Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Agutayan Island, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental

One of the least known tourist destinations of Misamis Oriental and Region 10 is Agutayan Island in the town of Jasaan which is about 28 kilometers from the capital city Cagayan de Oro. The island which is about 5 kilometers off the town’s coast is within a government protected marine area that also includes underwater coral reefs that are sanctuary and breeding place of different sea creatures such as giant clams, giant sea turtles, and species of small and big fish. The marine protected area is about 3 hectares which is delineated with buoys that are connected with lines.

The sandbar island is the most prominent scene within the surface of the marine sanctuary. It is crescent shape and is about 5,000 square meters in area. The cream-colored sand surrounding it and beyond creates clear and turquoise water in its vicinity. The island is ideal for people who take pleasure to bask or swim in the sea water during the hot summer days or in any season of the year when the weather is calm. Visitors of the island should bring along with them foods, water, tents, umbrellas or towels or clothes to protect themselves from the hot sun because the island has no vegetation and is uninhabited.    


Because of the diversity of marine life in it, the government protected marine sanctuary has become the Mecca of scuba divers, snorkelers and swimmers. Fishing however is prohibited in the protected marine sanctuary. And there is a maritime post a few meters from the island to watch over the reefs from poachers and illegal fishers. The post also serves as a lighthouse during the evening.

From Liyang Beach or the fishing village of Bobuntugan in Jasaan the island can be reached within 20 minutes by local motorized boats which can be hired at a reasonable price.