Activities in Pamilacan Island
One of the main attractions of the area, the almost 100% chance of seeing large shoals of Dolphins in their natural setting. A huge advantage in taking a trip from Pamilacan early in the morning is that apart from one or two other island boats you are alone on the seas – the many boats that come from Alona beach arrive much later.
After a quick early morning coffee you head off into the open sea with Junior in his Bangka. The tension mounts as you all looks for signs of activity…. and then they are there!
Swimming and jumping around the boat, hundreds of dolphins – Spinner, Risos and Bottlenose are the most commonly spotted, but are not the only sea mammals to see. Pilot Whales and even Bright Whales or Sperm Whales are also sighted. Depending on the weather conditions there is also the chance to do some snorkelling on the east side of the island before heading back for breakfast.
A hugely exciting experience that is not to be missed!
At almost any time of the day you can walk into the sea by Junior and Nemesia’s and find a whole new world to discover. Waiting for you around 20 metres from the beach is the edge of the hard coral reef that surrounds the island, still healthy and populated with the full variety of local underwater inhabitants. The shallower water also has many jewels to discover – cowries, sea slugs and small moray eels in the grassy bay and in the sandy areas isolated rocks with a full community of various shrimps, moray eels and colourful corals.
If you don’t have your own mask and snorkel, we or Connie at the shop will be happy to rent you a set.
A mainstay of the island activities – vital for feeding the family and also as an income source, selling the catch on Panglao. Island fishers work mainly with longlines and hooks, avoiding the damage and overfishing that net fishing causes.
With Junior, Castor or one of the other experienced island fishers you too can get out on the water and try your hand at fishing from a pam boat.
A small project initiated by Nemesia and the island women, as a way to earn independant income, has become well established. Trained in aromatherapy massage and equipped with a massage table the island women offer a massage service at a time and location that suits you. Particularly wonderful is a night massage under the peaceful island sky. Massage, a gentle breeze, the stars and moon all combine to give you the perfect relaxing experience, whilst supporting the island economy.
Bangka & Pam Boat Hiring
Bangkas are the small – one or two person – ‚canoes‘ with outriggers to stabilise the boat. It’s a great way to get a new perspective on the island, and abit of exercise into the bargin ! Early in the morning there’s a good chance of seeing Turtles bobbing around, and westwards towards the marine sanctuary is worth a visit at any time of the day. Lifejackets and snorkelling equipment are also available.
Hiking around the Island
Early in the morning or late in the afternoon are the perfect times to set off on your own island discovery hike. There are 2 concreted paths on the island; the main path leads southwest from Junior and Nemesia’s at the northern tip, to the fishing village, passing the school along the way. Worthy of exploration are the reef roof flat sands on the northeastern side of the island especially when the tide is just going out. The long eastern beach that goes past the tiny „Hunted Island“ is great for beach combing, and after a good sweaty hike leads into the fishing village. Or you can, of course, set off cross-country and see where you end up ! As long as you have a bit of sense of direction, it’s hard to get lost for long and the islanders will be happy to help you out if you are !
Wherever you are in the Philippines you are never far from a cock fight ! Whether you agree with the ethics of this activity or not, it is such a strong part of the country’s identity that it is almost impossible to ignore.
Pamilacan has it’s own cock fighting grassy area in the middle of the island where on most Sundays contests between local cockrels take place; all at a leisurely pace with much debating and discussion amongst the cockrel owners, snacks and drinks to buy and bets to be laid.
It’s a pleasant and free alternative in comparison to the huge arenas on the mainland and a chance to immerse yourself in a significant part of the islands and country’s culture!