DIY Travel Guide: Alibijaban Island, San Andres Quezon

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“Nights and days came and passed
And summer and winter
and the rain.
And it was good to be a little Island.
A part of the world
and a world of its own
All surrounded by the bright blue sea.”
― Margaret Wise Brown

Alibijaban Island is a virgin paradise located at the most southern tip of Quezon province that is administratively belongs to the municipality of San Andres. From Manila, you will need to bear a nine to ten hours of long bus ride just to get there or a six to seven long hours of driving. I went by bus and the journey was very uncomfortable and butt-numbing. The bus kept stopping to collect new passengers even though the bus was already full ( 4 or 5 times) and to make things worst was to be with a bunch of inconsiderate passengers who kept on chatting loudly even when they knew that the majority of passengers were trying to take a nap. Just imagine how the trip going to San Andres was! But as they say, all is well that ends well. Having said all of that, having to endure the bumpy and itchy trip to San Andres pays huge rewards at the end, as the island is truly amazing.

Once you get to the San Andres port, the feeling of uneasiness will be gone and be replaced by excitement since from there, you will be able to see the island itself. It took me roughly around 20 minutes to reach Alibijaban Island via boat from the port to the island. The place offers a very scenic and picturesque view of golden to white sand, aqua crystal clear waters and undisturbed forests, like mangroves. Try getting there and you will agree with me that there are no words to perfectly describe this place.

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How to get to Alibijaban Island?

Best option: Ride a direct bus going to San Andres, Quezon via Barney Bus (non-aircon) located at Alabang Starmall. Travel time is at least 8 hours.

Schedule of Barney Bus:  4:00am/ 5:30am/ 8:30am/ 1:00pm/ 6:30pm/ 8:30pm/ 10:00pm

Fare: Full Fare P417 // Senior Citizen or Student Fare P334


Contact:

Eddie Moreno (Morning)
Smart 09207072414
Jessie Dooc (Afternoon)
Suncell 09257474768

**Superlines located in Cubao also offers a direct trip to San Andres, Quezon.

Option 2: If you’re uncomfortable with non-airconditioned bus going to Quezon, you may opt to have a cutting trip. Just pick a bus of your choice that goes to Lucena Grand Terminal. There are a lot of buses coming from Edsa. At lucena GT, wait for buses that will take you to San Andres Quezon. (This option is not really recommended because it will take you hours of waiting at Lucena GT before you can have a bus or a van that will take you to San Andres, Quezon)

For boat rental, you can contact Kuya Randy ( 09982758413 ). The price may vary depending on the number of persons to be brought to the Island. For our case, we paid 500 pesos back and forth that is good for two. According to him, he offers a back and forth boat ride for 1,500 pesos for 10-12pax and 2,000 pesos for 15pax.

Where to stay?

Best option: Bring your own tent and pay only 100pesos as an environmental fee.

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If you are not comfortable with the idea of camping, no worries because you can rent a Kubo with room that is good for 3 to 5 persons for Php. 500 (**plus 100 pesos each as environmental fee).

You can contact Ate Baby for accommodation inquiries,
09506449925 / 09093395311 / 09564732056.

UPDATE: As of MARCH 2017, Kubo renting price has gone up to Php. 700.

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What to do?

1. Tour at Sandbar and Mangroves area
2. Swimming
3. Snorkeling
4. Sunset/Sunrise
5. Island Hopping ( Burias Island, Sombrero Island, Talisayan Island) **cost depends on the number of persons. Fewer persons, higher cost. You can contact Kuya Randy for the island hopping fee.

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Aerial view of Alibijaban Island (Credits to BYAJAYRO)

How to get back to Manila?

From San Andres port, hire a pedicab that will take you to bus terminal for 30 pesos. Otherwise, you can walk from the port to the terminal.

Barney Trip Schedule (San Andres to Alabang Starmall): 3:00am/ 3:00pm/ 6:30pm/ 8:30pm

Contact: Joydrix Ladesma 09078143150

Also, just beside Barney bus’ terminal is the Superlines. They also have a direct trip from San Andres Quezon to Cubao.  +63 922 522 5192

Schedule of bus trips: 4:30AM/ 4:30PM/ 9:30PM

Island Fees

  • If you are planning to get to the island, please contact Kuya Randy in advance through his mobile: +6399-8275-8413.
  • They collect an Environmental or entrance fee for Php100/pax.
  • Use of utility water costs ₱10 per pail / ₱150 per drum .
  • Cooking fee is at your own discretion, and so with the guide fee.
  • Kuya Randy charge Php200 when you go for an island tour but I suggest you to, at least, shell out a bit.
  • Port fee for ₱4.

Tips/Reminders:

1. It is recommended that you take the direct trip (Barney Bus) to San Andres Quezon. I prefer Barney bus compared to Superlines.
2. Bus’ last stop is at San Andres market. You can buy the things you’ll be needing in the Island here.
3. The port is walking distance from the market but you can hire a pedicab to bring you there for 10pesos fare.
4. If you arrive at the Island early in the afternoon, you can have a tour first at the Sandbar and mangroves areas to max out your time and pitch your tent later just in time for the sunset.
5. You can save your 200 pesos if you will visit the sandbar and mangroves areas just by walking.
6. It is not allowed to just make your own bonfire at the shore. You need to ask permission from the locals first.
7. Bring candies or anything that suits children’s taste.
8. Don’t miss the sunrise! Perfect time to wake up is at 5:00AM. You can actually get your best shots under the sun since it is low tide.
9. No worries for FOOD! You can ask the locals to cook something for you for a minimal fee.
10. Electricity is limited at the island since it is only powered up by solar electricity. So charging your gadgets will cost you 25pesos.
11. There is a store at the island where you can buy soft drinks, liquor, snacks and others.
12. Bring your trash bags and dispose your waste properly.

Actual Itinerary for 2D1N

Friday (Day 1)
4:00AM – 1:00PM ETD/ETA @San Andres
1:00PM – 2:00PM Lunch/ Buying of necessary things needed in the Island
2:00PM – 2:10PM ETA @San Andres Port
2:10PM – 2:30PM ETA @Alibijaban Island
2:30PM – 5:00PM Tour at Sandbar and Mangroves area (High tide)
5:00PM- 6:00PM Pitch Tent while enjoying the view of the sunset
6:00PM-7:00PM Cook dinner and prepare things for the bonfire.
7:00PM-9:00PM Dinner time. Share your stories to the locals.
9:00 onwards Wash up/Stargazing/Lights out
Saturday (Day 2)
5:30AM Wake up time
5:30AM-6:30AM Sunrise appreciation
6:30AM-8:00AM Free time
8:00AM – 10:00AM Tour at Sandbar and Mangroves areas (low tide)
10:00AM-2:00PM Late breakfast/Wash up/Pack up things
2:00PM-2:20PM Back to San Andres Port
2:20PM – 4:30 PM
**We missed the 3PM trip of Barney bus. But luckily, Superlines bus’ trip is at 4:30PM.
Waiting time for the bus’ departure
4:30 PM ETD Superlines
2:00AM ETA Boni, Mandaluyong

Detailed breakdown of expenses

FARE
Alabang to San Andres, Quezon
Student/Senior/PWD Php. 334
Regular Php 417

334

Boat ride RT **500/2

250

Pedicab **30/2 from port to Bus Terminal

15

San Andres to Boni Mandaluyong
Student/Senior/PWD Php. 350
Regular Php 435

350

949

Environmental Fee

100

Sandbar and Mangrove Tour
**you can actually visit these areas through walking to the other side of the island. For our case, we were not informed it can be reached by walking so we took the tour by boat. However, it is okay because afterall it was worth it since we got to visit these areas twice (Friday afternoon, high tide and Saturday morning, low tide) for 200 pesos only.

100

Port Fee

4

FOOD
Lunch at San Andres Market

35

Necessary food to bring in the Island
** Dinner, Breakfast and Others

162.5

Food during the trip

87.5

Lunch @Franks at San Andres port

44.5

Dinner at Superlines Bus stop

70

399.5

PERSONAL and OTHER EXPENSES
Uber to Alabang Starmall

112

Tip

100

Water for Bath
**10pesos per pail  and 150pesos per drum

50

262

GRAND TOTAL

1,814.5

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