The Olango Island is one of the seven islands that make up the Olango Island Group found in the Central Visayan Region of the Philippines. It is located 5 kilometers east of the Mactan Island and lies between the Bohol Straits to the south and the Camotes Sea to the north. Olango channel is to the east and the Hilutungan Channel is to the west. It consists of eight barangays of Lapu-lapu City in the Mactan Islands, namely Baring, Sabang, Caw-oy, Santa Rosa, Tingo, Talima, San Vicente and Tunga-san.
The entire island is fairly underdeveloped and lacks basic infrastructure such as those for water and waste disposal. But what keeps on luring tourists into the area are the coastal resources. This spot is rich with such treasures as coral reefs, sea beds, mangroves and mudflats, all of which surround the island and the neighboring islets. The island’s reef wall is considered one of the most extensive reef areas in the Central Visayan region, which offers scuba divers a wondrous site to experience.
The south part of the island remains the breeding place and home of many species of birds. It is also a good resting place for migrating birds coming from Siberia and North China to destinations such as New Zealand or Australia. The bird haven can be visited all throughout the year, but the migrating birds usually go between late July until late November. By late February until May, these birds return to their breeding grounds in the reverse of the Northward Migration.
The western edge of the reef that faces Hilutangan Channel has one of the most beautiful coral reefs and an extremely dense fish population. The eastern side, on the other hand, has better coral corners and more game fish. However, due to strong current, these diving sites are only recommended to experienced divers. Hanging reefs, with their steep walls, also draw in scuba diving fanatics and snorkelers from around the world to visit the island.
Tourism activity focuses on birding and diving activities, which continue to be the major attractions of the Olango Island. But island tours remain another exciting activity to be enjoyed. Native outrigger boats may be hired at the Angasil Pier for a tour of the Hilutunan, Sulpa and Olango Islands. This tour also includes the bird sanctuary for a very reasonable price.
Coming from downtown Cebu City, take a jeepney to Lapu-lapu city from the jeepney terminal near the old White Gold Department Store in the reclamation area. Upon arriving at Lapu-lapu city, head towards the tricycle headed to Angasil or Dapdap. Get dropped off at the Mar Y Cielo Resort and catch a pumpboat to Santa Rosa, which is the largest barangay of 4,500 residents. From the Santa Rosa, the rest of the island can be walked by foot or by riding a tricycle.
The Olango Island is considered a natural and animal-friendly place as much as it is a diver’s haven with its beautifully crafted coral reefs. These islands truly represent the magnificent hidden islands that can be experienced around the islands of Cebu.