Sitio Sawang shoreline
We were in Olotayan Island to distribute school supplies and slippers from Balay ni Charie to the students of Olotayan Elementary School. The kids, from Kindergarten to 6th grade, came to school on a Saturday morning to greet us and receive their school supplies. The fourth grade class received slippers thanks to the generous donation of my friend, Rose Driscoll.
4th graders at Olotayan Elementary School
To get to Olotayan Island, we boarded a motorized outrigger from Banica Pier in Roxas City and cruised passed fishponds and mangrove to Punta Cogon and from there to the open sea. It took about 40 minutes on calm waters to get to the island. As we approached the island, the waves became bigger and the ride was slightly choppy.
They were celebrating their annual fiesta at Sitio Capaculan which is on the other side of the island from Sawang. There's a paved road that goes over the hill to the shores of Capaculan. If you're seeking a stretch of white sand beach with nary a soul or perhaps a handful to keep company, this is for you. But it's rustic out here. This is the day of the fiesta but since the island has a population of under a thousand, it will be this quiet till it's "discovered".
Since the islanders live on the bounty of the sea, here's what we were fed at the fiesta among an array of seafood. Thank you to the townspeople and their Barangay Captain for their warm hospitality.
There are limited accommodations on the island and you'll need to bring your own food supply as there are no restaurants here. The island is merely 100 hectares in size so it can be explored in no time. Surprises abound with uninhabited beaches around the island.
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Images by Charie