Saturday, August 17, 2013

Panikian Island, Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur

shores of Panikian Island, Pitogo, Zamboanga Del Sur

It was such a regret that I had that 12 oz latte from Bo’s coffee in Robinsons C3 Mall in Pagadian Town Center. It was almost 3am when I lost consciousness, and it was past 10 in the morning when I woke up. The initial plan was to wake up at about 7 am, so I can do a quick day trip to the Panikian Island, and then head to Zamboanga city by night. Nevertheless, it was too late to whine; Second, cancelling the Panikian trip is not an option. I am already in Pagadian, and I’d rather cut from the latter plans that cancel this where I am in at the moment.

Meantime, I have yet to find out whether it is safe indeed to travel to Pitogo. Which made the decision making even worse; I sat on a bakery in front of the Cerilles terminal in Pagadian, ordered a cup of coffee and bread, while carefully analyzing my next move.

I received a text message from the Zamboanga tourism that Solo travelling is not encouraged. Likewise, I asked Doc Wendell of Journeysandtravels and said there might be some security risks at this time. What I thought was, since I was already in the terminal, I can probably head to Pitogo, and check with the Municipality.

It was already lunchtime when I left and took me an hour and half to get to Pitogo. I asked to be dropped in the Municipality and from there, met the Municipal Administrator Mr Roland Eta who has been so accommodating and kind to ask JP (one of his staff) to assist me in getting a boat to the island. I told them I just need a quick 20 minute in the island, and that I will try to catch the last 4pm trip back to Pagadian City. They’ve explained I may not make it, but best to get to the shore asap and try my luck, which we did.

We walked into some of his (JP’s) acquaintances, and the first 2 fishermen said it was already late. Thing is, the skies were dark and wind was blowing strong. Finally, the third one we approached walked us to the shore and was kind of evaluating the weather. It was even low tide such that his boat will not make it to sailing. I was quiet, and thinking of a good backup plan.

All of a sudden, the boatman spoke and said, if you want, you can sleep in the island, and then wake up early for the trip back to Pagadian. I was going to kiss his ass had he asked. It never came to mind, and such castaway arrangements are a delight.

JP and I walked back to the market for some goods (food, alcohol, cigarettes) and just a little while later, we’re ready to leave. It was almost 5pm when we reached the island. I was greeted by the security personnel in the island whom sir Roland called up ahead to inform.

After our dinner and midway thru the liter of Emperador light, one of the younger patroller asked me for the time; It was almost 8pm. I was asked if I’d be joining them go around the island and see the turtles as they lay eggs, which, of course I did. Apart from the hundreds of sparkling fireflies that flocked on some trees, we spotted 2 seasnakes, and 5 turtles (2 of which laid eggs).

It was around 8am when we left the following day. Before heading to mainland though, we had a quick roundabout of the island and the nearby islet. Sadly, the reef is a coral sanctuary except much of the corals are cracked down by dynamite fishing.

see here for post on how to go to panikian island in Pitogo, Zamboanga Del Sur

This trip is part of my 13 day Southern Mindanao Trip. I posted a few details of my schedule and expenses here


  1. grabe lakas ng loob!sana mawaha ako sa yo master Ian!:)

  2. I love your entry............


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