It is an honor for me to be invited and be part of the tourism campaign that the Lapu-Lapu City Officials organized by Jonji Gonzales. The Olango My Getaway aim to promote at the same time boost the tourism of Olango Island and the neighboring islet. Together with my fellow Cebu Bloggers Society members and the rest of the organizing team, we spent our weekend in Olango.
While waiting for the barge to take us to the island, the organizers already briefed us on the activities that they have been planning for us to experience. Basically, they wanted us to experience living like a local islander. There is no grandeur resort to stay in the island in which we were on a homestay.
After the sumptuous dinner was served, we were getting ready for the “panulo” in which they will teached us on how to catch crabs and other seafood that you can find on a mangrove swamps. What you need to bring are flashlights, something where you can store your catch, and your passion for adventure. It was not an easy activity as I struggled as I’m slowly sinking on the muddy mangrove swamps. Occasionally, I have to removed my slippers and walked on barefoot mindless of the pointed object that hits my feet. While I’m doing the activity, I can’t help but think about it as a challenge. As a travel bloggers, it’s important for me to experience things that I can’t experience at home – that’s why I travel to explore the world as I need to come out of my shell.
After the “panulo challenge”, we were encouraged to experienced the local disco. I believe that local disco or also known as “discoral” is one of the distinct culture of Filipinos that makes us unique. We can have a disco anytime and anywhere by setting up a music then we’re good to go. I haven’t traveled abroad yet, but I don’t think that there’s another country that can host a disco like what Filipino’s do.
Wildlife Sanctuary – Bird Watching
On the following day, the organizers brought us to the wildlife sanctuary or also known to us as bird watching which makes the Olango famous to the local tourist. A lecture were given to educate us how the sanctuary started then we were freed to explore the place. We were only able to see 3-4 types of birds at that time. However, the sanctuary itself is already worth a thousand pictures.
Our day didn’t end after the bird watching, as a more fun activities are awaited for us – bloggers and the organizers were riding on their bikes as they tour around the island and visited each barangays. Shame on me as I don’t know how to ride a bike and contended watching them as they enjoyed riding on their bicycle while I rode on a service vehicle.
The barangay tour on bicycles started at culinary tour in San Vicente to taste the local delicacy called Salvaro then proceeded to Sta. Rosa to taste the “Pan Bisaya.” We then headed to Barangay Talima and tasted the “Huwad “(humba na buwad). Watched how the pumpboat were made at pumpboat factory in Barangay Baring.
We were also given the chance to listened to the famous “puto balanghoy” (steamed cassava cake) maker in Lapu-Lapu City. He educated us on how to make puto balanghoy from how the toxic chemicals until to the finish product.
Fact: It takes around 14 hours to make “puto balanghoy.”
We also happened to passed by the floating restaurant in Caw-oy. I’m not referring to Lantaw Floating restaurant in Cordova. Olango has its own version of floating restaurant which I encourage everyone to try eating there if you get the chance to visit the island.
After the lunch served back in our host house, we have “lamaw” as our dessert in Barangay Sabang. “Lamaw” is the local term and version of buko salad because we only need coconut fruit and milk.
Of course, the trip won’t be complete without videoke. Another thing that I’ve noticed during the entire trip is that we Filipinos are so fond of videoke. We can set up a videoke house under the tree which makes it “only in the Philippines, or only in Olango rather.”
To complete the local islander experience, learn to appreciate the simple lifestyle of the locals. They also have their own share of domestic challenges. Despite how deprive the locals on some other things, but they never failed to put a smile on their faces.
To complete the local islander experience, appreciate the simple lifestyle of the locals. You would realized that despite how deprive the locals on some other things but they never failed to put a smile on their faces.
As I’ve traveled around for this entire year, I realized that the most enjoyable trips are those that I was trying to blend with the local… those trips that I’ve accommodate what they can offer and not the other way around.
On your next trip, I would would encourage you to live like a local. It’s the experience that will give you the best memories and not what you have seen.
For information on how to reach Olango Island and arrange a tour similar to this, contact Lapu-Lapu City on their official Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/lapulapucity
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