SUYAC ISLAND MANGROVE ECO-PARK, SAGAY CITY TRAVEL GUIDE
Suyac Island Mangrove Eco-Park
Sagay, the 66th city in the Philippines, overlaps a decent portion of the Northernmost tip of the Negros islands. Approximately 84 kilometers from Bacolod City, Sagay city is not as advanced or prevalent compared to the province’s capital or Silay city, but it takes pride of its one of a kind eco-park, the Suyac Island Mangrove.
From Sagay city proper, Suyac Island is about 3 kilometers away by boat and is still part of the 32,000 hectares marine reserve of the island. Suyac island is around 1.8 hectare and surrounded by a 4-hectare mangrove.
Thanks to the effort of the people and city government of Sagay, the eco-tourism park is considered the first to adopt a full community-based approach in ensuring the preservation, sustainability, and improvement of the site. This community-based Eco-tourism initiative is for the protection of the environment and is guided by its core value “tourism enriches, protects and helps build communities.” Suyac Island Eco-Tourism Association or SIETAS currently spearheads the movement. In 2013, a social promotion drive was introduced, and since then, SIETAS retained their advocacy for bio-diversity protection project in the community.
Aside from being a pro-environment initiative, the Suyac Island Eco-park is also pro-community. The project capitalizes on the community human resources by providing its people with training regarding eco-tourism and protection of the environment as well. The community benefited from this drive, not only that they contributed to biodiversity conservation of the island, but it also empowered the locals with a livelihood that came along the economic progress of the tourist destination. SIETAS group stated that, from 2013 to 2015, the eco-park island earned around P1.3 million income thru the visitors. They maintain a healthy ratio of 40-60, meaning 40% goes back to the facility maintenance, and 60% is allotted to the community.
The management of the island firmly regulates the number of guests per day. For manageable maintenance, and to ensure the best tourist experience, they follow a strict rule of 100 visitors per day only. SIETAS officers also orient the guests upon arrival at the venue. Here, they discuss the rules while staying on the island. These sets of house rules are to ensure that the island maintains its beauty for the present and future guests and community.
Mangroves in Suyac Island
The eco-park is also home to the most aged and huge mangroves known as sonneratia albam, known to locals as pagatpat.
Upon entry on the reception area the Eco-Park, an inscription banner placed on the corners of mangrove trunks which states that “These centuries-old mangrove trees were ruined by Typhoon Yolanda. This is a reminder that these mangrove trees protected the community from the severe destruction brought about by the infamous typhoon that claimed thousands of lives. We are wasting no time in transforming our island communities to become sustainable and resilient in facing many challenges.”
The centuries-old Mangrove forest of the island is said to have served as protective barriers of the coastal area during storms like Yolanda. The locals observed that although many typhoons already came, Suyac Island communities were not much affected compared to other Visayas areas like Ormoc, Tacloban, and Antique.
For sea, and nature lovers, Suyac Island Eco-park is highly recommended. It’s slowly gaining popularity, and we have to thank the local community and the Sagay city government in their support in keeping the prestige of this island paradise.
Things to do in Suyac Island
To fully enjoy the place, as well as swimming and mangrove paddling, the community recommends visitors to come by when the tide is high. Suyac Island has crystal clear waters and just walking around the sea, you’ll visibly find fishes, seashells, crabs, and starfishes.
Enjoy the Seafood
Other than a great place to visit, the Suyac island also caters to food lovers with their freshest produce from the sea, especially their kinilaw or the Filipino version of ceviche.
Visit Carbin Reef
The Carbing Reef is just a few minutes away from Suyac Island. In fact, people visiting Carbing Reef would also visit the Island.
Click here for our Carbin Reef Travel Guide
How to Get There
Getting there is fairly easy, but it is advisable that you inform Sagay City Tourism office of your Suyac Island trip as they’ll be the one to book you.
When you come from Bacolod City, go to the Mandlagan Ceres Bus Terminal and take the Sagay City trip.
Aircon and non-aircon buses are available, and the travel duration is around 2 hours. Your stop should be the Sagay bus terminal. From there, take note of the yellow-colored tricycles within the terminal, as they will be your transportation going to the Old Sagay port. Once you arrive at the port, just proceed to their office to pay for your terminal fee, afterward, log at the register at the security office, and inform them that you’re going to the Suyac Island. The next thing to do is to scout for a boat which is Suyac island-bound. It is also essential that you advise the boatman to pick you up on the specific time where you’re going back to the Old Sagay port. Never worry, the employees of the port are professional and friendly, don’t hesitate to ask help.
Old sagay Wharf and Suyac Island Boat Rental – PHP 500- 1,500. The boat rentals depend on the size of the boat. So, it might go high if the available boat is the big one. However, if you wish to visit Carbin Reef, you simply add PHP 300 for a side trip to this Island.
Contact Number: 0907-3962-199
Suyac Island Travel Tips
It is advisable to bring your own drinking water. Bringing of food is also advised, however, as earlier stated, Suyac Island also offers fresh kinds of seafood meals at a reasonable price. But you should inform the people on the Island that you will be ordering food in advance.
There’s no overnight accommodation available on the Island.
Charge your phone or bring your own power bank.
Don’t forget your camera; sunscreen and swimwear.
Maximize your Visit at Suyac Island
Please click here to read Carbin Reef, Suyac Island, Lakawon Island Plus Pnaad sa Negros Travel Itineraries
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