Once Islas is the new tourist destination that opened to public last July 2018. Located just 1.5 hours away from Zamboanga City, Once Islas is an island hopping destination you should not miss. Although “once” means eleven islands, only 3 islands are open to the public. To know more about Once Islas DIY, continue reading!
As part of our Zamboanga del Sur DIY trip, I personally enjoyed an island hopping trip in Once Islas since my friends and I were able to explore the reefs while freediving in one of the islands. Traveling to Once Islas is easy and cheap especially if you’ll do it the DIY way. Although there are travel agencies offering a trip to Once Islas, I still recommend DIY trip to lessen the expenses. DIY is highly recommended if you are a budget traveler.
Table of Contents
Pre-travel Guide to Once Islas
About Once Islas
Once Islas, a new tourist destination that just opened to the public last July 1 2018. Once Islas consists of a group of private and public islands. Out of 11 islands, only 3 are open for visiting. Moreover, it’s possible that the remaining (8) private islands will soon open for the public. There are lots of activities available in the 3 islands such as: swimming, snorleling, kayaking, freediving and treking.
According to our tour guide, the best time to come here is April – May where there are less jelly fish. But when we visited last February 2020, we didn’t encounter any jellyfish so February – May is still a good month to come.
Important Reminders/Contacts/Rates (Once Islas DIY)
- To secure your slot, reserve slot by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or through their official Facebook here. Alternatively, you may contact them through phone call at (062) 975 6341. Walk ins are accepted but it’s only until 11:00 AM. Otherwise, walk ins are not accepted.
- Early booking is necessary as the number of visitors per day is limited to 200 persons only.
- Oncel Islas is closed every FRIDAY. The reason is because Friday is the prayer day of our Muslim brothers and sisters.
- DIY guests must proceed to the Brgy. Hall of Panubigan as official sole jump-off point to Once Islas.
- The earliest boat is available at 7:00 AM and the last trip back for day tours is at 3:00 PM. (Total of 8 hours only). Overnight stays are not allowed.
- Before you proceed to the island hopping, there will be a short briefing for the DOS and DONTS.
- Bringing of lechon is prohibited.
- NO NUDITY
- You may bring food and water for lunch or you have an option for paluto. Crabs are available as long as you advise the tourism office before you visit. Otherwise, bring your lunch and snacks for walk ins.
|Boat Rental Fee||PHP1,200.00-2,00.00 (maximum of 9 pax)|
|Guide Fee||PHP300.00 (whole group)|
Other fees includes:
- Cottage rental fees
- Paluto of crabs
- Trek fee PHP50.00/pax (Sirommon Island)
- Kayaking (Bisaya-Bisaya Island)
- Parking fee for motorcycle or 4-wheel vehicle in Brgy. Hall.
How to get to Once Islas DIY
For DIY travelers, proceed to the van terminal. Ride a tric and tell the driver to take you to the van terminal going to Once Islas. At the terminal, ride a van to Brgy. Panubigan There are lots of vans that will pass by Brgy Panubigan, just ask the drivers if they will pass by Brgy. Panubigan to Once Islas. Travel time is only 1 hour and the fare is PHP80.00.
Drop off in Brgy. Panubigan and ride a tricycle/habal-habal to the Brgy. Hall where you will register and pay the fees for your island hopping trip. The fare is PHP120.00 for the whole tricycle.
Welcome to Once Islas
From the name itself, Once Islas has a total of 11 islands. However, only 3 are open to the public. These are (1) Sirommon Island, (2) Baung-Baung Island and (3) Bisaya-Bisaya Island.
Explore the wide sandbar in Sirommon Island and trek to the other side of the island. There are cottages available for rent in the island and some of the activities available are: swimming, photo ops in the sandbar, trekking and freediving.
The Baung-Baung Island is the next destination after the Sirommon Island. Baung-Baung features a white sand beach and a stunning front beach ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Just a few minutes away from Baung-Baung is Bisaya-Bisaya Island. These 2 islands are actually just beside each other. Bisaya-Bisaya island features rock formations, white sand beach for swimming and other activities like kayaking and snorkeling.
The rock formation in the island is very beautiful to see and you should definitely go here when in the island. Check out our photos below enjoying the scenery.
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