Sarangani, Davao Occidental: Sarangani, Olanivan & Marorong Islands

Olanivan Island

Bask on the bone-white sands of Olanivan Island, Sarangani, Davao Occidental

The frontier town of Sarangani consists of three islands: the main island of Balut, the namesake island of Sarangani and the small islets of Olanivan and Marorong. A day of island-hopping can take visitors around these islands and islets, jumping off from Mabila Port on Balut Island.

Tuke Maklang Beach Resort
Tuke Maklang Beach Resort is home to hundreds of endangered flying foxes!

In contrast to the prominent peak and graceful slopes of Balut Volcano which I hiked across with B’laan farmers, the neighboring island of Sarangani offers a different topography altogether with its limestone hills and azure lagoons. The low-lying island provides oases of calm like Bolae Cove and Tuke Nunsol where one can safely swim or snorkel in sheltered waters. We cruised around these turquoise-colored natural harbors, before hopping over to Tuke Maklang.

Paras Beach, Sarangani Island
Sarangani Island harbors turquoise coves and white-sand coasts like Paras Beach
Paras Beach
A colorful resident of Paras Beach on Sarangani Island

Tuke Maklang has a beach resort straddling two coves. It’s possible to spend a rustic night or two here on barebones accommodation in the company of hundreds flying foxes roosting on the nearby trees. Our last stop on Sarangani Island was Paras Beach, a swimming spot popular with locals. The east-facing coastline afforded panoramic views of Balut Island which makes an ideal area to watch the sun rise from behind the island volcano.

Marorong Islet (Ballistic Islet)
Marorong Islet (Ballistic Islet) is a stone’s throw away from Mabila Port on Balut Island
Marorong Islet (Ballistic Islet)
Are these the ruins of an outpost built by a 16th century Spanish explorer?

After visiting Sarangani Island, we then proceeded to the smaller islands which were no less intriguing. North of Sarangani, there’s Olanivan Island ringed by coral reefs and pristine white sand. Moreover, Marorong Islet (also known as Ballistic Islet), on the other hand, is a stone’s throw away from Mabila Port.  The foliage on this islet conceals the stone ruins of what many believe was the fortified outpost that 16th century Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos built on his journey out of the Philippines to the Spice Islands (present-day Maluku, Indonesia). While locals may dish out this story as historical fact, experts have yet to validated the claim.

For instructions on how to get there and where to stay, please check out my previous post on Hiking Balut Volcano.

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6 Responses

  1. Jared says:

    It might just be me but I think your pictures are not loaded right. They’re blurry and heavily pixilated. Office and home PC show the same type of picture resolution.

    • eazytraveler says:

      Thanks for sharing, Jared! The website was in the process of optimizing the hosted images when you first visited, explaining the low resolution. I hope they now display better at your end =)

  2. jonathan islala says:

    wonderful write up and beautiful pictures, WOW…

    • eazytraveler says:

      Thank you for reading my post. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Are you planning to visit Sarangani Islands soon?

  3. mariann says:

    How did you get around the island? Did you arrange a boat trip prior to arriving or are there available boats everyday?

    • eazytraveler says:

      I went around the island by hiking and by outrigger boat. Check out my blog post on Balut Volcano. Also posted there the contact person who can arrange island-hopping excursions on the island. Thanks for reading!

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