The Philippines offers many pristine white sand beaches. And, Cresta de Gallo is only one of these many quiet, secluded and white sand beaches.
The Romblon Province is now making a name as one of the favorite tourist destinations in the Philippines. Lies in it are the natural attractions including Looc Marine Sanctuary, Cantingas River, and Mt. Guiting-Guiting.
The Cresta de Gallo, a pristine small island located in the Province of Romblon, reminds me of Kalangaman Island, Leyte. One of the differences may be is that Cresta de Gallo has zero establishments on it. We could only find cover under the shade of the trees and one or two Nipa huts.
It is truly a pristine islet that I wish it will stay as is. I wish that it will never be exploited into a different level of mass tourism. Sometimes, I guess no one just can’t help but share their experience on this beautiful small island. So, in this article, I’d like to enlighten other through this guide before personally setting foot on this pristine island of Cresta de Gallo.
- 1 How to get to Cresta De Gallo
- 2 What to see in the Islet
- 3 What to Bring in Cresta De Gallo
- 4 Estimated Expenses
- 5 Best time to Visit Cresta De Gallo
- 6 Overnight Stay
- 7 Sunrise and Sunset
- 8 Stroll around the Islet
- 9 Swimming Area
- 10 Diving Site
- 11 Good Place for Picnic
- 12 Protected by the Philippine Law
- 13 Final Takeaway
How to get to Cresta De Gallo
Ferry boats going to Sibuyan Island are available in Batangas Port. The boat trip may have stopovers in Tablas Island and Romblon Island. This will take a more or less twelve (12) hours travel.
If you prefer air travel, available airports near Sibuyan Island are Tablas Airport and Roxas Airport. After approximately an hour of flight to Roxas Airport, you can hire a pump boat in Culasi Port going to the Azagra Point, San Fernando, Sibuyan Island. From Tablas Airport, a jeepney ride can take you to San Agustin Port where you can take a boat ferry ride going to Sibuyan Island Magdiwang Port.
What to see in the Islet
The Cresta de Gallo is a small island that is about an hour away from the South of Sibuyan Island. It is a perfect getaway from the busy city life. It a secluded island surrounded by crystal clear waters with a very fine white sand beach that is almost similar to the Boracay beach. Just minus the huge crowd and the amenities.
For shelter, you can go under the shade of the tree. Or, you can find a Nipa hut where you can rest on.
What to Bring in Cresta De Gallo
There are no establishments around the islet. So, make sure to bring everything you think you’ll need including:
Cellphone (Network signals are available there)
Sun block lotion
Life Vest (I think there are no readily available life vest when hopping to the islet)
Portable Gas Stove
Extra Butane Fuel Canister
The islet has a caretaker
Isla, as the locals call it, is taken care of by a family. They stay in a Nipa house. If there is anything you might want to know or want to ask for an assistance, like for woods for your campfire, you may approach them.
When visiting the Cresta de Gallo, Environmental fee which cost Fifty Pesos (Php 50) can be paid at the local government’s tourism office. The rental fee for the boat is around Three Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (Php 3,500) for a round trip and day tour only.
A local may offer you a bundle service deal which includes the boat rental, baon or packed lunch plus snacks, and a tent. This is good for a group with a minimum of ten (10) persons. And, this may cost a more or less Six Hundred Pesos to Eight Hundred Pesos (Php 600 to Php 800) per person.
Best time to Visit Cresta De Gallo
The ideal time to visit Sibuyan Island for water sports activities may be during the months of November to March. These are when the winds and waves are more intense. April and May are ideal months for those who want a less unpredictable boat travel.
Usually, the best time to visit the island is at six (6) o’clock in the morning or earlier. Around twelve (12) noon, the high tide of seawater may already cover the white sandbar. Through their experience, the boatmen can tell the best time to leave the island to avoid sailing against big waves.
If you want to stay longer on the island, I guess it’s best to prepare for an overnight stay. Locals don’t really recommend staying overnight on the island, but they just couldn’t stop anyone from wanting a once in a lifetime experience in this islet. Just don’t forget to bring your own camping bags and needs.
So, you can set up your tent in the flat area or near the family’s Nipa house. During the night, you can expect strong breeze and a starry night. It will surely be a good night sleep with the fresh air and with the sound of the crashing waves.
Sunrise and Sunset
Other reasons for an overnight stay are the sunrise and sunset in the islet. The quiet sunset will fill the water above and below with orange reflection. While the sunrise is just as stunning as the sunset, but maybe a little better because you know you are able to start your day right. During these moments with no internet connection, traffic jams and other noises and distractions, you’ll just feel sincerely thankful for the new day.
Stroll around the Islet
Walking around the island, including the long stretch of the sandbar, is therapeutic. The walk can help you lose pounds. Also, it relieve you from stress and exhaustion after long travel getting there. As you stroll around the island, you can find seashells, clams, starfish, and rock formations.
The opposite side of the beach facing the Sibuyan Island can be calm. It is just right to take your selfie photos, stroll, and plunge.
On the other hand, the beach facing the Sibuyan Island and Tablas Island may have stronger waves. This is the ideal area for your water sports activities.
A designated diving site is also located in the Cresta De Gallo. About five (5) meter dive, you can already see coral reef with different sizes and forms. You can also get an opportunity of seeing marine animals.
Under the shallow waters around the islet, you can see a handful of colorful fishes. You may even come across rare marine species like stingrays and starfishes.
Good Place for Picnic
For Sibuyan Island tour, visitors often schedule their lunch in Cresta de Gallo. We couldn’t blame them because the place has good ambiance. And, after a long travel and island tours, the visitors will just want to eat and relax. It’s like having a lunch on your own island.
So, you can bring your own fresh seafood and cook them by a grill or portable stove. Fresh sea foods and other raw ingredients can be bought in Sibuyan Island before you set sail in this islet. You can also copy others who requested the boatmen to catch fresh seafood for them. Or, you can just bring your already cooked pack lunch.
Protected by the Philippine Law
The Cresta de Gallo is protected by the Philippine law, more particularly by Presidential Decree 1067 (P.D.1067), which states that no establishments will be constructed within three (3) meters from a shoreline. Let’s just hope no other law will override this.
A signage should be placed by the local government in the islet to remind the visitors not to leave trash in the islet. As for us, travelers, we should not leave our trash on the island. It is best to bring your own garbage bag. Then, properly dispose of it. Also, note that the local government of Sibuyan Island implements an ordinance for proper waste management.
Even by only reading the articles about Cresta de Gallo, one cannot help but fall in love with it. It surely is a must-have in one’s travel bucket list. The pristine small island both ignites our hearts and faith from its shimmering powdery white sand, to the whispering, but a strong breeze, to the crashing of waves, to the shy but lively marine species, to a hope-giving sunset, and to another stunning sunrise.
So, when you pay the Cresta de Gallo a visit, decide whether you’ll stay for a day or overnight. Prepare everything you’ll need. Plan your food menu. Make sure the menu will be able to refuel your energy. And, don’t forget to bring a garbage bag and dispose of it properly. Be responsible and enjoy your stay as well.