It was an honor for me to be part of the test run for the OMG (Olango My Getaway) Tour, a project of the City of Lapu-lapu together with the Lapu-Lapu City SK Officials which aims to promote the ecotourism of Olango Island. Together with other bloggers, we stayed at the beautiful island of Olango over the weekend and did some awesome activities like bird watching, biking, and food tasting.
The fun tour started even before reaching the island. Ka Bino Guerrero gave us a not-so-ordinary orientation about OMG Tour. He also entertained us with his corny jokes before we arrived at the port of Olango Island.
Upon reaching the island, we made our way to our crib for the weekend, which is the house of the Barangay Captain of Barangay Tungasan, using the service vehicle of Olango Island which was provided by the City of Lapu-Lapu. Few minutes after arriving at the house of the Barangay Captain, the participants and the facilitators of the tour huddled for a getting-to-know you time and the introduction of the Whole itinerary by Jonji Gonzales, the over-all coordinator of OMG Tour.
We had an early dinner then prepared for the “panulo” activity afterwards. “Panulo” is like “panginhas” or shell searching during low tides, except that it is done during the night, while “panginhas” is done early in the morning. Panginhas are not new to me, since my uncles and my aunties do these everyday in Moalboal, and I sometimes go with them to help and at the same time, try it myself, but it was my first time to try panulo. It wasy very similar to panginhas, except that you need some lighting gears like flashlight or a lamp to aid you in searching for shells and crabs.
The panulo challenge was the hardest part of the tour, because the trail was very rough. We passed on muddy paths and some residues of the Typhoon Pablo, while tall mangrove trees surround us. Most of the time, our slippers will get left behind in the mud to the point that we had to pull it up using our hands, and ended up taking our slippers of and continued our way barefooted. Some of us got little wounds in our feet because of the roots of the mangrove trees. It was hard and tiring indeed, but all of us enjoyed the “panulo” session.
After experiencing panulo, we head back to the house to freshen up because we are going to dance at 2 disco sites. Everybody was excited to try disco and “bayle”. Everyone was shy to dance at first, but when the time passed, we danced like we don’t care! Most of us were tipsy already, but we didn’t mind. Here in Olango Island, disco is done every Saturdays! Unfortunately, we failed to try “bayle”.
We went home and prepared ourselves for bedtime. We were supposed to be sleeping already, but laughtrips and chatters couldn’t be avoided.
Day 2 of OMG Tour arrived and we were welcomed by the beautiful scenery of the sunrise. Everybody took pictures of the awesome scene, indicating that Day 2 will be more fun compared to Day 1. We ate our breakfast, dressed in our comfortable attire, and headed straight to our first itinerary, which was the bird watching activity.
We reached the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in San Vicente for the bird watching. After the little orientation and small information about the sanctuary, we made our way to what I call “the pavillion”. But before reaching the pavillion, we trailed 300+ huge footpaths along the sea. I had fun while passing these footpaths because at the bottom, you can clearly see small fishes swimming at the edge of the footpaths, as if they are eating the food in the footpath. We reached the pavillion, and there we saw why Olango Island is famous for bird watching activities. I saw birds that are called little egret, which made my day happy. The little egrets were so white, you can actually see them even without using binoculars or telescope!
And the activity that we really awaited, the Food Trip by Bike. We started at the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary and made our way to tour around the entire Olango Island by bike. But this was not an ordinary biking ride, because we gave out candies for every kids that we passed by. I really enjoyed this activity because it is a form of a movement for eco-friendly transportation and I love the smiles of the kids after I gave out the candies to them. It was very relaxing and heart-warming to see the smiles of the kids after they received the candies from us. We had stops at different barangay halls of Olango and tried their delicacies. For me, this is my favorite part of the OMG Tour.
The last stop for the tour was a “lamao” session. Lamao is their term for the coconut water and milk combination. This is really something to look forward once you are in the vicinity of Olango Island, because the island is rich in coconut trees, and these coconuts only cost Php 10, which is very cheap compared to the ones sold in the markets of Metro Cebu, which is priced around Php 15-25.
It was indeed a tiring weekend at Olango Island, but I had fun during the 2 days of non-stop food trip and adventure. And for that, I would like to thanks the City of Lapu-Lapu for initiating this wonderful event, to Sir Jonji Gonzales, our over-all coordinator, and to his 2 sons, Ralph and Rigo, to Ka Bino Guerrero, for being our main tour guide, to the Lapu-Lapu City SK Officials for the aide, to the Barangay Captains of the different barangays of Olango Island, especially to the Barangay Captain of Barangay Tungasan for the accomodation, and to my fellow bloggers who were with me experiencing the fun hidden in the wonderful Olango Island. I can’t wait to go back to Olango Island!