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Swim in blue seas, zip or dive from a cliff in Funtastic Island Medellin

Funtastic Island is part of Gibitngil, an island-barangay gifted with sparkling waters, vast coral reefs, long stretch of sand beaches, a picturesque sand bar and rock formations reminiscent of those in Coron, Palawan.

Three hours of land trip plus another 15 minutes of boat ride take a traveler from Cebu City to Funtastic Island in the town of Medellin in northern Cebu.

Funtastic Island is part of Gibitngil, an island-barangay gifted with sparkling waters, vast coral reefs, long stretch of sand beaches, a picturesque sand bar and rock formations reminiscent of those in Coron, Palawan.

Aside from the natural sceneries, Funtastic Island also boasts of several activities for the thrill-seekers such as a cliff-to-rock zipline, kayaking and snorkeling.

But the most challenging that the island offers is the 40-foot cliff diving platform, hailed Adventure of the Year for 2014 by ABS-CBN’s local magazine show MagTV.

The attraction, whose development is part of the town’s efforts to step up its tourism initiatives, has been attracting hundreds of local and foreign tourists, making Medellin one of the Department of Tourism’s top 10 most visited municipalities in Central Visayas for two years now.

Funtastic Island Medellin

GREAT VIEW. Funtastic Island is part of Gibitngil, an island-barangay gifted with sparkling waters, vast coral reefs, long stretch of sand beaches, a picturesque sand bar and rock formations. (Photo provided by Medellin local government)

Getting there

If you’re coming from Cebu City, take a bus for Kawit, Medellin at the North Bus Terminal in the North Reclamation Area. To avoid the metro traffic, it’s highly advised that you travel early in the morning. The ride, which costs P135, should take you to Kawit in more or less three and a half hours.

Travel time is much shorter for those who travel by private vehicle.

Kawit is a barangay that sits on the east coast. As soon as you arrive in Kawit’s public market, you only have to walk a few meters to the coast where pump boats wait to ferry passengers to Funtastic Island.

Rates may vary, depending on the size of the boat and the number of passengers being ferried, but town officials earlier announced that a boat operator should not charge more than P1,500 for a back-and-forth ride, good for at most 10 people. It should take around 15 minutes to cross to Funtastic Island from the mainland.

Funtastic Island Medellin

ZIPLINE FROM A CLIFF. A cliff-to-rock zipline is one of the activities offered to thrill-seekers by the Funtastic Island in Medellin. (Photo provided by the Medellin local government)

What to do in Funtastic Island, Medellin

Welcome to the island! As soon as you step down the boat, you have to pay the P10 entrance fee. Cottage rental ranges from P100 to P250. There is no corkage for food and drinks. A grill area is also provided, free of charge. Now, here are the things that you can do to make your stay worthwhile:

1. Swim, swim, swim

A lot of travelers relish at the sight of the island’s unadulterated seawaters fit for a swim. Funtastic Island’s beachfront is not that wide, but there is much room for kids and those afraid of depths to still enjoy the water. Make sure to bring your goggles to see the fish underneath.

2. Go a little extreme

You may zip your way from the top of the cliff down to a rock just near the cottages. Cost: P50. Unlike many ziplines, this one is unique because all you see when you look down is water. There’s no point getting scared of falling…even if you don’t know how to swim, you are fully equipped with a life jacket.

Kayaking services are also available at P150 per hour rental charge on equipment.

Funtastic Island Medellin

Ride a kayak in Funtastic Island Medellin. (Photo provided by Medellin local government)

Cliff diving

But if you want to up the ante, you should do the famous cliff diving. Climb your way 40 feet to the topmost part of the rock, stand on the suspended platform and get ready for the big splash. This could be a little discomforting to those who have fears and heart problems but the experience is all worth it. For beginners, make sure you have a soft landing, okay?

3. Take an island trek

If there’s more time to hang around, there’s a road that cuts through the island and takes you to the heart of it. It’s an inhabited island so the trek should not be that spooky.

You are expected to find sibuyas plantation within the island, as well as little villages. If you’re lucky enough, you may chance upon fishermen who just came from their trade and buy the fresh catch from them at cheaper prices.

Funtastic Island Medellin

Medellin is one of the Department of Tourism’s top 10 most visited municipalities in Central Visayas for two years now.

Standing on the elevated part of the island also allows you to witness the beautiful sunset.

For bookings and inquiries, you may contact the local government of Medellin at 09176236248 (tap on number to call on your phone), 09328667661, 4362031 and 4362959.

4 Comments on Swim in blue seas, zip or dive from a cliff in Funtastic Island Medellin

Camping out on Basdako beach in Moalboal

Sand is not the most comfortable of beds but our weekend camp-out on White Beach or Basdako in Moalboal, Cebu had its benefits. It was cheap as a tent cost…

Sand is not the most comfortable of beds but our weekend camp-out on White Beach or Basdako in Moalboal, Cebu had its benefits.

It was cheap as a tent cost only P500 to rent, afforded us a front seat to a spectacular view of the night sky, and gave us first crack at the morning sea.

What’s even better was that all of us, kids in our party included, had a lot of fun.

Moalboal White Beach

Moalboal’s Basdako or White Beach is a long stretch of coast covered with fine white sand. It hosts a lot of cottages and resorts that offer a range of accommodations, from spartan to luxurious.

In our previous trips to Basdako in Barangay Saavedra, Moalboal, Cebu, we stayed in resorts like Hale Manna and Barefoot so it was our first camp-out experience on the beach.

CAMPING ON THE BEACH. You can rent tents for P500 a night and camp out in Basdako or White Beach in Moalboal. (Photo by Max Limpag)

CAMPING ON THE BEACH. You can rent tents for P500 a night and camp out in Basdako or White Beach in Moalboal. (Photo by Max Limpag)

Since our party of seven adults, four teenagers, and eight children travelled on a weekend to Moalboal with no prior reservation for a room, we went directly to White Beach to find somewhere to stay for the night.

Moalboal town center

The 100-kilometer drive to the Cebu town from Lapu-Lapu City took us close to three hours, including a short time spent at Molave Milk Station in Barili to stretch our legs.

From the Moalboal town center, we proceeded another six kilometers to Basdako. Along the way, we stopped by a barangay outpost to pay a P5 charge for each person in our party, small kids included.

Upon arriving at a public area of White Beach, where the cottages are located, the adults in our party had to pay P10 each and a parking fee of P60 for both vehicles.

Austere accomodation

We were able to get a cottage for only P1,200 but it was austere at most. It had one medium-sized bed, a fan, and a comfort room but it was not clean. You had to buy water for your toilet and shower needs at P25 per container.

What we did was use the common toilets and shower rooms for a fee per use.

Since we couldn’t fit in the room, some us decided to rent tents. We saw some group with their tents already up and thought it would be a great idea to sleep out under the stars.

WHITE BEACH. Basdako in Moalboal is one of the best white sand beach coastlines in Cebu. This one's at the public beach area. (Photo by Max Limpag)

WHITE BEACH. Basdako in Moalboal is one of the best white sand beach coastlines in Cebu. This one’s at the public beach area. (Photo by Max Limpag)

Camping out on the beach

My husband and I and our two kids decided a tent would be fun so camped out we did. All the sleeping bags were taken so we made do with oversized beach scarves and towels.

Down on the sand with only the tent and thin piece of cloth between you is not the most comfortable of arrangements but we still managed to get a good night’s sleep after a wonderful swim in the warm sea.

We had a lot of company on the beach in the huge number of tents put up. Others lay down on mats in the open.

Starry sky

While we were grilling our dinner on the beachfront, there was a power outage. Locals say the outages are common but they only last an hour or so.

It happened while we were cooking so there were exclamations of exasperation.

One of the children silenced us by saying ‘look’ and pointing at the sky. Up there, with the electricity out, is a black sky twinkling with a million stars and it was the most beautiful sight we’ve seen in a long time.

Getting there

You can choose to drive or commute by bus to Moalboal. Buses leave for the southwestern town of Cebu several times daily from the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City.

Bus fare is a little over a hundred pesos. Passengers pay a fee of five pesos each at the terminal.

If you have time, take a side trip to Barangay Matutinao in Badian. It is one town farther away and home of the popular Kawasan Falls.

Moalboal's Basdako or White Beach is a long stretch of coast covered with fine white sand. It hosts a lot of cottages and resorts that offer a range of accommodations, from spartan to luxurious.

Moalboal’s Basdako or White Beach is a long stretch of coast covered with fine white sand. It hosts a lot of cottages and resorts that offer a range of accommodations, from spartan to luxurious. (Photo by Max Limpag)

5 Comments on Camping out on Basdako beach in Moalboal

Moalboal in Cebu hosts over 10 dive sites

When people talk of diving in Cebu, they usually mention the small town of Moalboal in the province’s southwestern coast that is famous for the thousands of sardines that have…

When people talk of diving in Cebu, they usually mention the small town of Moalboal in the province’s southwestern coast that is famous for the thousands of sardines that have come to populate its seas.

Italian Sergio Forti, who manages a dive resort named Sampaguita in Moalboal’s Panagsama Beach or what they call Bas Diot (Cebuano words that literally translate to “few sand”), said the sardines arrive in and leave Moalboal as part of their normal migration process but they’ve come to stay for good around three years ago.

“Sardines are always migrating but they’ve been in the town for some time. Biologists couldn’t explain why. They say that let’s enjoy them while they’re still around,” he added.

2 Comments on Moalboal in Cebu hosts over 10 dive sites

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