COME SEE Cresta De Gallo, Sibuyan Island. Philippines.
CRESTA DE GALLO: THE GUIDE
REGION: Romblon Province
ACCESSIBILITY: Day trip via 1 hour pump boat from Sibuyan Island
BEST TIME TO VISIT: During the cool season (Oct – Feb) | temp ranging from around 21 – 32 degrees
LOCATION: South of Sibuyan Island | Open in Google Maps
WALKING DISTANCE: 30ish mins from one end of the island to the other
TIME REQUIRED: 3hrs – forever
TOURIST RATING: Only semi known to Filipino locals
COST: Environmental fee 50 php $1 aud | 2,500 php $65 aud for boat hire
CRESTA DE GALLO: THE GUIDE
We don’t usually man hunt, but this occasion was an exception. No Internet. No credit and we needed to find a man by the name of Pasik Suicon. We had heard he’s one of the few that does a boat tour out to Cresta De Gallo – one of the destinations we had been dreaming of for months! On arrival to Sibuyan Island, as usual, we were instantly approached by drivers asking where our accommodation was. With Agoda, an accommodation site similar to AirBnb, the address wasn’t available unless confirmed and you’ve asked your host. Well we hadn’t yet asked our host and only had an image of a large circled area on a map from the website. So we showed them the area and a photo of the house. They said yep no worries. So we hopped on their Jeepney and hoped for the best.
After an extremely bumpy 1.5hr drive, we had reached San Fernando town. Starting with a fully packed jeepney, it ended up being just us and another couple to be dropped off. They asked us if we were going to visit Cresta, we said yep! That’s the main reason we’re here really. This Filipino couple had come purely for Cresta. They had organized a boatman to take them as soon as they arrived and very early the next morning they would catch the ferry back to Romblon Island. Passed San Fernando there’s a town by the name of Azagra this is where the man lived that they organized the boat with. We asked what his name was; they said his name was Boy.
When they got dropped off. Boy came over to the Jeepney and offered us a price that was a little higher than what Pasik was offering, so we saved his number but still intended on finding Pasik. A couple km’s down the road, we noticed our driver was struggling to find our place so in true Filipino style they pulled over and ask some people on the side of the road. We managed to use her phone to call them – only to realize Marevick didn’t speak much English so we handed the phone to the lady and she spoke in Tagalog and found out where it was. When we arrived it was like a big German fortress with big walls blocking out the locals. It was a bad time, ANYWAY Cresta…
We asked our hosts if they knew a man by the name of Pasik that did Cresta tours. They also weren’t familiar with him. We then were on the way to some waterfalls and met a girl that ALSO wasn’t familiar with him. Jackie was then looking at Boy’s number and then looking at the number we had for Pasik… THEY WERE THE SAME DUDE. So it turned out that Pasik preferred to be called Boy! The whole time it was the same damn man! So we used her phone to message him and organize a boat for the next morning.
We paid 2,500 php, which ended up being about $65 Australian. At this stage we were just happy to have found him! The next morning, we got a 10php tricycle to his house in Azagra. His wife, Melanie met us at the front, we followed her down a long drive way and told her the story about BoyPasik and laughed!
We then reached a long stretch of palms! It was so beautiful. The morning light was bouncing off the trees and it just looked so dreamy. Then we finally met BoyPasik! What a guy. He had organized two of his family friends to take us out for the day and they were awesome guys, very respectful and helpful.
So I usually get pretty sea sick and all the boat trips around the Phils I was kind of dreading but then I thought I’m going to try not take any tablets to see if it was more of a physiological thing. Cresta was the big test, we had read online that the boat ride over is ROUGH AF. So here goes nothing! 30mins in and we were getting hit by waves and feeling like we were going to capsize. Surprisingly I felt fine! The boat was pretty small too. It took roughly an hour and a half to get from Sibuyan over to Cresta.
Heaven? Dat chu?
Looooooook. Paradise was an understatement. If we could build a bamboo hut on this place and live there, we would in a heart beat. Remote yes, but ridiculously amazing. We had never seen clearer, bluer water EVER. It literally looked like someone put blue food coloring in the water. Ill let the photos do the explaining…
After just basking in all of its beauty, we decided to explore this beautiful place. To get from one end of the island to the other is around a 45min walk, well worth it. We went around the back on the island and because the tide was still low we could pass through big boulders to find gorgeous hidden coves between them. We wanted to get right over to the tip of the other end but the tide ended up being too high to access it. Just half an hour later the tide had gone from around our ankles, up to our thighs. You must keep your eye on the tide though; it can come up very quickly.
Keep in mind there isn’t any accommodation, shops or food on the island so bring lots of water, snacks and sun block! After an amazing day enjoying paradise it came time to call it and head back to Sibuyan. We kept in mind Boy said the water can become very rough after 3pm. A sunset on the island would’ve been epic but we’d rather not risk our lives on the way back! Overall it was an unforgettable experience and it really does pay to visit these remote gems!