Apo Island day trip from Dumaguete

Dumaguete Day Trip: Silliman Marine Lab to Apo Island



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It’s always great to have visitors from home stop by, and in July my friend/mentor/former boss Kenny Mendez from Trout Unlimited came over to the Philippines with his family to visit relatives on the island of Luzon. After a week of unwinding on the resort island of Boracay, Kenny, Liz, Nick, Will and Theo caught a flight to Cebu and then the Ocean Jet ferry to Dumaguete for a quick visit to Apo and tour Dumaguete. We covered a lot of ground in two days, and you can see some photos from our adventures here.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Kenny and family arrived from Katiclan via Cebu on the Ocean Jet ferry; if you look closely you can spot Kenny and the youngest Mendez, Theo on the view deck of the ship.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Sure, getting killed from above by a coconut is no joking matter, but Kenny and I had to stage this enactment of the worst case scenario of the "Falling Coconut" sign at the Silliman Marine Lab. The Lab actually puts this sign on a great keychain that I carry around myself.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    For dessert Nick got the halo-halo, a great Filipino concoction.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    The next morning we got an early start and caught a ride with Liberty's van to the Malatapay boat landing.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Wednesday is market day in Malatapay, so the vendor stalls were filled with produce and livestock of all varieties from braying caribou to squealing pigs to these freshly caught jackfish or mamsa from Apo Island.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    The Mendez boys.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Our group was pretty big, so we had two sea taxis to ferry us over to Apo, it was almost like the "Amazing Race".

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Once we got to Apo we had lunch, and afterwards I went for a quick dive at Apo's Katipanan Point. In the cooler part of the afternoon when the sun was going down, we all took a hike around the island and visited the communities where about 700 people live. In this photo we are at the crest of one of the higher hills on Apo.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    We met these friendly policemen from the mainland who periodically patrol Apo to make sure everything is safe and running smoothly.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Sunset on the beach is one of the many highlights of staying out overnight at Apo Island.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Kenny and I climbed Apo's rickety lighthouse tower. I've taken a lot of variations on this photo with most of the visitors who have come to see me here, I just think it's a cool shot.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Here's the gang; after some coordinated trip planning between Kenny and I, it was great to finally have the whole family arrive in Dumaguete. From left: Theo, Kenny, Liz, Will, and Nick.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    For dinner we were in Liberty's cozy dining room. Cozy both because of the company, the friendly staff, the nice design of the room, but also because of the tropical heat.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Here's another shot of our dinner at Liberty's.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    After dinner we went out on the beach for a little music with my guitar.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    There was a full moon over the beach and on a long exposure (about 15 seconds), you can see a few stars flickering in the background behind the palm trees.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    The moonlight was bright enough for me to cast a shadow on the sand beside the bangka boat I sat on while I was playing my guitar.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Here's another long exposure, I really like how this one turned out.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    The next morning we woke up to a breakfast of mango and banana pancakes in Liberty's dining room.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    My friend Mario, the Barangay Captain of Apo, stopped by for a visit and to tell Kenny and his family a little bit about the history of the marine sanctuary on the island.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    A squall blew through just as we were getting ready to leave, creating a misty canopy behind the Boluarte rocks that obscured the view of the mainland.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    The surf was too rough, and the tide too high for Kenny and Liz to catch the boat at Liberty's beach landing, so we picked them up on the adjacent beach.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    The seas were a little rough as the Ocean Jet pulled in to the Dumaguete pier, and the porters wrested with the gang plank like it was some sort of wild beast.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Here's a shot of one of Apo's fishermen and the Boluarte rocks.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Kenny and Liz were marooned on the beach of the neighboring Apo Island Resort because of the rough seas.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Kenny and Liz were marooned on the beach of the neighboring Apo Island Resort because of the rough seas.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    The crossing was a rough one, and everyone got a few waves over the bow splashed on them.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Here's the arrival back on dry land at Malatapay.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    This little fellow was there to greet us.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    After a quick clean up at my host house, we were off to the airport in a tricycle cab for Kenny and family to catch their flight back to Manila.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Nick was first off the boat with the new Harry Potter book in hand--I wanted to hear his review and compare it to the first books.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    Nick picked up a swank Rolex while he was traveling.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    The first stop in Dumaguete was at my favorite local chicken place, the City Burger; we all stocked up on the best chicken barbeque in town. I also took my brother Preston there when he was here visiting in February.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    After lunch we stopped by my Peace Corps assignment at the Silliman University Marine Lab Interpretive Center (museum) to see the coastal environment murals being painted by my friend Jutsze Pamate. We used some of my photos from the nearby reefs as examples for Jutsze to use in his work. Helping Jutsze out with the murals has been my favorite project at the Lab so far.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    I took Kenny and Liz on a vip tour of the Marine Lab. One of the stops on the circuit is the whale bone museum that holds the world's second largest collection of Brydes (pronounced broo-dus) whale. Kenny and I are standing by the skull of a whale that was killed on Bohol's Pamilacan Island.

  • Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005

    Mendez Family visit to Apo Island and Dumaguete - July 2005
    The last stop on the tour is the Philippine crocodile pens, where the Lab houses some representatives of this endangered species. The Marine Lab would like to release these animals into the wild, but have not been able to find a community to accept them yet. Apparently nobody wants some new crocs hanging out in their neighborhood?