I’ve had too many blogs about Siquijor that I realized I haven’t written yet about Apo Island, an island that’s a boatride away from the resort we stayed in Zamboangita, Negros Oriental.
Apo Island had been in my bucket list since way back 2001 when I worked as a contractor for an NGO whose advocacy was about integrated protected areas. Apo Island was in the list. True enough, the island has a marine reserve and is currently being closely managed by the Philippines’ Department of Natural Resources (DENR). When we got to the island, all of us tourists had to register and pay an environmental fee at DENR’s office.
From the sea, the island’s facade was a rich color of green. We found from our boat captain that there was no electricity in the island, and almost every house there run on solar energy in the daytime, and powered by generators from 6 o’clock until 10 o’clock at night. I applaud this, as a supporter of renewal energy.
Apo Island is known for being a sanctuary for sea turtles. They have feeding areas where guests can avail services of certified guides to be able to swim through it. I opted to just snorkel around the surrounding areas. I figured if I’m bound to meet a sea turtle, then I will. I didn’t want to force the encounter.
I didn’t meet one, sigh. But I met a lot of sea wildlife like colorful fish, starfish, sea cucumber, and corals. It was a whole new world undersea. I really hope the locals can be able to preserve this island’s natural resources for the generations yet to come.