Going to Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro was not really my plan to begin with. I was supposed to go to a beach resort in Bauan, Batangas to spend the night at beach. But when I saw the zip line pop -up in my facebook account, I started to get interested and decided to go to there aiming for another wonderful experience.
How to get to Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
From Manila or Alabang, you need to ride a bus going to Batangas port. I went to South Station in Alabang since there are a lot of passengers at LRT Buendia during weekends. Alabang to Batangas Port is php127.
From Batangas Port, you need to ride a RoRo (roll on/roll off) going to Port of Abra de Ilog. You can either choose Montenegro or Balino Shipping Lines.
I preferred Montenegro since their ships are bigger and new. I paid php260. The travel time usually takes for a about 3 hours. I took the 6am schedule but due to some delay, I arrived at Port of Abra de Ilog around 10am. I strongly recommend to just take the Dimples Bus Line instead of the vans just to be safe.
Welcome to Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
Sablayan is located in the central part of Occidental Mindoro. It is bounded to the north by the municipality of Santa Cruz and the municipalities of Baco, Naujan, Victoria and Socorro all in Oriental Mindoro province; to the east by the municipalities of Pinamalayan, Gloria, Bansud, Bongabong and Mansalay also in Oriental Mindoro; to the south by the municipality of Calintaan; and to the west by the Mindoro Strait.
This municipality was first inhabited by the Mangyans. Presently, the tribe is still existing and the local government has been helping this indigenous group.
When I arrived, I immediately went to LandManz Hotel to secure a room. Camile Landicho is the general manager and the daughter of the owner was very accommodating and provided me a room at the hotel. Good thing that there was still an available room.
From the 2 hotels I checked that day but I preferred to stay at LandManz Hotel because its more accessible to any establishment in the town proper.
My purpose of going to Sablayan was to try the longest zip line of the world and to experience Pandan Island. Surprisingly, the Landicho also owns a beach resort in the island. So, I decided to take the zip line in the afternoon and have an overnight stay at LandManz Beach Resort in Pandan Island.
Sablayan Zip line
Under the initiative of Mayor Eduardo Gadiano, an island to island zip line was constructed to boost the tourism of municipality of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. The zip line was inaugurated last September 2015 and had started to put the municipality in the international tourism market which was known as “The Longest Zip line of the World”.
The zip line is about 1.7KM from Parola (Light House) going to South of Pandan Island. This is not a typical zip line where you are held with a rappel then using gravity to zip across. This is being operated by a motor cable line which will enable you to cross the island in a moderated speed. The total distance point-to-point is 1.4km, but the total length of the main cable is 1.7km, making the zip line in Sablayan the longest in the world, island-to-island.Before you start the zip line, there will be a blood pressure check- up at their clinic to ensure safety of the tourist.
Take note that if you are afraid of heights then you better think twice because the tower itself is already more than 100 meters above see level.
Once you crossed the other island or South Pandan, you will be assisted by zip mans Jouie Amores and Jason Pacifico. You can ride a small boat by Kuya Andy going back to Sablayan for php30 or can go back to Sablayan through the zip line for an additional charge of php500. Zip line operations starts at 8am-11am and from 1pm-6pm from Monday to Sunday.
Tip: You need to call the Municipal Tourism Office first in order to book for the zip line in advance headed by Ms. Sylvia T. Salgado. Below is the office contact information: Smart: 0998-547-1185 or Globe: 0915-502-1911.
How to get to Pandan Island
There are 2 resorts in Pandan Island. Aside from the Pandan Island Resort, there is a new build resort which offers a different type of beach vacation experience. LandManz Beach Resort is located at the west side of Pandan Island. They have boat services to their guest if they wish to stay at the island overnight.
For more information, you may contact Bott M. Landicho at 0939-531-7679 / 0977- 337-0170 or visit their facebook page: LandManz Beach Resort at Pandan Island.
After the zip line, from south Pandan, I asked the locals how much will be the cost if I will go to LandManz Beach Resort in Pandan Island. The boat ride is php250 and an additional php50 for the 3rd person. I asked for a discount since I am a solo traveller and will not stay at the resort. So, I gave him php150. It was already a good deal for me because he even gave me tour to the island and waited for me until I finished taking pictures.
Apo Reef Natural Park
How to get to Apo Reef Natural Park
The boat is about pricey since it is php 8,500 but with tour guide and activities. I suggest that you should be in a group to save money. It is 3 hours away from Sablayan Port. Please make sure to contact the tourism office first to get more information. The Apo Reef is a coral reef system in the Philippines situated on the western waters of Occidental Mindoro province in the Mindoro Strait. One of the reason why you need to go to Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro is to experience the Apo Reef Natural Park.
Tip: You need to bring your own food and water since there are no establishments on the island. The entrance fee is php350 for non-sablayan residence.
You will need to go to the Tourism Office headed by Sylvia Salgado for more information. She will be able to assist you on what will be your itinerary when you are in Sablayan. Her staff is very accommodating and will surely give you alternatives for a wonderful and safe travel.
The travel time is about 2.5- 3 hours from Sablayan Port. A tour guide will be assigned by the tourism office going to Apo Reef.
Tip: If you are a solo traveller, I suggest you coordinate with the Tourism Office head office if you can be a joiner in a group. You can meet new friends and of course save money. However, it is not a guarantee so might as well, go there in a group. But it is worth it!
You will definitely enjoy the powder – like sand in the shores of Apo Reef Natural Park.
Note: CLEAN AS YOU GO- ALWAYS 😋😋
I can’t even believe that I have finally reach an island full of surprises. As we continue to discover the island. Our guide Dave gave us a tour.
The Mangrove Forest at Apo Reef Natural Park
The Apo Reef Lagoon is situated after the Mangrove forest which is nursery of fishes and some sharks before they reach the ocean.
Top view of the Mangrove Forest and Lagoon
Top View of Apo Reef Shoreline
Restricted Area at Apo Reef Natural Park
There is a restricted area at the west side of the natural park wherein according to the guide was because of the turtles laying their eggs at this area. The tourists were used to be allowed to watch the turtles lay their eggs during night but because some of them disturbed the turtles, the local government decided to have this area restricted so that the turtles can lay their eggs without any disturbances.
This is the headquarters of Apo Reef Natural Park Protected Area Office. They are responsible in making sure that the island is protected.
Project Laging Nariean and Diksyonaryo Atbp. Book Mobile Philippines.
These are individuals aiming to help less fortunate children by providing them educational materials and workshops.
MJ, John Paul, Momon, Vincent, Almich, Cocoy, Joan, Maco, Tilyn, Carlo, Ziggy, Dick , Hubby, Felipe and Jules adopted me while I was in the island. Thank you guys 😜😜😜
- Manila to Batangas Bus Fare- php157
- Alabang to Batangas Bus Fare- php127
- Batangas Port to Abra de Ilog Port – php260
- Abra de Ilog to Sablayan Bus Fare- php220
- LandManz Hotel Accommodation- php800/night per day
- Sablayan Zip Line- 1 -way (php500) 2 -way (php1000)
- Apo Reef Boat Fare- php8,500 (2 way)
- Apo Reef Entrance Fee- php350
- Snorkeling goggles- php150