Fantasy Island

by Stephanie Gallardo

Philippines is home to more than 7107 islands that lure tourists to feel the sea, sand, and air and experience the country’s unique culture. Some of the most popular island destinations are Boracay, Panglao, Coron, and El Nido.

But did you know that there’s one island in the province of Iloilo known for its crystal clear waters, powdery white sand, and long snake-like sandbar? It’s about time you get to know Bolobadiangan Island in Concepcion, Iloilo.

Concepcion is in the northern part of Iloilo Province. From the airport, get on a taxi to the Ceres bus terminal where you can take the bus, either air-conditioned or regular, to the said town.

The bus ride takes three hours but it’ll be worth it as you’re surely going to enjoy the sights. Sprawling rice fields, green mountains, and the blue sea in the distance will keep you company.

Once you arrived in Concepcion, head to the fish port where you can get on a boat which will take you to the island. Travel time is approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

You will never miss Bolobadiangan Island because of its eye-catching sandbar which is already visible halfway through your boat ride. The long stretch of white sand glistens in the sun, beckoning you towards it. Its snake-like shape acts as a partition, separating the deep waters from the shallower area. A closer look later will make you realized that this sandbar is made of sand and pulverized corals and seashells of different colors.


Once you arrived in the island, you’ll be welcomed by the gentle sound of the waves crashing to shore and the happy laughter of children swimming or building sandcastles in the sandbar. With sun beating at your back, the cool air fanning your face, and the feel of soft sand between your toes, you finally arrived in paradise.

Bolobadiangan Island isn’t exactly popular for its name but for the resort located here. The Sandbar Island Beach Resort offers guests affordable cottages made of bamboo or you can pitch your own tent for an even cheaper price.

Meanwhile, you may opt to cook your own food in one of the common kitchens located in the resort. The back of the island is inhabited and many fishermen sell their catch to visitors. Just imagine, grilling your very own fish still fresh (and alive!) from the sea. Another option is to bring your own food and let the management cook for you for a low price.

On the other hand, the island also has a transient house where you can stay. Villa Manuela is located a few meters from the Sandbar and has three rooms where guests can stay.

You’ll never run out of things to do in the island. For starters, you can swim all you want. If you’re facing the island, it’s best to swim on the left side of the sandbar where it’s shallower. The right side isn’t exactly safe for swimming especially for children. The waters are deep especially during high tide.

Bolobadiangan Island is perfect for snorkeling and diving too. It’s home to some of the most colorful corals and fishes. There’s also an area where you can find giant clams.

The serene waters of the island also make it the ideal place for boating or canoeing. You can rent a boat and explore the island with a guide or even try your luck at hook and line fishing and later cook your own catch. Another way to enjoy the day is to rent a motorized boat and visit the surrounding islands Concepcion is so famous for.

Night time isn’t exactly as exciting compared to other known tourist destinations in the country. There’s no night life in Bolobadiangan Island where solar power and generator are used to supply electricity. By 10 p.m., the generator’s off and you only have your solar lamp and the stars to light your way.

Tips for your trip

If you’re planning to visit Bolobadiangan Island, here are some tips to help you have a hassle-free vacay:

  • Book with the local tourism office

The Tourism Office aids tourists by the time they reach Concepcion. The friendly and hospitable employees can arrange a boat to take you to the island and at the same time help you book a place to stay in the island depending on your choice or budget.

  • Bring your necessities

Better bring your own drinking water with you as mineral water is quite expensive in the island. If you’re staying for a few days, it’s best to bring fruits and vegetables too as they don’t sell them in the island.

  • Make early reservations

Bolobadiangan Island may not be very popular with tourists yet but it gets overbooked especially during peak season like summer, Lent, and long weekends.

Bolobadiangan Island is a rising star among the thousands of islands in the Philippines. Though it’s still in the process of developing its services and amenities, there’s no doubt it will soon rise above the other destinations that overshadow its natural beauty today.