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