Onuk Island, Balabac - Palawan: How to go to Onuk Island, Balabac & Things to Do

Friday, January 27, 2017

Palawan is one of my top and favorite travel destination. I've been there for three times but I'm still planning to come back for more. It's also one of the top destination come Summer because it has a lot to offer. Palawan boasts some of the world's renowned travel destination like the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park which is part of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. There's also Coron, Honda Bay and El Nido. But what I've discovered so far is that there's a hidden gem ready to be discovered in the Southern part of Palawan. 

Onuk Island is a private island owned by the Mayor of Balabac, Palawan. Also known as the crown jewel of Palawan, true enough, when we got there, the sight of Onuk Island surely took my breath away. But before you get the chance to get a sight of this crown jewel, this is a trip not for the faint hearted because you need to battle waves fit for the brave and it would take about 2 hours just to get to Onuk Island. You also need to get a permission to get to Onuk Island because not everyone gets the chance to enter the island since
 it's a private place.

Special thanks to our boatmen who took us to the Island. Onuk Island is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Away from the busy streets of Manila, this is where I got the chance to detox the pollution and stress. 

The powdery white sand and crystal water is enough to make you feel you're in a paradise. 
Although Onuk Island is a private owned resort, once visitors were granted a permission to enter the island, there are rooms perfect for those who want to stay for the night and try living in an island. It's an experience that you will surely treasure for the rest of your life.

Inside the floating house are rooms and this wonderful view. I felt privileged because the caretakers of the island are very nice to welcome us. I got the chance to talk to one of them and he narrated that he's been at the island for 9 years now, making it sure that Onuk Island is well taken care of, free from any dirt and garbage plus people who would harm the island and the living creatures living in the area most of it are sea turtles, crabs, birds and more. 

If you're the type of person who loves the beach then you will surely enjoy basking in the sun while enjoying the white sand beach. You will also enjoy the view of the ocean in 360 degrees from the floating house. You can watch the sunset while reading a book since you will have low mobile signal in this island. This is the chance to getaway from the social media and experience real adventure. You will also enjoy the privacy and you will only hear the ocean - waves that will lullaby you to sleep. Don't forget to enjoy the snorkeling as well.

From Puerto Princesa, Palawan, you can ride a Bus or a van at San Jose Terminal to Rio Tuba which is also a town in Palawan. The travel will take 4-5 hours for a van and about 6-7 hours for a bus. Van ride is Php 450 per pax and Bus ride is Php 250-300. Once you get at Rio Tuba, you will need to ride a boat that will take you to Balabac. It will take another 4 hours for you to get to Balabac. The ride will cost you Php 350 per pax. But if you already have a tour guide/boatman that will arrange for your island hopping, they will pick you up at Bancalan (natives there say Bangkalaan) and it costs Php 250 per pax. 

Our island hopping route started from Patawan Island then Mansalangan Sandbar then overnight at Punta Sebaring. From Punta Sebaring, it will take about almost an hour to get to Onuk Island. If you have an action camera then this is the perfect time to use it since you might want to capture the scenic ride and the big waves. 

I'm glad that whenever we have an island hopping, I always meet nice boatmen who helps us a lot with the tour. This time around, I'm grateful to Kuya Onyok and Kuya Boboy who took us around and safely manage to give us the best island hopping experience in Balabac. We used a very reliable pump boat named "Princess" that managed to bump off the big waves while touring different islands. 

For the whole island experience since we also visited different islands that I will also share on my next blog post, it costs us Php 4,000 per pax. This includes an overnight stay at one of the island and also our food. Soon, they'll be offering a bigger boat for the island hopping, this will be available come February. This is perfect for big groups like families and group of friends. The boat can accommodate up to 12 people. The island hopping includes Nasubata, Onuk, Comiran, Melville Lighthouse Trek, Candaraman, Siksikan, Ramos Island, Punta Sebaring. Some islands may be optional since they also depend on the
 weather and the waves. 

The best way to enjoy the island hopping in Balabac is through Kuya Boboy or via Ate Lorna who will happily guide you with the itinerary around the area. You may contact them via these numbers:

Kuya Boboy - 09363988961
Ate Lorna - 09465576503 / 09163041691

Don't forget to bring your gadgets that will capture the precious moments at this wonderful island. Bring a powerbank so that you can easily charge any low battery device you have. Make sure to waterproof everything, use a waterproof pouch for your gadgets and a waterproof bag as well. Bring flashlight (led flashlight is perfect),  sunblock, insect repellent lotion and just enough cash because there's no ATM in Balabac and they don't accept credit card as well. Based on my experience we also bring Lagu beach towel that dries fast and can be used for camping as well since sand doesn't stick to the cloth itself. 

If you're not into camping and you can't live without internet then this adventure is not for you. This is perfect for those who loves adventure and would enjoy nature trip. 

 If you want to stay longer at Balabac, there are lodging houses and rooms for rent that are very affordable. They cost Php 250 per pax a night, common CR and fan room. There are several local eatery in the area where you can buy food, fruits and even RTW clothes. 

 My experience here at Onuk Island was indeed beyond memorable. Onuk Island is blessed with immense beauty that I'm grateful I got the chance to visit.  To top it all, a view of the mountain range of Sabah, Malaysia is surprisingly visible on the southern horizon of the island. Among other things, our country is blessed with 7, 641 islands, we don't need to go that far because we have the best beaches in the world. Let's explore our own native land and help promote our tourism as well.

Join me as we unravel the beautiful and historical cities of Philippines!

If you'll go to Onuk Island, share your experience below!
Remember, take only pictures and leave nothing but footprints! Enjoy! 

You Might Also Like