The Legend of SUMILON Island

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When I was in Moalboal, I heard stories about an island off the South Eastern Coast of Cebu.

I was told it is a romantic, back-to-nature island escape, and that it has a lush forest, white sand beaches and good food.

It is called SUMILON Island

(It takes its name from being a storm shelter for fishermen, where they can take cover – sumilong – from strong typhoons.)

Since then, I’ve always wanted to experience it with Rache; and that dream came true last January, together with awesome company.

Here is a glimpse of our memorable Sumilon Island experience…

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Sumilon is located 3 hours away from Cebu, in the town of Oslob. (Read: History of Sumilon)

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The banca named Izara picks you up at the Puerto Sumilon port. (Boat Transfers Schedule)

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A comfortable 15-minute boat ride takes you to the island.

Welcome to SUMILON Island

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The island has 14 deluxe rooms, 2 glamping tents, and future plans of luxurious villas.

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The rooms are spacious with 2 queen beds, TV with DVD, and a simple study table.

(Check out In-Room Dining Menu)

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The restroom is also roomy, clean, and has reliable hot/cold showers.

Although the rooms have this old-school feel, they are well-maintained.

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A duyan is located outside each room, where you can hang around al fresco with a great sea view.

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An outdoor massage area is available for ultimate pampering. (Amuma Spa Rates and Schedule)

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An inviting infinity pool overlooking Oslob welcomes you to jump in. (Pool Guidelines)

(Tip: It’s not heated, unfortunately, and it can get cold at night.)

BLUEWATER Sumilon Day 1-79.jpgThin-crust, oven-baked pizza — a wonderful treat on the island.
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Sometimes, when you are on an island, eating really good pizza becomes a simple luxury.


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Sumilon Island Hiking Map

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A big part of the island is undeveloped. You can have a nice 40-minute hike around the lush forest and cliff-side elevated views of the island.

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As you hike, you get to appreciate a bird’s eye view of the natural lagoon and the white beach.

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Some of the white beach areas of the island are still untouched and undeveloped.

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It is a haven for birdwatchers. (Photo by Benji Reyes)

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When you arrive at the highest point, you’ll see the historic watchtower ruins (Punta Baluarte Spanish lighthouse) and this modern lighthouse you can climb to get a 360o-view of the island.

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On the other side of the island, you’ll see the first Marine Sanctuary in the Philippines.

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You can go underwater for a closer look. (Photo by Aman) (Aquamania Diving Rates)

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The corals are rehabilitated and are now teeming with life. (Photo by Aman)

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Finding Nemo is actually not that hard… (Photo by Aman)

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My favorite part of the island is the shifting White Sand Bar Beach where you can swim, snorkel, sunbathe or have a picnic with your special someone.

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It’s also a place where you can be inspired and get creative… (Photo by Aman)


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As the sun sets, Sumilon transforms into a dramatic and romantic place…

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At night, you can witness how the fishermen catch krill to feed the butanding the next day.

(See: Butanding Watching, Is it Really More FUN in Oslob?)

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The island ambiance is conducive to sharing secrets and forging relationships. (Alcoholic drinks are not required…)

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The white sand beach turns into a bonfire dinner setting…

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What happens in Sumilon stays in Sumilon, with only the bonfire as your witness. 🙂 (Photo by Benji)

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One of my favorite feasts is the Clambake and Barbecue Dinner Buffet by the beach…

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with grilled fresh squid, fish, and seafood skewers,…

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with occasional servings of lobsters, and…

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charcoal-grilled steaks!

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For dessert, fresh fruits (pineapple, watermelon and buko) are served…

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alongside innovative desserts like Uum Ali Pudding, Peanut Butter Buchi, among others. 🙂

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The man behind all these yummy food is Chef Eugene, who was part of the original Lolo Dad’s Chef Team. 🙂

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Sumilon Island lives up to its legend of unspoiled nature experience, awesome dining memories, relaxing spa and no-worries Cebuano hospitality.

Plus, Wireless Internet is available in the main dining pavilion. 🙂

It would be nice if the rooms were upgraded with bathtubs, and the cliff-side villas were added with their own private infinity pool. But even without those, Sumilon already has a lot to offer.

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Sumilon Island, Bancogon, Oslob, Cebu Philippines 6025
Telephone: +6332 481-0801, 516-7236
Mobile: +63917 631-7514, +63 917 631-7512

Manila Sales Office:
Rm. 704 Cityland Herrera Tower Rufino cor. Valero Sts. Salcedo Village,  Makati City
Telephone: +632 817-5751 / 887-1348

Full-Board Accommodation Package starts at P15,000 net per night.
Day Trip Packages are also available (especially when you visit Butanding Watching in Oslob).

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Full Disclosure: This is a personal trip hosted by Julie and Vic, Managing Partners of Bluewater Resorts, to showcase Cebu to their Manila-based friends.

P.S. Tip: From Manila, fly to Cebu and go on a 3-hour drive to Oslob. Afterwards, I recommend that you go via Dumaguete back to Manila. Don’t forget to buy one of the BEST Sansrivals in Dumaguete as pasalubong.

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27 thoughts on “The Legend of SUMILON Island

  1. Thank you for this very thorough review of Sumilon Blue Water 🙂 I booked with them for my husband’s birthday in June. So excited 🙂

  2. Nice. Booked this as a Christmas present for the fiancee and we will be heading there this summer 😀 Looks like it was a good choice after all 🙂

  3. So Sumilon or Maribago ?
    How long has Bluewater operated the resort there?
    Are these resorts a new push?
    Would you know if their Panglao resort is good also.
    It seems they have good rooms, locations, and food. Kind of a good combination if you ask me.
    Why go back via Dumagete? Nearer?
    So if you had to choose, Maribago or Sumilon?

  4. Go for SUMILON.
    Bluewater is the second operator of the island and a Japanese operated before looking for the treasures of Yamashita.
    They rebranded all the resorts to focus on BLUEWATER as a brand.
    I’m blogging about Panglao soon.
    YES, Bluewater is good and I love the food in Bluewater because the owners are foodies.
    Dumaguete is 45 minutes away only by boat versus Cebu Airport which is 3 hours away.
    Go for SUMILON definitely!

  5. hi anton. i missed your travel articles! this is actually the type of writing that i look forward to in your blog (though i understand that with 3 kids, it can be tough). i hope you would feature more awesome places in the Philippines. more power and hugs to your beautiful family.

  6. Umm Ali is an Egyptian dessert / sweet 🙂 It’s very popular here in the Middle East. One of the most favorite Arabic desserts aside from Baklava and Kunafa 🙂

  7. To “supply and feed” the butandings may be a dangerous idea. Any thoughts from the owner of the resort, or the fishermen regarding this matter?

  8. After reading the Trip Advisor reviews for both Maribago and Sumilon, I’m having 2nd thoughts. It seems there are service issues since last year and these probably weren’t evident during your sponsored trip with the managing partners of the resort. Have to say you can’t give the resort food and service an anonymous review unless you go there and they don’t “know” who really are. 1 or 2 bad reviews is fine but multiple reviews pointing out the same issues raises a red flag. Sayang but were really particular about service

  9. This place looks wonderful! This place is next on our list… can’t wait to get some Cebuano hospitality! 🙂 Best in the world! It’s definitely more fun in the Philippines!

  10. Hi Andre,
    The food is really good, and the buffets are enjoyed by everyone in the resort. The vegetarian options are great too and with great fresh seafood options for the “Filipino Vegetarian”.
    As for the service, yes they need to improve it and it won’t be evident during our trip. It continues to be a Cebuano-family run business.
    There’s no resort in Oslob as beautiful and as family-friendly as this.

  11. Be ready for the 15mins land-20mins water-15mins land-15mins water travel from Dumaguete to Oslob. I specifically asked about the transfers during booking and was informed it was only a short 15mins ride from the port (which was included in the deal grocer voucher promo i purchased). It was also sad to note that the boat schedules was not followed and we had to wait for almost 45mins for it. If I only knew the land & water travel combined would be at least an hour, I would have given the voucher to my parents instead (I’m 7 months pregnant and the Dumaguete-Oslob transfer will exhaust even the most fit NOT pregnant person)
    Thankfully, once in the island, the service during bfast/lunch/dinner are great. Almost all of the staff are accommodating & friendly. They allowed us to check in before 2pm when a room became available. Sumilon is truly a relaxing place, where you can hear the waves right outside your window & just enjoy nature and it’s peacefulness.
    Sadly, the massage left a lot to be desired for, as per my husband’s experience. It was also not cheap (1500 for 60mins). Hopefully they can improve on that.
    Thanks Anton for this post.

  12. hi, we are planning to go there in sumilon blue water resorts . i am from mindanao . please advice how to reach there from dumaguete.

  13. HI Anton, I need your help.. My h2b will have our honeymoon in Cebu, However I am choosing between sumilon island or crimson mactan cebu. I am not sure which is better though. Thanks!

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