1. Olango Island and Lapu Lapu City.
Our Ecoconut agency and our organized trips started from Mactan Island in
Cebu, in the center of the Philippines and more precisely from Lapu
Lapu City. Lapu Lapu City is one of 3 cities of the metropolitan zone
of Cebu City.
It is on the island of Mactan where the international airport of Cebu
is conveniently located. Moreover, Cebu and Lapu Lapu City represent
one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. There
are approximately 1500 hotels and “beach resorts” along the east coast
of Mactan Island. Although located a few minutes by boat from Mactan,
the Island of Olango remains a preserve of authentic culture and
natural environment. Our Tours began on this island of exceptional
natural and human resources. Our boats could each easily shuttle about
thirty people from Olango to its satellite islands.
2. Why Olango Island is so exceptional ?
The island of Olango and its 6 small
satellite islands: Pangan-an, Coahagan, Sulpa, Camungi, Gilutongan,
Nalusuan, constitute an exceptional site.
These islands are located 5.5 km off the east coast of Mactan. The
entire surface of Olango Island and its small islands represent 1020 ha
with a population of 21.027 in 2001.
This group of islands is a fragile and single ecosystem. In recognition
of its exceptional character, 920 ha were declared “Olango Island
Wildlife Sanctuary” (OIWS) by an agreement signed by the President
Corazon Aquino on May 14, 1992. This area is geologically mainly made
up of limestone sands scattered with shells and some soil supporting
On November 8, 1994, the OIWS was designated the first “Ramsar” site in
the Philippines, which is to say the first wetland of international
importance, particularly as a protected zone for migratory birds.
Indeed, due to its geographical position, the island of Olango is right
along the migratory path connecting the northern hemisphere (China) to
the southern hemisphere (Australia).
One can count 97 species of birds on Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary
including some species on the verge of extinction such as the Chinese
egret (Egretta eulophotes).
Also on the small Gilutongan island is a protected marine sanctuary,
called the Gilutongan Marine Sanctuary, probably one of the most well
known protected marine zone in the Philippines.
Tourism is really the most important source of revenue which can give
Olango a future. Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary has white sand
beaches, great snorkeling sites with coral reefs, which are the major
Nevertheless the island of Olango representing a very rich and very
fragile ecosystem is threatened by the increasing presence of Man.
This explains a certain number of initiatives developed by ONG, by the
local government, and by the private sector in order to protect the
coastal resources of Olango, while opening this paradise to tourists.
These initiatives created in particular various protected marine zones
(Protected Marine Area).
These initiatives are a great success since the Archipelago of Visayas
has the largest number of protected marine zones in the Philippines.