DUMAGUETE 2010: 9th AWC - Apo Island

Another misadventure came to be on a trip to Dumaguete to attend the 9th All Women's Climb (AWC) in Apo Island. We missed check-in by five (f***in) minutes, all thanks to me... Yaz was at the airport, on time, staring at the flight board, texting me at the same time to hurry up. The detail on our Cebu Pacific flight status changed before her very eyes from "Boarding" to "Closed", she texted me. Arggghhh! 

Read HERE for the details on how Cebu Pacific made me think twice about booking another flight with them.

The anticipation of a great island experience, underwater swim, and a night with the AWC girls seems to be worth the trouble. Plus I am with my true friend Yas, so no worries. 

Our alternative route became a 10:00PM flight to Cebu via Air Philippines - the cheapest on-the-spot flight we could find.  Found ourselves a comfy chair at the waiting area and patiently waited for our delayed flight.
Delayed in NAIA III

We arrived in Cebu a little before midnight. But we couldn't go to the bus terminal in the wee hours of the night. We have to catch the 3:00AM Ceres Bus to Bato Port. We decided its safer to be in the airport than be on the road to a bus terminal we are not familiar with. 
Stranded in Cebu International Airport

Time flew rather quickly, and the airport was also closing. This surprised me, because it was supposed to be an international airport, and I just thought it would be just as busy as NAIA III (and open 24/7).

2:00AM, we rode a taxi to the bus terminal, the airport security bidding us farewell and just in time to make sure we get ourselves a decent seat and actually be seated on the non-airconditioned bus. There were lots of passengers who stood throughout the three-hour trip to Bato Port. From the port, we are to ride a ferry out of Cebu and to Dumaguete. 

The ferry ride was a 30 minutes sail with a great view of the sunrise.
Travelling at dawn.

Once in Dumaguete, we waited at the Jollibee downtown for the rest of the AWC participants. From there, the organizers took over managing the participants' itinerary.  They've arranged for the Multicab transportation to Malatapay and the boat transfer to Apo Island.

It was quite a bumpy and wet ride.

When on the island, we registered at the local tourism office and paid PhP100.00 for registration. Pay also an additional fee for a visit to the marine sanctuary.
Apo Island's signature rock formation

Snorkeling or diving at the Apo Island Marine Sanctuary is the highlight of the trip to the island. Participants to the 9th AWC lined up for a souvenir shot. Brought my own mask and snorkel (saved PhP200.00 for the rental), but I have to rent water shoes for PhP100.00.
AWC girls soaking it up at the sanctuary.

Down there, was an entirely different world.

Strange but quite familiar.

Wish I can swim as graceful as she! 
Flom making it look too easy...

More than an event, the All Women's Climb (AWC) evolved to become an organization of female climbers from Luzon, Vizayas and Mindanao.  That evening, the group discussed issues and future plans of the organization.

As an earth scientist, the outcrop in the area strikes me naturally. The graded sequence of the layers of volcanic sediments which makes up the entire island was such an inspiration for fieldwork.
Yas as scale.

There's more to this trip than fun and sun. I have always known I am a vital ingredient to a recipe for travel disaster. While my effect is to bring badluck to others and drag them into my misfortune, the silver lining to it is that if you're dragging along your "true" friend, they will stick with you and bet some more that somehow the trip will turn around and end up great.



  1. Wow, belonging to the AWC must feel sooo empowering! I've never joined an all female group thing. I reckon I should someday.

    Unfortunately, we weren't able to visit Apo when we visited the region :(

  2. You are welcome to join us Pinay Travel Junkie.. It will be such an adventure..

    Drop by Apo Island the next time you're in the region.. A daytrip will do.. :D


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