Blessed with white sand beaches, rich marine life, and a tropical weather most of the year, one would never run out of exciting things to do in Cebu. If you’re thinking of a fun getaway to end your summer frolicking, the Lifeaholics recommend you to explore the clear waters and heart pumping activities in the Northern part of Cebu.
Aside from the locals’ popular choices and the crowd favorites — Bantayan and Malapascua, there are few gems in the North of Cebu that’s equally worth visiting with your family and friends and one is the Funtastic Island in Gibitngil, Medellin.
It was just a short weekend trip for the birthday celebration of Gi’s sister in Daanbantayan and the whole family decided to go on a day trip to Funtastic Island in Gibitngil, Medellin the day after. It was Easter Sunday to be exact and we expected the place to be packed with a lot of people. Despite the crowd and the bustle in the island, it was a summer to remember as it was a joyous escapade shared with 0ur families.
We boarded a bus for Kawit, Medellin at the North Bus Terminal at around 8AM. The estimated duration of the trip is 3-4 hours and a one-way ticket cost around P150. The plan was to stay overnight in Daanbantayan for the birthday celebration and so we alighted at Brgy PayPay in Daan Bantayan. We arrived at around 12Noon, just the right timing for a sumptuous lunch.
The day after, we rented a boat for the day trip to Funtastic Island. We were lucky enough since we didn’t have to go to Kawit Port to rent a boat since Gi was able to ask a relative who owns a bangka to bring us to the island. After putting on sunscreen and preparing our things, we were picked up by the Ate Neneng’s boat from the shores of PayPay. Though it was scorching hot, the 20-30 minute travel to the island was delightful and enjoyable.
If you plan on heading straight to Gibitngil, Medellin, another transportation option is a V-hire or Van for Hire. Estimated travel time is around 3-4 hrs depending on the frequency of stops by the passengers.
via Private Vehicle
If you wish to cut the travel time and get to your destination faster, you can bring your private vehicle. Sure, it’s convenient but if you’re unfamiliar with the place, expect to get lost but don’t fret because there are kind locals who’ll point you to the right direction. While researching about Funtastic Island, I have read that there’s a safe parking space in the port where you can leave your car for around P100.
Once you get to Medellin proper, you can take a tricycle to Kawit Port where plenty of bangkas for rent are parked. A medium sized boat that’s good for 6 persons costs around P800-P1000 while the bigger boat which is good for 20 persons costs P1,500.
COLORFUL Funtastic Island
Upon arriving in the island, you’d immediately notice the colorful cottages perched on top of limestone rocks surrounded by clear, azure waters. We were hoping to rent a cottage sitting on one of the huge limestone boulders, but since we didn’t make prior reservations and it was Easter Sunday, we settled for the tables and benches provided for us. cool down while waiting for lunch to be served.
We didn’t like the idea of swimming in the waters right below the cottages. There were lots of seaweeds floating and plenty of kids playing and wading in the waters. So while the others were happily preparing grilled squid and pork belly for lunch, Gi and I took the time to stroll around the island and explore uncrowded spots to take a refreshing dip while waiting for our lunch to be served.
Alas! A few minutes walk from where we’re stationed, we found a spot where a few kids and a group of people are swimming. We liked that there’s a huge limestone where you can hide from the heat of the sun while enjoying a cool dip. After swimming to our heart’s content, we decided to move to other side of the island where the Zip line station is located. We trekked a few steps up a small hill and we were impressed with the amazing view of the whole island. It was, we claim, the best spot to take our selfie!
From the top, we spotted a cove with spectacular rock formations reminiscent of those in Coron and El Nido.
FUNtastic Activities in the Island
Unlike the usual beach escapades where you only get sun-kissed, what makes Funtastic Island refreshing and FUN are the many activities it offers which makes the island ideal for family outings. Aside from swimming that’s given when going to beach, here are other activities that you can enjoy in the island:
- Cliff Diving
If you’re the adventurous type who’s up for adrenaline-inducing activities, Cliff Diving is one activity that you’ll surely enjoy in the island. It’s FREE so you can jump as many times to your heart’s content. The jump off point is 40ft high. We were too chicken to jump so we just opted to pose at the cliff diving platform. Haha. I tried so hard to muster my courage to jump off the cliff and I challenged Gi to jump too but we cowered seeing the huge boulder of limestone at the bottom. So for now, photographs would do. Haha
If you’re already bored with swimming and you want to use your muscles to explore the azure waters in the island, you can rent a kayak for P150 per hour.
If cliff diving isn’t enough to feed your thrill seeking game, you can also try their Zipline which gives you a very good view of the colorful cottages and the whole Funtastic Island.
- There are only a few stores in Gibitngil Island and the goods they’re selling are pretty limited so make sure you load up on food and other basic necessities before heading to the island. You can buy snacks, water, meat and fresh seafood for grilling at the Kawit market.
- It is best to make an early reservation to secure the best cottage. You can call the Municipality of Medellin at (032) 436 2031 for reservations or if you want to hire a boat.
- Heading home, you can buy pintos at Bogo Terminal as pasalubong for your friends and family. Pintos is a local delicacy that’s delicately wrapped in corn husk. It’s is made from the mixture of corn, condensed milk and butter or margarine.
She says : Summer is the time of the year where you get your chance to wear a bikini and brag about the body that you worked for or just find and excuse to flaunt a little skin. But if you’re skin is sensitive, I advise you to wear a rash guard instead. Trust me, it will save you from the itchy rashes and the cost of going to a dermatologist which I personally experienced
He says : If you’re into comfort traveling and not the adventurous type of an explorer, I don’t recommend you stay overnight in the island because of the lack of water. And if you dislike crowded swimming spots, make extra effort to scout the island and you’d surely find beautiful spots that you can soak in without the hubbub and commotion from the crowd.
SUMMARY of FUNTASTIC ISLAND RATES and TRAVEL EXPENSES
Bus Ticket : P150 one-way (North Bus Terminal to Kawit)
Entrance Fee : P10
Cottage Rental : P50 – P250 (Day use) P250 – P500 (Overnight)
Kayak : P150/hr
Floaters : P50
Zipline : P50 / ride
For more info about the island’s activities and rates, you can go to: http://medellin.gov.ph or you can call the Municipality of Medellin at (032) 436 2031