Adventure, Amazingness, Life, Miracles, Nature, Philippines, Sand and Sea, Scene Stealers, Small World, Travel
Comments 11

My mystery island identified

Mystery island captured in 2007 from plane © Jojie Alcantara
Mystery island captured in 2007 from plane © Jojie Alcantara

Mystery island captured in 2007 from plane © Jojie Alcantara

“I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.”
― Simon and Garfunkel, Greatest Hits

In 2007, on an assignment to shoot Boracay, my country’s top beach destination, I boarded the small Seair plane and we were cruising down a low altitude. Weather was gorgeous.

Suddenly, I spotted this beautiful island, lying in the middle of the blue ocean, far apart from the rest of islets sprinkled around. A tuft of clouds nestled just above it, but not fully covering it.  It looked like a chubby starfish or a blob from above, with white sand fringes.  Capturing it, I posted it on my Pbase gallery with a title “unknown island”.  I’ve gotten several inquiries as to what the island was, but I hadn’t the slightest idea.

Fast forward to today.  I have been informed that the mystery island is Sibale Island (or exotically Maestro de Campo, the name given during the Spanish times), a remote enchanted paradise which can only be reached via boat, with only one municipality nestled within its circular shaped land filled with slopes, coconut trees and steep shores.  Thank you, Miss Amor, for the information.  She wanted to borrow my photo for the island’s Facebook (they finally have one!).  Through her I’ve found out I wasn’t the only one who took photos from the air and was drawn mysteriously to it as well.  🙂

Google map of Sibale Island

Google map of Sibale Island

But to get to this remote island is not as easy as it looks. Information tells me I have to ride from Manila to Batangas, get to Batangas pier to Calapan pier via RORO (ship), ride to Calapan to Pinamalayan by van, and finally from Pinamalayan to the island via motor boat. That sounds like 48 years to me, since I am from Davao down South.  Okay, I exaggerate, but that’s a long, tough journey.

To reach the island, I have read this information here and here. It seems that the island is teeming with beautiful dive sites, so a dive resort called Maestro de Campo Dive Resort is on hand to provide accommodation and tours.

Oh well, I hope in a way, I am contributing a little to their tourism industry through this small piece of promotion.

If I had the chance, though, I would visit it and tour the island extensively.  Same as I plan to with Siquijor, Batanes and Tawi-tawi.

signature jojiealcantara


  1. Hi Ms Alcantara,

    I found this post when I was searching for this island in Google. Actually
    this island is where my mom was born. Her dad, my lolo is one of the
    previous vice mayors there.

    I really miss this island. Me and my family always visit this island back
    when me and my siblings are still not busy with our school life.

    Anyways, I would like you to know that yes its a long travel from
    here(Manila) but I’m very much sure that you’ll see the worth of it once
    you step on the shore of the island.

    PS. Make sure that your attire is swim-ready since most of the people who
    visits the island couldn’t resist to swim once they got off the
    bangkang-de-motor. hehe.


    • Thanks for the nice info, Ace. It will come in handy for those interested to visit your paradise island. I hope Miss Amor will reply to you soon. Better yet, why don’t you visit her site? 🙂


  2. Maureen Albers says

    Spent a few days on Sibale this past January. It was my 4th visit. An amazing island. The mayor of Concepcion has a huge vision for his island. I am not sure if a day goes by that I do not think of the people of Sibale. Looking forward to getting back there . . . and I travel from Jacksonville, Florida, USA. It is worth the time and effort!!!!!!


  3. elvin says

    hi jojie,good morning.thank very much for posting your fantastic shot about my hometown(Sibale.)What a shot,i love it,your a pro.Well I also share this shot for my friends viewing,thanks again.


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