This is a very late post of a weekend recreation en route to the town of Bindoy in Negros Oriental. My apologies for being so lazy that it took me a year before I share the details on this trip.
My former colleagues invited me one weekend for a getaway north of Dumaguete. I didn’t know where we are going, what sinks on my mind was somewhere on the beach as they informed me to bring plate,spoon and fork, glass, extra clothes and P 200.00. Without hesitation, I loaded all those stuff in my bag 6 hours before our meeting. Set my alarm clock, and woke up as early as 4:30 in the morning.
We departed our meeting place during the time when the colors of the sky slowly changes into an ethereal orange produced by the uprising of the sun. There were twenty of us in the multicab including two children, foods for our midday meal and perhaps snacks.
We pass through the towns of Sibulan,San Jose,Amlan, Tanjay and had a quick stopover at Bais City public market to buy supplementary meals, fresh fish and squid. They also bought wood charcoal for grilling.
What we bring:
6.Eating utensils e.g spoon,fork,glasses,knife…
We arrived at Bindoy Police Station at around 10 am ETA. Motorbikes and private vehicles will be left near the Police station which also serves as a jump-off point to Mantalip reef where the caretakers are waiting for us. We will be transported from the shore to a docking platform of about two kilometres away.
Within the vicinity of the protected area lies a concrete structure that caters self-catering accommodation for daytime and overnight tourists. As you can see at the image above,the facility has a docking platform. Mantalip reef inn has two separate rooms with a double and single bed and private comfort room each that could accommodate two to three persons. Tables and chairs are also provided. The structure has bbq cooking facility, fresh water for bathroom use and dish washing is also provided, electricity is run by solar panels. Sewage and waste water is collected in tanks underneath the structure.
How to get there:
The town of Bindoy is located at 70km North of Dumaguete, ride any Ceres buses heading to Guihulngan,San Carlos or Canlaon city from the provincial capitol. It takes you around 1.5 hours to reach Bindoy from Dumaguete using public transportation and an hour if you have your own vehicle.
We were transported by an outrigger canoe at about 2 kms away from the coast, it took us 30 minutes before we arrived to the platform. It was new and unique experience for me where literally we will be swimming in the midst of the ocean.
We settled our things immediately as soon as we arrived and started preparing our lunch as it was already past 12 noon, the caretakers were also busy as they helped us on grilling the fish and squid. But most of us jump in already straightaway to the ocean.
Mantalip reef is actually a marine reserve. The protected area is approximately 110 hectares teeming with fish and variety of soft and hard corals flaunting all possible color of the rainbow. Understandably, visitors cannot take anything from the sea. Fishing within the area is strictly prohibited. Kudos to the men and women behind this successful project as the reef was in good condition, basically,snorkeling here is a must. How I wish I am bold enough to try scuba diving lessons to see the complete different world down there. Aside from multitude of colorful fishes and corals underneath the reef, I’ve seen several giant clams,school of large and tiny fishes, further down the clear blue waters of the reef are countless shining blue sea star. I was preoccupied of snorkeling around feasting my eyes of vivid environment and fishes that I’ve never seen before.
We hoovered our lunch at around 1 pm, everyone was stomach full,everyone enjoyed our meal, the seafood we bought was freshly cooked.
I enjoyed a spectacular reef scenery here,it’s no surprise the location is great for snorkeling and swimming activity. At P2,500 pesos the place were all by ourselves plus an additional 25 pesos per head for the environmental fee. If you opt to stay overnight, the same rate applies for a maximum of 25 people plus and additional 700 pesos for generator fuel. For reservations please keep in touch with Bindoy Tourism Office/Mayors Office 0917 773 1510 look for Ms.Manil Callet. As we depart the reef, let me leave this following marine conservation tips.
1.Conserve water: The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater will pollute our oceans.
2.Dispose of your trash properly: Any kind of litter pollutes the water and can harm the reef and the fish.
3.Practice safe and responsible diving and snorkeling: Do not touch or step on the reef. Corals are also alive, stepping those specially the soft ones may kill them.
4.Spread the word: Let us spread to our nearest neighbors the importance of conserving our marine system.