Friday, April 01, 2016


Pandan Island Resort is definitely one of the best resorts  I have been to. Not because it boasts of luxurious amenities as it had only basic accommodation, but  because of its location, its  white sand and most of all its rich marine life and vegetation which is just few meters away fronting the beach. It's a snorkelers paradise. Pandan Island Resort is found in the town of Sablayan, Mindoro. It is actually just about twenty minutes away by boat ride to the island. However, the island cannot be seen from the main poblacion of Sablayan as there is an inland body of water just in front of the town by the market place and a long stretch of land which protects the main poblacion from the sea.

We arrived at the resort at three in the afternoon.  Our accommodation was in a fan room which had two beds made of bamboo already with mosquito nets installed. It was 700 pesos a night. A sliding door of bamboo with no locks was the main door.  Toilet was common just near our room. We went snorkeling right after we placed our things in the room.  We were informed by the person at the restaurant that fronting the beach are two kinds of vegetation.  The one on the left side has a grassy sea floor which is frequented by sea turtles and stingrays. On the right side of the island sea corals abound with plenty of colorful fish.  Since the sea turtles usually come out in the afternoon, we went snorkeling on the left side of the beach.  Sure enough just a few meters from the shore, we saw sea turtles. I saw five of them, in fact.  They were feeding on the grass.  We had the joy of following them.  Afterwards, I saw a couple of stingrays. One stingray was being followed by a big fish at the back of its tail.  There were also some big fish that kept coming to us as if to scare us away. 

We went snorkeling on the other side of the beach the following morning. There were plenty of corals and most all many colorful fishes. 

Pandan Island Resort also has a dive shop of their own.  When I inquired about diving at the Apo Reef the following day, I was informed that they were already fully booked. The dive master instead offered a fun dive at the back portion of the island the following day at 9:30. Having no choice, I decided to take the offer.  I called up the Tourism office of Sablayan if there were other takers who would like to go to Apo Reef the following day. We were told that a Belgian couple was interested to join.  So I confirmed for an overnight camping trip to Apo Reef but told them to pick us up in Pandan Island by eleven in the morning as I still had a diving schedule at 9:30 a.m.

We had a buffet dinner that night at the restaurant of the resort.  The resort has one obligatory buffet for every guest which one can take either for lunch or dinner costing 450 pesos. Although they had a good amount of food that night, the selection was not really outstanding.  Among the fifty or so guests that were there we noticed that there only very few Filipinos. Most of the guests were Europeans. Perhaps it was because the owner of the resort was a French who was married to a Filipina. 

Had a couple of beers by the sea. It was such a lovely bright night with the moon on full gear. We took the sack by 10:30 which was also the start of an acoustic band which played by the shore. Woke up past one and the band was still playing. I decided to go out and listen to them play. 

Pandan Island Resort
Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
Cel No. 0919 305 7821

Aproaching the island of Pandan. 

Accommodations were just basic with the lodging houses all made of native materials. 

This fish kept on following me and tried to nibble on my fins. 

A sting ray being followed by a fish. 

Another sting ray just off the beach of Pandan

This fish kept on coming onto me trying to scare me perhaps. 

Colored fishes and beautiful corals on one side of the island. 

Preparing for the dive in one of the spots in Pandan island. 

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