Photo taken during our arrival in the island. Trust me, the photo is #nofilter
The Best Island in the Philippines!
Have you been to a place wherein you were lost for words and only got a huge smile in your face? A surreal feeling, a magical moment, a dream come true. Sorry for sounding so cliche but that's what I felt when I had my first step in this island.
It is the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen - different shades of crystal blue water, long stretch of powdery white sand, some coconuts and other greeneries, and the stilts accommodation, a paradise indeed.
About the Island
We fell in love with ONOK Island.
Onok Island is part of the Balabac Group of Islands, under the municipality of Balabac, province of Palawan, Philippines. It is located in the southern tip of Palawan, within the Sulu Sea. It is privately owned. You have to coordinate with the owner and ask permission to visit the Island.
While preparing for our itinerary, all the while I thought the name of the island is Onuk, but when we arrived there, they said that the correct spelling should be Onok.
Onok Island from afar.
Going to Onok
The crystal blue waters surrounding Onok Island.
You have to avail a tour package in order to visit the Island. Rate varies if you only want to have a day tour or you want to stay overnight. Initially, we only booked for an overnight stay, but when we arrived we were so amazed with the island that we opted to extend for an additional night.
The welcoming committee of Onok, sea turtle!
Onok is 1-1.5 hours boat ride from Balabac Port. The roughness of the waves may vary depending on the date of your visit. You may want to check in advance the weather before your plan to visit the island.
Onok facilities, room accomodation, kitchen, dining, and chill areas.
Overnight stay in the island costs Php5,000 per person plus Php500 per night if you want to extend. Not a bad deal, that's why we extended our stay. Included in the package are boat ride going to Onok and back to Balabac Port, full board meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner including bottled water), accommodation, and access to the Island.
Our dinner, crabs and tuna!
If you love seafoods, you would definitely enjoy the meals. You can also ask for some fresh coconuts for free. Accommodation is basic, they will provide foam mattresses/air beds and pillows. They have three rooms, but we opted to get our beds and lay them outside to be closer with nature. They have two toilet and baths for your personal needs.
Good morning Onok!
They have generator which they open at 6pm to 6am, so you don't have to worry about your gadgets and cameras. They also have cable TV, where you can watch local channels plus a videoke which they open at night. Cellphone signal is unstable, though Globe has better coverage than Smart network.
But who needs these gadgets when you have a paradise in front of you? Just take pictures for some souvenirs, leave your gadgets and enjoy Onok.
Things To Do
Enjoying the sun, the sea, and the sand of Onok!
Swim. The island is surrounded by crystal clear waters. So clear that the depths are deceiving, but no worries, they will provide life jackets for non swimmers. You can bring your snorkeling gear as the island has coral reefs, with different types of soft and hard corals. They also have giant clams and sea turtles for you to see. You can actually see some fishes from the dining/common area.
Having fun in the unfinished hut in Onok.
Picture Taking. Prepare your memory cards and batteries as the place is Instagram worthy in every angle. I am talking about 360 degrees view. You will not worry about photobombers as the island has a wide stretch of sand bar. You can also take pictures in the greeneries if you have already enough of the sea and the sand. You can also enjoy both sunrise and sunset. During our stay, it was a full moon and we saw the moon rising from the sea. It was so amazing!
Full moon rising from the sea.
Relax. Since the island is secluded, and you have it all to yourselves, you can have your "me time" that you are dreaming of. You can lay down in the hammock or you can just sit and read a book. I've been looking forward to visit the island to take pictures but when we stayed there, I took only few shots and left my camera. I just enjoyed the moment of our stay - literally staring at the sea and having reflection in life, a very laid back moment.
Enjoying the view of Onok!
Having fun in the sand.
I have high expectations about the island during the planning of our trip. I have already read some articles saying that Onok Island is really worth a visit and should be in everyone's bucket list.
Chilling in the hammock with this view.
As I set foot in the island, I already fell in love with it - all smiles, with my eyes wide open, and my brain blown away. It did not only match my expectation, it exceeded it way beyond. I have visited many islands in the Philippines but Onok Island gives me the surreal feeling of perfection! The island makes me happy just by looking at it. I really cannot explain or put it into words.
With our new found friends and our tour guides, Kuya Fidel, Kuya Ariel and Kuya Alex
During our last night, I felt a separation anxiety with the island. It's like falling in love, that you have a heavy heart leaving it. That's when I realize, I will definitely visit the island again.
Our class picture! Onok Island Batch June 11-13, 2017
I hope you can visit the island too and help me describe the emotion I felt when I visited the island. It is indeed the best island in the archipelago of the Pearl of the Orient Seas!