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Trip to Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes Island, Cebu, Philippines

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I went with my neighbors on a 4-day vacation at Mactang, Esperanza, Poro, Cebu to attend the local festival of the sitio's patron saint, St. Vincent Ferrer on April 23. Mactang is where my neighbors hailed from and I'm curious of how the place looks like so I went with them like on an immersion trip.

I didn't go that far (i.e. I wasn't able to travel much) because of my limited cash but I was able to swim the nearest beach, which is nice. I'm not a fan of coastal areas as those places tend to be plain in geography and I have a thing for mountains with their panoramic views but one could never deny the beauty of beaches.
Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu
The Dike. See kid's doppelganger on the panoramic glitch.
We swam the beach on a high tide during the festival and hence, it was filled with local kids which I found enjoying for the atmosphere became livelier. You can see the dike on the photo where the kids stood. On the right side of the dike is the usual depth for a shore while on the left is of a depth of about 4.5 ft.

The dike's my favorite part. As I stood only 4'9” in height, I could dive in almost perfect form. Kids love to jump on this side too. Come on, just imagine that you don't have to go far out into the sea just to go deeper. More importantly, for as long as you're small, you can dive!

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

You can see about 3 mangrove trees slightly to the middle of the picture.

For this trip, I borrowed the cellphone of my neighbors' youngest son. Pardon me for capturing some pictures vertically, I have issues with the phone's touch screen setting and therefore, I had a hard time handling the phone's photo features in horizontal form. Fortunately, I was able to experiment with panoramic shots even though in failing manner.

Camotes Islands Cebu Map

When you say Camotes Islands, it's a group of 3 major islands namely: Ponson, Poro and Pajican and a minor islet called Tulang Diot (diot means small). Pilar is the town of Ponson Island while San Francisco is the town of Pacijan Island. Poro Island is divided into 2 towns, namely: Poro and Tudela. Tudela is small compared to the relatively staggering size of Poro.

There are various shipping companies you can choose from in going to any of the Camotes Islands from the port of Danao City, Cebu. The boat we rode docks at Consuelo of San Francisco. To reach Poro, there's a road streamlining San Francisco to Poro along a vast mangrove forest.
Consuelo Port, Camotes, Cebu
View from Consuelo Port in San Francisco
Consuelo Port Camotes Cebu
Using phone's panorama feature from the boat

The Camotes group of islands is under the Presidential Proclamation 2152 of 1981, declaring all the islands as Mangrove Forest Swamp Reserves and therefore withdrawing them from entry, sale, settlement or other forms of disposition, subject to valid private rights, if any there be. With this, no one from the islands can have land titles (cannot really own a parcel of land), instead the locals get "Tax Declaration". Because of this, investors are discouraged from opening up businesses, hindering the islands from developing their economy and established communities (way before the Spaniards came) from improving their already impoverished lives.


I think it's really unfair to have places in the Philippines under acts like this without due consideration. The locals live for hundreds of years in an island, foreigners came for conquest, eventually the islands became more developed as a nation and suddenly, the locals are just deemed never to really wholly own their homes. It's weird to be living in a land that you cannot really call your own. Aside from high prices of goods in the provinces, it's also partly the reason why the locals tend to flee the island and live poorly in cities in hopes not only to feed themselves better but also to buy lands of their own.

For Camotes Islanders, it was just so unfortunate for them that they truly love nature that they were able to preserve it. Other islands on the other hand had already managed to tamper with their natural resources that they were all allowed to develop more. I’m not saying that we should have depleted our mangrove trees, rather, that the current president should already pass the bill to balance the conservation of natural resources and development of Camotes.

As a descendant, it's disheartening to be inherited with a parcel of land that is not really mine. My family "owns" a parcel of land at Buenavista, Tudela on the other side of the island.
Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu
Left side of the dike

I was playing on the phone's zoom when I accidentally captured this:

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

You can see the kids standing on the dike. That blurred jut of land beyond the sea is actually San Francisco.
This is my neighbors' son. Up ahead, you can clearly see San Francisco island and on the upper left, the dike. 


Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu
From where I stood, this was the left side view.
Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu
While this one's the right side.

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu
Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu - Girl mulling at the beach
with Hazel Ann "Antolin" mulling
The girl in the photo is the daughter of my neighbor's neice and I find her really pretty.
Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu
These two are my neighbors’ twin granddaughters.
Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu - Girls Posing at the beach
Antolin is the one in the middle.

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu
The water is really clear, only marred by dead leaves and tree trunks. Mactang Historical Beach is still the Republic of the Philippines' property and therefore, open to the public.

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu
Kids notice I was taking pictures so they pose. And the picture failed miserably for I was still playing with using zoom. *le sigh*

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu
I could have taken lots of pictures (like photo of my feet under the water) but I was only limited to 15% of battery left of the phone's measly battery life.

Swimming at the Mactang Historical Beach was a fun experience, most especially diving from the dike.

Mactang Historical Beach, Poro, Camotes, Cebu

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