Found at the southern tip of Sibuyan Island is one of Romblon’s raw gems worth daring the often tempestuous waters of Sibuyan seas for. Cresta de Gallo, named after its shape resembling a rooster’s comb, is an island with fine white sand beach and stunning sandbar. No commercial establishments or structures. Just pure tropical island paradise.
Across Sibuyan Seas
We made sure to leave early morning upon the break of dawn while the waters are calm. In San Fernando municipality, we headed to the Azarga port area where our boat was waiting. From here, it’s roughly an hour’s boat ride. I enjoyed the morning scenery from our outrigger motorized boat. Seeing the sun rise and breaking through the thick clouds. The water was indeed calm. The ride was smooth. Only interrupted by a few fishes skimming over the waters. As we approach the island, the waters becomes clearer and slowly unravels the underwater seascape. We got more excited as the shallows reveal how crystal the waters really is.
Cresta de Gallo
Arriving during the low tide, we had to walk an almost thigh deep water to shore. This to avoid any damage to nearby corals in the area as it was too shallow for the boat to proceed. I got amused seeing starfishes, both the skinny bright blues and plump brown ones. A sea anemone’s home was surprisingly in the shallows. And finally a number of dogs living on the island barked to welcome us. Probably the companion of the island’s caretakers. They were friendly.
As soon as we stepped on the island, we were awed by its rugged beauty. It reminds me of islands like Seco Island and Panampangan Island. We were the only visitors on the island and much of the beach were untouched. Blinding yet inviting to explore from end to end. The island has a 4.5 hectare area with patches of mangrove vegetation on each end. Sibuyan Island and its peaks can be clearly seen from the island.
White Sand Wonder
There is nothing else to do on the Cresta de Gallo but enjoy the beach, the sea (and take pictures of course) and people’s company. Since there are no facilities on the island (aside from a few restrooms, huts and cottages), it is best to bring necessities like drinking water and food. If camping overnight, bring camping gear like tents and cooking stoves. We didn’t manage to snorkel or check out the underwater scene. But we heard there’s a Marine Sanctuary nearby for snorkelers and divers.
We immensely enjoyed Cresta de Gallo. An island is for those looking for an unadulterated tropical island experience.
The best jump-off point to Cresta de Gallo is from the Azarga, San Fernando. There’s a tourist center that could help visitors hire boats, settle fees and to register.
Below are the fees on visiting the island (info last updated February 18, 2020).
|Motorboat 10 or less passengers||Php 50.00|
|Motorboat 11 to 20 passengers||Php 100.00|
|Motorboat 21 to 30 passengers||Php 125.00|
|Motorboat 31 and above passengers||Php 150.00|
|Non-motorized boat||Php 20.00|
Amenities/ Facilities Rental
|Balsa with life jacket||Php 1,000/ 4 hours|
|Balsa with motorboat 1 roundtrip additional||Php 500|
|Safety paraphernalia/ life jacket||Php 20|
|Kiosk||Php 200/ day|
|Enclosed picnic area||Php 250/ day|
|One set umbrella w/ 6 chairs & table||Php 200/ day|
|Table only||Php 50/ day|
|Umbrella only||Php 30/ day|
|Chairs||Php 10/ day|
|Rubber Life Saver Big||Php 25/ 3 hours|
|Rubber Life Saver Small||Php 15 / 3 hours|
|Picnic Tent||Php 250|
|Camping Tent (4 person capacity)||Php 400/ 24 hours|
|Kayak||Php 200/ hour|
|Reclining Chair||Php 100/ day|
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.