Discovering Guintarcan - iSTORYA.NET
    • Discovering Guintarcan


      SUMMER IS NOW ALMOST at its halfway point yet people still troop to the beach to enjoy the full splendor of the tropics, bask along corridors of white beaches and to submerge in the coolness of the archipelago’s emerald waters.

      Here in Cebu, the province has a lot of these sandy white beaches along its shorelines and there are more of it found among some of its outlying islands like Bantayan, Mactan, Malapascua, Badian and Sumilon and these have gained recognition by themselves and could almost be compared with famous Boracay Island.

      While these islands have reached the most coveted status of being chosen as premier tourist destinations, there are, however, some smaller ones that could also stand on its own by possessing unique natural land features, beautiful landscapes, bountiful resources and very hospitable inhabitants.


      One of these is Guintarcan Island. Known by the locals as Kinatarkan, this island belongs to the Municipality of Santa Fe and sits at the southern part of the Visayan Sea nearest to Bantayan. It is about nine kilometers long and about two kilometers at its widest breadth. It is accessible from Sta. Fe and from the mainland through Daanbantayan.


      It has three main villages: Bito-on, Hagdan and Langub. All three are connected with each other by a circumferential road. The highest point, which is 62 meters above sea level, is located at Hagdan which is also the location of the island’s only power plant and supplies all the electricity needs of the islanders from 6:00 in the evening to 12:00 midnight. The oldest settlement is found at Bito-on where the only cemetery and public school on the island are found. Langub is known for its limestone caves and for a solar-powered lighthouse situated on a hill. There are no surface fresh-water sources except rainwater or water ferried from the mainland. Main livelihood of people here are fishing, farming and seaweed culture.


      The island is composed of rocky cliffs facing the north and by long strips of white sand on its eastern and western side. Aside those, there are remote small beaches nestled among the rocks and the most unique of which is the ones located at La-aw Cove where a small inlet is partially blocked by a rock from the sea and the beach is covered overhead by a rock canopy. From the sea, a tunnel-like passage lead you to two hidden lagoons located inland. The lagoon area is thickly forested and is quite removed from the nearest community.


      The south, meanwhile, hosts Cantingting Cave where it is home to more than a thousand bats and is presently developed by the village of Langub to foster tourism on the island. A smaller one, Cantita Cave, sits on private land but is accessible, nevertheless. A sunken Japanese freighter off Langub is waiting to be re-discovered by diving enthusiasts. Recently, a small production outfit shot a survival reality video made for cable TV where one of the “island castaway” is a true-blue Cebuano.

      Guintarcan is undeveloped and there are no commercial resorts. However, there are a few family-run cottages at Pasil and Dapdap that you may wish to rent during your stay or you may bring your own tent. Bring abundant water with you for washing and drinking. If you want to get the maximum view of the island, bring a bicycle and tour around it through its circuit road. Seashells, fish and other marine life are plentiful and quite cheap if you compare it to the other neighboring islands of Bantayan and Malapascua.


      How to get to Guintarcan Island? From the North Bus Terminal you ride a bus bound for Daanbantayan, 136 kilometers away, and pay P174.00. Bus fares are adjustable depending on global fuel prices. When you reach the town terminal, you may opt to ride either a tricycle (P10) or a trisikad (P5) and tell the driver to bring you to the municipal abattoir where there is a wharf. There are small motor boats with outriggers for hire from P1,500 (15 pax) to P2,500 (25 pax) or if you want to join the hoi polloi, it is P40 per ride.

      The island is a virtual goldmine for adventure seekers. You could move freely there as long as you notify first the village councils of either Langub, Hagdan or Bito-on. For a fresh start, you may contact Mr. Taddy Rosos at 09321793057 as your source of information and will guide you on everything concerning appointments, billeting, food, water and transportation for a small fee.

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      About the Writer:

      PinoyApache is a regular visitor of Guintarcan Island and recently starred in a survival video shot there. He teaches survival and primitive-living skills to mountaineers and other interested people under Snakehawk Wilderness Skills School. He is owner of a blog called Warrior Pilgrimage and is an article contributor for iSTORYA.NET and Pinoy Mountaineer.
      Comments 33 Comments
      1. trinalla's Avatar
        trinalla -
        wow, another discovery,,,
      1. mAlD|tO's Avatar
        mAlD|tO -
        unsa-on pag ad2? mo agi me main-land sa sta. fe or naay diretso na from daan bantayan?
      1. Mr.DIY's Avatar
        Mr.DIY -
        +1 sa question ni mAID
      1. pinoyapache's Avatar
        pinoyapache -
        Quote Originally Posted by mAlD|tO View Post
        unsa-on pag ad2? mo agi me main-land sa sta. fe or naay diretso na from daan bantayan?
        Naa direct sa Daanbantayan. Read the whole article.
      1. justinblake's Avatar
        justinblake -
        Wow! nice...puno2x sa akong travel blog pohon2x... Thanks for the info.
      1. mAlD|tO's Avatar
        mAlD|tO -
        haha klaro kaayo way koy basa2x :P...naay ka stayhan did2? like 10-15 me kabook
      1. Rickyc's Avatar
        Rickyc -
        I'm from there.

        Thanks for posting our place pinoyapache
      1. Rickyc's Avatar
        Rickyc -
        How many times have you been there pinoyapache?
      1. onig.heck's Avatar
        onig.heck -
        payter kaayu sir! wala gyud diay puso or tabay sa isla sir as water source? lami-a anih lugara...
      1. Rickyc's Avatar
        Rickyc -
        Naa may tabay dha sir as water source.
        Bali, we have 2 sources of water there:
        1. Tabay (deep well)
        2. Rainwater
      1. ambokz's Avatar
        ambokz -
        ga cge nko balik dha sa sta.fe,sa daanbantayan,pru kron pko ani,naa d-i ni.well next blik,mo visit nya mi dri.hehe..nice info.
      1. Maestro_James's Avatar
        Maestro_James -
        nice place uncovered. would it be possible to explore this island in 1 day?
      1. AdamsApples's Avatar
        AdamsApples -
        pirting laayoa ani,unahan pa ni sa carnasa
      1. pinoyapache's Avatar
        pinoyapache -
        Quote Originally Posted by Rickyc View Post
        How many times have you been there pinoyapache?
        Four times. First time was in October 2010 and it was exploratory. Second, I was guiding eighteen Danish nationals there in February 2011. The third try was last August 2012 and, recently, this May 2013 with a film crew.
      1. pinoyapache's Avatar
        pinoyapache -
        Quote Originally Posted by AdamsApples View Post
        pirting laayoa ani,unahan pa ni sa carnasa
        After Jibitnil, kini may kinadul-an nga isla sa mainland.
      1. Monyoung's Avatar
        Monyoung -
        Wow very nice place another pride of cebu.
      1. onig.heck's Avatar
        onig.heck -
        Quote Originally Posted by AdamsApples View Post
        pirting laayoa ani,unahan pa ni sa carnasa
        nah kung mao na layo gyud diay nih?... ang Carnasa Island kay 2-3 hours man... kung dagko ang bawd kay 4 hours gyud gikan sa Tapilon...
      1. AdamsApples's Avatar
        AdamsApples -
        ahw...doul ra diay ni,pwede diay ari ta manukad sa medellin kaysa ngadto dbantayan,matsalams sa info ^^
      1. mingscians's Avatar
        mingscians -
        You are lacking instruction and details on how to get there
      1. Jane Aranas's Avatar
        Jane Aranas -
        wow..very nice place...thanks for the info.

      Facebook Comments


    about us
    iSTORYA.NET is Cebu's Biggest, Southern Philippines' Most Active, and the Philippines' Strongest Online Community!
    follow us
    #top