The pictures I’ve attached here in my blog are some of the the highlights of our MOAP and Dolphin Island adventure last 2006.
Dolphin Island, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
Being a beach bum, one of my favorite adventures are to beach/island hop and skin dive. Skin diving is simply diving with mask, snorkel and fins without the aid of compressed air tank. So normally during skin diving, the average depth that you can reach is about 10 feet. Since most of our coral reef formations here in Philippines are “fringing reef type”, most of the coral formations here are quite shallow. One of the good places where one can do such activities is the Island of Mindanao. The Island of Mindanao offers majestic and breathtaking sites where one can soak in the sun, go white water rafting in rivers, spelunk, hike, dive, island hop, trek etc..If you want to dive to some coral reef formation, go TARZAN among mangroves (exaggerating!), feed fishes and swim with them then I recommend you go to the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park in Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental!
I have attached here some of the pictures my friends and I took during our escapade there!
How to get there?
If you’re from outside the Philippines:
Take a plane going to Manila. From Manila, take another plane to Dipolog City which is about 3 hours away from Sinacaban going south by bus. An alternate route is by barge from Manila to Ozamiz City. Ozamiz City is the capital of Misamis Occidental and is about 30 minutes away from Sinacaban by bus. Get off the bus when you get to Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP). You can always ask the driver to get you to MOAP as it’s a famous place around the area and plus most bus drivers are nice and accommodating so don’t hesitate to ask for directions!
For more information on how to get there, you can visit this site:
Where you can stay?
MOAP has dorm type and cottage type accomodations.
What you expect to experience?
MOAP has mini zoo where you can find exotic animals such as Philippine crocodiles, bird, tarsier, monkeys and snakes. The zoo is situated right within a mangrove area and the animal cages can be accessed through a network of elevated bamboo bridge. Since the zoo is within a mangrove area it gets flooded with sea water during high tides so that one can also observe fishes, jellyfishes, etc. swimming below the bridge. Aside from the zoo, you can also visit their fish ponds and aquariums that house Philippine Carps, fresh water prawns, lobsters and other yummy fishes. So if you want to eat fresh sea food, just purchase them by the kilo and ask the restaurant there to cook it for you.
Of course, your trip in MOAP is not complete if you don’t hop (figuratively, of course!) towards the DOLPHIN ISLAND! To get there, just cross another bamboo bridge towards the floating restaurant. This restaurant is situated on the sea (hence, floating) about 100 meters (if I’m not mistaken) from the coast. You can ask the restaurant’s staffs that you want to go to the island and they can arrange the trip for you, it’s that easy! It takes about 15 minutes to get from MOAP to the island on a pump boat or forever if you swim (kidding). If you plan to snorkel, the best time to leave for Dolphin Island is early in the morning during high tide. Once you get to the island, it’s best to order what you want to have for lunch on the island’s restaurant first as it takes quite a bit of a time for them to “process” your order :-) Then after ordering for your food, you can cross another network of bamboo bridge to observe the dolphins (hence the island’s name!), tortoises (average length of adults is 1 meter) and other cute and colorful fishes! If you’re not satisfied, you can rent snorkeling gears (mask, snorkel and fins). They are usually cheap so don’t worry about spending a lot.. and actually, you can bring your own gears if you have them.If you’re not a confident swimmer, you can hire a small boat/canoe so you can kayak your way around the island! For booking, visit