Surrounded by sapphire crystal-clear water and a powdery-fine, white shore, Sumilon Island is a must-go destination for tourists visiting Cebu.
Sumilon Island Sandbar temporarily closes operation, needs rehabilitation and cleanup
Local officials of Oslob town, to which Sumilon belongs, however, want to prevent the island from suffering the same fate as the world-famous, resort-island in Aklan province, and decided to close it for a cleanup before national authorities find a reason to shut it down as well like they did with Boracay.
Oslob Mayor Jose Tumulak Jr. announced that they would be temporarily closing portions of Sumilon Island to visitors starting this Tuesday, April 10 until April 16, Monday.
This is to give way for an intensive, cleanup drive, and rehabilitation efforts on the island’s sandbar and snorkeling site, which are visited by about a thousand domestic and foreign tourists every day.
Tumulak said pieces of garbage left uncollected since the Holy Week on these areas prompted them to decide to halt visits and day tour activities on the island’s famous sandbar to allow them to first clean up its shorelines.
Tumulak’s announcement came three days after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the six-month closure of Boracay Island starting this April 26, and a month since the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) intensified their crackdown on resorts, located in tourist-famous islands, that do not comply waste-management laws.
The Sumilon island
Part of Oslob municipality, the island is the location of Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort. It is the first marine protected area in the Philippines and was made a fish sanctuary in 1974 under the guidance of Siliman University Marine Reserve. The island is also a good dive spot.
A popular attraction in Sumilon Island is its sandbar because of its changing shapes and shifting locations around the island depending on the season. Other places of interest in the island are a natural lagoon teeming with high mangroves and natural caves used by fishermen to seek refuge during storms, and a pristine lake.
On the southern portion of the island, a lighthouse rests on a protected tree park and beside it is a historical watchtower built as part of a warning system to thwart slavers and marauders in the 19th century.
Some texts from Cebu Daily News “Sumilon Island to close for a week” by Jessa Mae O. Sotto and Morexette Erram