It was the reverberating sounds of flying fox bats that wakened me up that early dawn as they all flew back to the tall old trees in the hillside of Tuke Maklang in Sarangani Island. It lasted for almost an hour I couldn’t go back to sleep. Hence, I got up, fixed my things and readied myself for our final day at the seemingly enchanting Islands of Sarangani, Davao Del Sur, the southernmost town of the whole Davao Region.
As settled, our last day at Sarangani will be spent at most prized Island gem of this island town – the sparkling Island of Olaniban. I was as excited as everybody else for this Island is known for its powdery pearl white sand beach and vast shoreline the encircled the whole oval-shaped island. What’s more, the name of the island sounded clearly like my first name and the thought of it got me more excited.
“My name is OLAN and I am at OLANIBAN ISLAND.”
Sounds cool, I thought…
It was still early when we left Tuke Maklang. The waters were gentle and quite friendly this time. Olaniban Island is quite far from where we stayed but the boat ride didn’t bore us because to we got see other interesting places that this island town boasts. We got to glimpse the view of the scenic Bolae Cove, some quiescent coastal villages and long stretch of white sand beaches nearby.
As we sailed further, the tiny view of Olaniban Island became clearer. Seeing it, I rushed to the edge of the boat to get a closer look and hoped to capture its enticing view. And it didn’t fail me. The oval shaped island is just so striking we wanted the boat to get there straight away. Its white sand beach sparkled luring us to bask and frolic on it.
When we finally reached the island, I was the first one to go down from vessel and immediately hurried to the white sand shore and yelled at the top of lungs the line I had been rehearsing in the boat. “My name is OLAN and I am at OLANIBAN ISLAND”, I shouted. I was like a little kid thrilled by sheer excitement. Finally, my feet touched the sparkling sands charming us from afar. And at one moment, I fell in love with the island.
It was high tide when we docked at Olaniban. I learned that the best way to enjoy the waters of the island is to go there during high tide as water level reaches the powdery white sand shores. At an instant, the call of the sea became so irresistible I wanted to soak to the waters but the view of the beach was most appealing I ended up photographing every captivating sight instead.
I walked around the 24-hectare island for two hours enjoying the powdery white sand that encircled the whole island. It is covered thickly by coconut trees although some mangrove trees of different species also abound the side. Talisay trees and dwarf coconut trees on the other hand are planted near the shores making it the best spot to just sit and enjoy the scenic view around.
As I walked further, I was amazed to see the powdery white sands slowly turning pinkish. I have been to a few pink sand beaches in the country but I didn’t know I can see one here at Olaniban. Red pipe organ corals abound at the island. The presence of these corals when mixed with white sands made the sands pinkish in color. Seeing this made me admire the island more.
Another photogenic site at Olaniban is the White Lighthouse built few meters from the shoreline. It was built in the area facing the great Sarangani Strait. I learned that the old lighthouse was built by the Americans during the American regime in the country to guide their ships en route to Australia. Today, the old lighthouse is an added attraction when visiting Olaniban Island.
The sun was high and scorching but I couldn’t care less. The island is just so perfect I could bask there for the whole day under the sun. And though the mighty sun was shining down pitilessly upon my sun-kissed skin, sea breeze in contrast was fanning the heat away. And the best way to cool down is to simply dip into the enticing waters of the island. And one second, I found myself rushing to the turquoise waters luxuriating in Olaniban’s own charm of island living.
MORE PHOTOS OLANIBAN PHOTOS
Olaniban Island is truly Saragani’s precious gem. Every visitor – beach lover or not – would certainly fall in love with island’s fascinating charm. Staying there for one day is not enough. I left the island along with my equally-adventurous friends filled with hope of coming back here and perhaps stay longer to relish its incomparable allure.
My name is OLAN and I fell in love with OLANIBAN ISLAND!