Kantican Island is a government pearl experimental farm-A A +A
Saturday, December 17, 2011
GUIUAN, Eastern Samar -- Thirty minutes boat ride from the mainland of this town is Kantican Island, a site developed as a government’s pearl experimental farm but for visitors, it has been more considered as a tourist destination.
Known as Pearl Island, the tiny place is becoming famous for snorkeling and scuba diving with its rich marine life along the 52 hectares fish sanctuary. It was developed in 1972 as pearl farm of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
The crystal-clear seawater surrounding the island is the home of an assortment of marine life such as giant clamps, different species of corals, lobster, multi-colored small fishes usually seen in aquariums, shells, seaweed.
Since I don’t know how to swim or don’t want to get wet, I was still able to see the rich marine life just few meters away from the shore by riding in a glass-bottom boat.
“The site is ideal for snorkeling. Good that we’re able to protect the area now since there were traces of illegal fishing activities in the past. We are looking at expanding the fish sanctuary,” said BFAR National Director Asis Perez after snorkeling the area.
What makes the 30-minute boat ride from the mainland to the tiny island more enjoyable is seeing the mangrove plantation is still intact, seagulls searching for prey in pure waters, and flying fishes.
Visitors will also get a chance to see the Tubabao Island where some 5,000 white Russians of the International Refugee Organization stayed after World War II.
The island with only 2,000 square meters land area is endowed with white sands. It houses an office building, relaxation area, pearl farm, watch tower and a pier.
Records show that the island have been receiving 160 to 200 guests every month including students, researchers, showbiz personalities, local and foreign tourists.
“The area was developed by the government as an experimental pearl farm, but more visitors are coming to see the rich and undisturbed marine resources in the area. We are closely guarding the area,” said Nonita Cabacaba, chief of the Guiuan Mariculture Research and Development Center, a BFAR station tasked to supervise the area.
Since the place is a fish sanctuary, hence, fishing, gleaning or taking of any living organisms in the vicinity is strictly prohibited. Visitors to the island are required to secure permit from BFAR main station in Guiuan.
With the absence of accommodation facilities in the island, visitors usually stay overnight in the mainland. The cost of a trip ranges from P500 to P1,000 depending on the boat size and number of passengers.
Pearl Island is just one of Guiuan’s many beautiful scenic spots. Being a coastal town in the Pacific side, the town is blessed with many beaches that are perfect for swimming and surfing. Among these are Calicoan Island, Homonhon Island, Suluan Island, Sulangan Beach, and Sapao Beach. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)