ONUK Island: What to do when stuck for 3 days

balabac onuk island travel guide (1)
Photo by Sir Ryan

Bearing the sheer strength of the Northeast monsoon, we disembarked to seemingly perilous trip from Balabac proper to the shores of sheer beauty – Onuk Island.

balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (78).jpg

It is already my second time to visit this farfetched archipelago of pristine beauty, however, in the last quarter of the year 2018. My heartfelt thanks to Ms. Lorna Mortega, who hosted our trip there. To conveniently arrange your Balabac Island tour, please contact her at +63 946-557-6503 (Smart/TnT/Sun) or +63 906-690-9547 (Globe/TM). Below are her boats you can rent.

 

Here is another link for detailed travel guide:

https://kapampangantraveller.wordpress.com/2016/12/25/balabac/

Tip: Best to visit Balabac during summer and when both monsoon winds (NorthEast and Southwest) are not in season. According to Kuya Onyok, the waters are calm during those months, however, the huge influx of tourists.

manila clark iloilo cebu to puerto princesa rio tuba balabac onuk island travel guide blog budget kapampangant traveler.jpg
Visual Guide going to Balabac

We made it to the island, however, few hours after we docked, unfavorable Northeastern monsoon winds start to brunt its strength. The strong whistling winds sustained for more than two days leaving as stuck in the island. From afar, we can see gigantic waves and whitewash with an unaided eye. For safety reasons, we chose to stay and enjoy the island’s every nook and crannies.

balabac onuk island travel guide (5)
Fine white sand of Onuk, at par with Boracay (photo by Sir Ryan)

What to do in Onuk if you are stuck?

WADE ITS CLEAR WATERS – especially during low tide. Coupled with fine white sand, it is hard not to heed its call. There is a ruined stilted structure which you can walk in knee-high waters.

balabac onuk wading waters.JPG
Sir Ryan enjoying the shallow waters of Onuk Island
balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (42).jpg
Shades of Blue (photo by Sir Ryan)
onuk island travel guide.JPG
No filter photo

SNORKEL  – unlike other islands of Balabac, Onuk Island has its own reef teeming with diverse marine life. Just be aware of the current. Best to snorkel with fins. Both sides of the island are surrounded by coral reefs. Should it be high tide, you can ask your boatman to bring you to the right spot.

balabac snorkeling in onuk island (1)
coral reef in Onuk
balabac snorkeling in onuk island (2)
Sea Grass Area in Onuk

 

 

ENJOY THE ISLAND’S CORE – The central part of the island is covered with coconut trees and other flora. There is also a helipad. Be careful with some shrubs because of their spiny edges. There are chickens and ducks as well freely roaming this spot.

balabac onuk island travel guide (2)
Photo by Sir Ryan
balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (72).JPG
Me and Sir Ryan enjoying the island vibe

 

SWIM WITH SEA TURTLES – there is a rich seagrass area right beside the kitchen area of Onuk Island. Should you be lucky, wild sea turtles will visit and feed on the seagrass. It is like underwater grazing! Suggest maintaining silence to not frighten away the turtles. During our stay, we are able to see more than five turtles per batch. We just observed them above the deck. Do not underestimate these gentle sea creatures, you might notice their speed underwater should you wish to swim near them. Suggest not to touch them.

 

 

balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (38)
Approaching Onuk Island (Photo by Sir Ryan)

 

WASTE TIME AT THE HAMMOCK – Best spot to spend me-time! Lucky we are, that only four guests are at the island during our stay. With that hammock, almost free to the whole day, I spent hours snoozing with headphones plugged.

balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (81).jpg
My favorite spot at the island
balabac palawan onuk island travel guide
Sir Ryan enjoying his me-time

 

CIRCUMVENT THE ISLAND – Onuk Island can be explored in less than half an hour. Rimmed with fine white sand, your toes would surely be wanting to saunter its edges. Best to do this during low tide. Should you see some trash, suggest to pick them up and

balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (122).jpg
Catching breath halfway around the island. It was about to rain when this photo was taken.
balabac onuk island travel guide (4)
At the other side of Onuk Island (Photo by Sir Ryan)
balabac onuk island travel guide (7)
Photo by Sir Ryan

PLAY LIKE A KID – unleash your inner child! Play the usual games you do during your school years. Fly a kite, play “patintero”, “tagtagan”, “piko”. Do you think you can play “Langit Lupa” here?

DCIM101GOPROG0351720.
Yin Yang pose over Onuk’s shallow waters
balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (71).JPG
Go Throw?!
balabac onuk island travel guide (3)
Sir Ryan nip slip Pose before swimming

 

SUNRISE AND SUNSET WATCHING – since the island is surrounded by expansive, you can enjoy both sunrise and sunset. Watch as colors of landscape and seascape change dramatically while perched over the stilted house.

balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (77)
The stunning sunset colors over Onuk Island
balabac palawan onuk island travel guide (3).jpg
Shades of blue by Sir Ryan

 

PHOTOSHOOT UNLIMITED – Immortalize your memories. Bring out all your selfie and groufie poses. If you are into vlogging, this is a spot best to record. Enjoy every angle and perspective of Onuk Island.

balabac photoshoot onuk island.JPG

balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (75).jpg

balabac photoshoot basic.JPG

 

WATCH OUT FOR GLOWING PLANKTONS – At the dark side of the island, you can sit and watch for the crashing waves. This is where most of the glowing blue planktons are. At first sight, I felt a bit creepy, however, I enjoy observing them despite being alone at the dark side of the island.

balabac blue plankton.jpg
See the glowing blue specks? Photo by Sir Ryan

 

MILKY WAY HUNTING – Since of its distance from Balabac proper, and after the lights go out, head out for the right time and right angle of the sky to catch the faint milky way.

balabac palawan milky way.jpg
November is not the best time to capture the milky way (30sec 18mm ISO1600 around 8PM)

 

SHARE MEALS AND STORIES WITH THE CARETAKERS – nothing beats connecting and knowing the island’s part from the first-hand source, the caretakers. They would be happy to share its history and how the island developed through the years. Since not all of the days they have guests at the island, I believe the caretakers are happy to indulge conversations to break the boredom.

balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (116).jpg
Me, Kuya Onyok, the Caretaker and Sir Ryan

 

What to expect in Onuk Island? 

  • There are roofed structures connected by a stilted bridge.
  • They have electricity at night ran by a generator. Fuel available is good for 1-2 hours. It is during this time you can charge your gadgets.
  • They have a solar powered charger. But it is for their personal use. You can ask politely if you need to recharge.
  • They have a kitchen area.
  • They have limited freshwater stock, so schedule well your bathing and washing.
  • Despite its distance, note that there is a 3g signal at Onuk. Find the spot strongest should you wish to update your social media accounts.

 

 

 

 

One of the many breakfasts that Kuya Onyok and Ate Lorna served to us during our stay in Balabac. Would like to note that Kuya Onyok’s dishes are amazing! During our stay in Onuk, he is the one who does the cooking for us – from breakfast to dinner. My heartfelt thanks to Kuya Onyok!

balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (109).jpg
Bidding goodbye to Onuk Island

 

Thank you to Sir Richard Ryan of Davao City for joining me in this unexpected treacherous trip to Balabac Island.

balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (65)
Trike in Rio Tuba

Balabac is the southernmost municipality of Palawan and has more spots waiting to be discovered. With its distance from the main urban Puerto Princesa, its pristine beauty is still kept from the eyes of the local and foreign travelling community.

balabac onuk onok island palawan travel guide blog (76).jpg
The fiery sunset as backdrop to the brewing storm over Main Balabac Island

 

Advertisements

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s