Bike Trails: Olango? Let's Go! - Part 1

While the rest of the city remain under the spell of Zzz's, I was up and about, making final adjustments to Larry's hard-tailer. Finally, our bike trip to Olango is happening.

Overcast Mandaue

At 6-ish in the morning, Larry and I scoot out of Cebu City and head to Lapu-lapu City in Mactan Island.

Lawlaw dila but still smiling

I've only biked in two areas around Cebu - around Mactan (with bugoybikers) and up the cardio inclines of Busay (a popular morning workout spot).

Whoopee downhill!

Facing the Mandaue-Mactan bridge for the second time, I feel squirmish. This bridge could drain all my morning energy faster than I could read 'Marcelo B. Fernan'.

On the boat to the Island

After successfully conquering the bridge (whew!), we speed on to Angasil port where we would board a ferry to Olango Island. Getting there, we notice that two bikes are already sitting in the boat.

Rolling out of Santa Rosa Pier

We engage in a little chit-chat and find out that the two guys who own them cycles are also doing an Olango day trip on wheels. Their plan was to go on a Sa-ang food trip (a seashell delicacy). We, on the other hand, were planning to go bird watching at the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in San Vicente.

Maribagini forested area (green bike on the map)

Before we knew it, that simple exchange of itineraries resulted to an ex-deal. They've heard about birding activities on the island but haven't tried it, so we'll take them there and then they, in turn, would take us to their secret food trip spot afterwards. Sounds like a plan!

View Bike Trails Olango in a larger map

From Sta. Rosa Pier (blue line on the map), our now group of 4 pedal about 5 kilometers to OIWS. We pay for the registration fees (P20 entrance for locals, P10 fee for point-and-shoot camera) and leave our bikes with the caretaker who assures us that out bikes will be safe.

temporary stable

Our guide, Antonio "Toni" Quijano, lead us to the observation deck by foot. He is armed with a high-power telescope (I don't remember the technical term) and a guide book.

through the mangrove

The best time to do bird watching is during low tide-going-to-high tide, when the water is only a few inches shallow. Migratory birds from Asia (as far as Siberia) and Australia are commonly sighted here, but the peak months is during November to March.

open shallow waters

Big blocks of cement laid out in a straight line serve as our walking path, literal stepping stones leading to the deck (pink line on the map). Halfway, the water level reaches ankle-deep and we have to remove our shoes (I had to roll up my leggings, too).

Look! captured an avian photobomber here (top right corner)

Toni sets up the telescope tripod and peeks into the viewfinder. Not a minute passes when he announces that he spotted a curlew in the mangroves to the left. That was quick - I haven't spotted any bird with my naked eye's wider field of view!

Feels like looking through a microscope

We do this for a few more other birds - an Egret, a kingfisher, and some smaller birds I couldn't name now. I consider ourselves lucky, having been able to spot some birds even during off-peak season.

RAMSAR site - wetland of international importance

In between the 'peepshow', Toni discusses some bits of facts about OIWS. After about an hour, we call it a day (at leat for the first part of our trip) and wade our feet in the shallow waters back to the headquarters.

To be continued...

Read part 2 here:


  1. gosh, i'm from cebu, but i still haven't done this camotes bike trip! :D

    1. Hehe, ok lang yan. This is Olango - a different Island than Camotes, mas madaling puntahan. BTW I'll visit Camotes for the first time this May :D


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