Among the many breathtaking natural attractions that I have explored in the whole Bucas Grande Islands, there is one magical place that until now bedazzled me. This place is called Jellyfish Sanctuary.

Having toured to the key tourist spots in the whole islands, I thought I had seen enough. Truthfully, all these wonders of nature were captivating. But when our tour guide led us to the Jellyfish Sanctuary, everything seemed surreal. As if we were brought to the other world. Here’s the story.
After our island tour at Bubon Group of Islets, we sailed back to Sohoton Reception Center. It was already late afternoon. Upon reaching the Center, we were told that we will be transferring to small paddleboats in going to the Jellyfish Sanctuary. Motorized boats are strictly not allowed getting inside the whole sanctuary. The small paddleboats can carry two passengers and a boatman. In my case, I was the only passenger.
The sail going to the Jellyfish Sanctuary was out of the ordinary experience. The waters were calm. The whole environs were wrapped by tranquility I can hear the rowing of the paddles. The enigmatic chirping of various wild birds made the sail more exciting. I’ve tried boating in different places but this one was entirely surreal.

The Entrance of the Jellyfish Sanctuary

Nearing the mouth of the Sanctuary, my boatman named Richmond began narrating the story behind the mystical beauty of the Jellyfish Sanctuary. I learned from him that some years ago the whole place was originally inhabited by multitude of sea urchins locally known as “Tujom” hence they formerly called the place Tujoman. One day, for some unknown reason, this huge number of sea urchin dwelling at Tujoman began disappearing until none of them was left. As days gone by, a smack of jellyfishes began congregating the place. It was becoming a larger group and local folks began noticing. Soon, the locals found out that these jellyfishes dwelling in the waters of Tujoman were non-stinging. The smack of jellyfishes grew into a great number. It even multiplied to millions of jellyfishes permanently dwelling in the place. Soon after, they called the place “The Jellyfish Sanctuary”. They later opened the place for tourists but intense protection and preservation of the Sanctuary were maintained.

Limestone forests abounds inside the Jellyfish Sanctuary

As we enter the opening of the Jellyfish Sanctuary, there was one thing I instantly noticed about the place. There was a profound tranquility that enveloped the whole environs. Everything that I see there was filled with calmness and peace. It was a very contagious serenity I can feel it inside me.

The first jelly fish that i saw made me shout in amazement.

Sailing forward, jellyfishes began to appear in the waters. I shouted in amazement seeing the very first jellyfish that appeared in the waters. Another smack of jellyfishes we passed by. And then another. And another. As we moved towards the very heart of sanctuary, multitude of jellyfishes surrounded our boats. Again, I felt I was on another planet. This was surreal. Slowly, I was beginning to get emotional. Teary-eyed, I looked around praising and admiring such a spectacular body of water fully inhabited by millions of stunning jellyfishes.

Sitting at the edge of the boat, I noticed a smack of jellyfish flocking around out tiny vessel. I learned from Richmond that jellyfishes here are naturally friendly. They even come closer when boats are coming in. Since these creatures are non-stinging, I excitedly caught one jellyfish out of the water and held it in my hands. As soon as I felt its texture and seen its form, I let go of it. Richmond told me jellyfishes can only last for ten seconds out of the water. So, I had to put it back.

I had to admit I fear jellyfishes. They are noted to be stingingly perilous. But the jellyfishes of the Bucas Grande Islands are non-stinging and friendly. They even came closer towards us. It seemed they wanted play around with us. They were so welcoming. I put my hands in the waters at once and they came nearer. They were like wonderful pets. Amazing creatures.

Before the sundown, the group started to leave the Sanctuary. All of us left the place charmed and amazed by what we saw. In my case, I felt overly joyous having experienced such tremendous encounter with the jellyfish. I was very lucky too that my boatman Richmond was kind and smart enough to tell me everything I want to know about the Sanctuary. After all, it is one of their prides.

This is ME with a non-stinging jellyfish in my hands.

Having gone and experienced this unique adventure with the Jellyfishes of Bucas Grande Islands, I felt another dream of mine has realized. I used to dream of going to the island nation of Palau and swim with the jellyfishes at the Jellyfish Lake of Eil Malk but now I need not to go out of the country to fulfill this bizarre experience. My beautiful island of the Philippines now boasts the Jellyfish Sanctuary of Bucas Grande Islands that is undeniably a world-class natural attraction that can definitely put all tourists, local and foreign alike, in so much awe and amazement like those in Palau.

Me and travel buddies amazed by the enchanting Charms of the Jellyfish Sanctuary.

My closest encounter with jellyfish at the Sanctuary is the highlight of my Bucas Grande Island Exploration. Other natural wonders of the Island are indisputably attractions to behold. But experiencing Jellyfish Sanctuary is absolutely an exceptional experience. It is commendable and worth to experience again. If given a chance, I shall back there and swim and play with the jellyfishes again.

Meet Richmond, my gracious boatman. Many thanks.

Experiencing Jellyfish Sanctuary of the Bucas Grande Islands is the final stop of my Bucas Grande Island Exploration.

FOR GUIDED TOUR, you may call contact:

Accredited Tour Guide of Socorro Tourism Office

This is the sixth part of “EXPLORING CARAGA REGION: The Travel Series



  1. I am jealous. You captured my paradise in better photos than i have. =)
    si dodong richmond pud akong paddler the last time. iyang boat akong gipili kay bag-o pa. lol

    love the page design. nice!

    1. Hi Jaypz,

      Nice to hear from you. At long last, nadayun jud gihapon akong pangandoy to go to the Bucas Grande Islands. Remember, dugay na ko nangandoy mukadto diari. 🙂 Richmond was very helpful. All things I said here are based on the story of Richmond. I am looking forward to be back here someday. 🙂

  2. Wow! That was a very wonderful experience. I hope I can visit the place too. I never thought that there are non-stinging jellyfish alive. 😀 Nice set of photos there!

    1. Hi Bofill, thank you. Swimming and diving with the jellyfishes is a once in a lifetime experience. I highly recommend this place to discovered and seen. 🙂 I never thought our country the Philippines has this kind of natural wonder. It was a very mystical place to be. 🙂

      1. Yep, that’s true. At first I thought that we only have fish sanctuaries here. Never really heard of a Jellyfish Sanctuary. I have experienced swimming at a fish sanctuary at Honda Bay Palawan. I want to try this one too. 🙂

  3. Wow ang gaganda ng pictures! Especially that one of you holding the jelly fish. Medyo takot ako dyan pero gusto ko rin hawakan hehe 😀 Ngayon i know na why super excited ka when you were narrating this story to us sa Demitasse 😀

    1. Wow. Naalala mo pa pala tlga Myx how excited I was narrating my trip here at the Bucas Grande Islands. You guys should also come and discover this for yourselves. Kuyugin mo si andrew. Hahahaha. 🙂 Thanks thanks thanks. 🙂

  4. Hi, it was great reading ur blog about my hometown. It brought so much childhood memories of Dinagat Island. The islands, beaches, jelly fish… it’s my whole childhood experience. Thanks a lot for sharing =)

  5. WOWOWOWOWOW! ang daming jellyfish!! me too, never thought we had jellyfish sanctuary in the country tapos danhe pajud sa Mindanao. Amazing!!

    My first encouter w/ jellyfish was in Britannia last May, isa ra to kabuok ako nakitAn pero lipay kaayo ko…I can’t imagine myself playing hundreds of them just like above! Whoaahh!!! mura cguro ko og bata! hehehe…:D

    Thanks a lot for sharing your adventures Sir Olan, enjoy kaayo basahon mga post nimo, it made me feel I was there maski wala pa..hehehe 😉

    Hope this will be your next plan tour after Bangangga..looking forward to it . 😉

  6. Is it possible to give me your personal email address so that I can ask you for more detailed travel information of Bucas Grande Island and Dinagat Island. I will take a group of 10 persons from HK to visit Surigao/Siargao in early Sept,2012. Your blog is great and all pictures are very nice. Thanks!

  7. I have been to Bucas Grande Islands and truly this place is enchanting 🙂 We stayed there for 3 days and still can’t get enough. The long rides are exhausting but was worth every agony when we finally reached to this place. And oh, we used your site for travel information since we seriously just bought tickets for Surigao and everyone who came were not familiar with the place. We only had to remember the names of the places we wanted to visit (Bucas Grande Islands, Hinatuan Enchanted River, Tinuy-an Falls then last stop was Davao City). We had no idea as to how to get to those places and where to stay. It was the best experience I have had so far. Travelling with less planning is so much fun than the planned ones. 🙂

  8. Hi,

    Your blog has enticed me to visit Bucas Grande esp the jellyfish sanctuary. Can you please give me details of your travel plan? How many days all in all and where you stayed?

    Thanks very much and appreciate your help!

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