2013 • 5 • 10
Even before coming to life, my plan of circling the island on foot died when our boatman, Harold, told us we only had 15 minutes to spare. He was worried about the weather and the time. We were set to make one more stop before calling it a day, and the sun was already threatening to retire. Still, I hopped out of the boat with a smile on my face and let my feet make shallow marks on the white bed of sand that skimmed the island.
We were the only people in the island, save for the caretaker and his child, who were busy stacking sticks in one corner. Having an island all to myself is always a great feeling; I always daydream that I own a private island. Despite the boatman reminder, I decided to push through with my plan of walking around the island. I’d be fast, I thought. My friend Mica opted to stay in one nook of the beach for she was feeling a little dizzy from the island hopping. This was our third stop.
Pamalican Island is a 50-hectare island located west of Busuanga (not to be confused with its exclusive luxury Amanpulo namesake in Cuyo). Lying along the route to Calauit from Coron, it is usually included in Calauit Safari tours. What makes Pamalican a beach bum’s prospective destination is its wide, wide sloping stretch of white sand that surrounds the island all over. The sand here is not as fine as those one finds in Panglao or Boracay, but a mixture of cream sugary grains, pebbles, and shells. The beach is also strewn with dry leaves and twigs because this virgin paradise remains blanketed by a thick forest and its shores are fringed with grass and shrubs. Not very far are several rocky islets that dot the crystal clear water tickling the beach. Most parts are sole-friendly but I found walking barefoot in a few other patches of the island more of a torture than a treat. But once I spotted a good place, I stuck with it and had a great time lazing and swimming around.
I had completed traipsing along one side of the island when it dawned on me that I would really not finish going full circle within the time given. With a heavy heart, I schlepped and dragged myself back to where the boat was docked, and joined Mica take a dip under the thick lumps of clouds that loomed overhead, threatening to drench our day with unwelcome showers.
How to get to Pamalican Island: From Busuanga airport, travel by van/shuttle to Coron town. Here, you will find a number of travel agencies offering tours to Calauit; make sure it makes a stop at Pamalican. An alternative if you’re a big group is to charter a boat. The cost is P7500 for the entire boat, maximum of 4 pax. It will take you on an island-hopping tour from Coron to Calauit.
Entrance Fee: P100