Sumilon Island in Oslob Cebu

Sumilon Island in Oslob Cebu

Text & Photo: Kaycie Gayle Yambao

Sumilon Island is a small island in Cebu that is just about 24 hectares in size. Only a small area of the island is used making some parts remained pristine. Aside from the great views it offers, it is known for its natural feature, the sandbar. It is privately owned and has a resort in place but the owner allows non-resort guests to stay at the beach and sandbar area.

Sumilon Island in Oslob Cebu White sand on the island
White sand on the island

Behind the name of the island

Despite being small, its name suggests that it has played a big role among fishermen. Allegedly the island’s name came from the word “sumilong” which means to take shelter. During the old days, the island’s caves provided shelter and protected fishermen from storms. In the same way, it has become our place of refuge for several hours while we were in Oslob.

Sumilon Island in Oslob Cebu bamboo jetty and gate
bamboo jetty and gate

Authentic experience

The ultimate reason why I went to the island is to see the shifting sand bar, however, due to the high tide, I was not able to see it. Still, going here never disappoint as there are other things to marvel about.

The island would lure you to play with the sand with its fine white sand. As for me, I have dropped my sling bag and removed my footwear as soon as I have reached the island. I walked along the seashore barefoot while watching the pump boat we went aboard sailed away and vanished from my sight. After a short walk, I have reached a bamboo ladder which led me to the elevated part of the island. Still walking unshod, I waddled around to explore the island. The pathway and stairs made walking barefoot less painful as there are pavement and rocks to step on.

Walking barefoot on Sumilon Island
island's pathway

Upon reaching the viewing deck, I was presented with a view of picturesque aquamarine hues. This has allowed me to enjoy a visual feast of the seascape and the sky. After a few minutes, I went back to dip in the pristine calm waters. Before I return to the main island, I basked under the sun on the seashore and just enjoyed the white powdery sand.

Sumilon Island in Oslob Cebu bamboo stairs overlooking the seascape
bamboo stairs overlooking the seascape


In order to get into this island, you have to wait for other passengers to rent a pump boat.  After a short 10-15 minute boat ride from Oslob, you will reach the scenic island. Since we arrived early, there were only a few people who’re exploring the island, hence it is best to visit it early. Oftentimes, tourists would go to Sumilon Island after whale shark watching. If you plan on doing the same, then you may start your activity early so you can go to Sumilon early as well.

Boat ride to Sumilon Island

Sumilon island proves that no man is an island as you’ll see tourists, guides, boatmen, and caretakers around. Staying on this private island won’t get you lonely as you can engage in an entertaining conversation and learn more about the place from caretakers as well. After all, this beautiful island deserves to be shared, explored and discovered by many.

Sumilon Island in Oslob Cebu Caretakers of the island
island caretakers
Seascape on Sumilon Island

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Happy Travels! 💛

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