coconut is sold at P10 each.
The island has pension houses, cottages and resorts where visitors can spend the night or one may set up a tent for free anywhere and ask permission from local residents, the Bird watching area has camp sites for rent including the tent which costs from P100 to P200 depending on the size.
The Tourism of Lapu-Lapu City government had just started the local residents to undergo a seminar to compose a community based tourism where guests may arrange for a “Home Stay Program” and avail a tour package arranged by local residents.
Guests and visitors can also enjoy the beaches in the island, dive and snorkel in its pristine waters, or start island hopping activities there.