Finding Yourself at the Manjuyod White Sandbar Stretch

Sitting quietly at the back of the boat, I laid a little with my arms crossed behind my head. My eyes were fixed on the blue waters of Tañon Strait, awaiting for more dolphins to greet me on that day. It was around 8 o’clock and I guess they’re all done with their morning show. I closed my eyes for a brief moment – listening intently to the growling sound of boat’s motor, the whistling wind, and the muffled conversations from my friends on the other end.

“This is very relaxing.” I said to myself.

manjuyod sandbar edge

The Olympia Island across the edge of Manjuyod White Sandbar, Bais, Negros Oriental

That time, we were passing by Olympia Island (Diutay Island). The boatman, a friendly middle-aged guy, sat beside me and he was very enthusiastic – pointing out several islands across us, searching for visible dolphin fins in the horizon, talking about his work and his family. It was a delight getting to know somebody you just knew for a second.

Minutes later, as the sun continued to climb up, I craved for another view and transferred to the opposite side. I slowly danced through the subtle waves and when I positioned myself at the farthest point of the boat, I gazed upon those little huts I could see from the distance.

The destination we were headed to was the popular Manjuyod White Sandbar (some people would call it as the Sumapao Shoal). It is a 7-kilometer long stretch of white powdery sand beach located at the center of North Bais Bay and it is one of the nine amazing sandbars in the Philippines according to Skyskanner.

manjuyod sandbar boat dock

The moment our boat was anchored to the shoal.

When the boat docked, my jaws dropped with astonishment as I became a witness to the pristine beauty of the sandbar. It was magnificent and idyllic. Although I was expecting to see sand ripples, the view just caught my breath. Everyone went down to savor their own “moment” with this phenomenal natural gem. I stood there, framing that one shot that would stay in my memory forever.

As I jumped off and touched my feet on the clear water, a break-up song repeatedly played on my subconscious.

“We’ve been together for quite sometime now… And I know you love me, no need to take a vow… That’s why I ain’t sure why I’m feeling the way that I do… I can choose to hide it but it won’t be fair to you…” (Watch the video)

manjuyod sandbar boat

The tide was rising.

“How can a break-up song be playing on my mind right now?” I asked myself while pretending to be busy and taking a lot of pictures. I tried humming a different tune just to change the song that we were all singing back in the boat but my effort was worthless.

Again. That same song played on and on.

“Though, I love you, I gotta find myself… I know this will hurt you but it’s better for me to leave… Than pretend that I’m okay… You would have noticed anyway… Forgive me for what I’ve to do, I have to end it with you…”

manjuyod sandbar cottage close-up

Solar panels are installed in every cottage good enough to power a few light bulbs.

Probably I was becoming too sentimental of the things that happened in the past. Maybe that song dug deep on the tiny secrets I have buried in my heart – the not so long ago emotional struggles I had and how I was able to get past that phase.

I was literally introspecting on a sandbar – finding myself…

After that short drama, I forcefully shifted my attention to the rustic solar-powered cottages. These stilted huts are a couple of meters away from the edge of the sandbar and a bit far from one another. This goes to show that you could really enjoy your privacy if you ever decide to have a sleepover in the middle of the sea. 

manjuyod sandbar feet

On the far right, another cottage is being constructed.

By the time we arrived, we were the only people there. I personally enjoyed some alone time circling a small area in the vast expanse of white sand. I have heard from the locals that it is indeed best to visit the place earlier – to avoid so many tourists and to actually see and feel the sand while the tide is low. Hours after exploring paradise, two boats docked.

I think it was a perfect time to rest.

manjuyod sandbar cottages

A picturesque view atop our rented boat.

While lying on the boat’s hammock, I could not resist those blue waters below me. The transition of colors from the white sand to the crystalline, turquoise lining, to the instant shift of deep royal blue a few inches further – the palette just blew me away. Then I remembered my first snorkeling experience in Alona Beach, Bohol, where a school of fish swarmed towards me, the glow of their scales beamed my eyes with the sun’s reflection. A reminiscent color of the deep.

“It must be beautiful down there.” I muttered.

My friends dashed to the bamboo floaters, nearest to the edge of the sandbar . Everybody was splashing like little children on their first swimming class, chuckling and giggling as if the sandbar was the only playground in the world. I laughed with them. As they began to scoop a handful of saltwater to throw against one another, I quickly got up and went back to the sandbank.

manjuyod sandbar self-portrait

Me against the wind.

The water was on my knees when I went down to press my feet on the sand. The tide was rising fast and it was an hour after noon. I took several shots, snapped the camera’s trigger – firing away just to capture that bliss.

Again, after exhausting all my energy to forget, that song played for the hundredth time…

“Time heals all wounds, they say… And I’m hoping that there will be a way… For the love that we had to stay…”

* * *

bais map

Dolphin Adventure Private Boat can hold 25 passengers at Php5,000 per boat. You may contact 0922 564 4448 for inquiries or reservations. Meanwhile, if you need a smaller boat that could hold 6 passengers or less, contact my friend, Mr. Jesus Pancho at 09202538099.

Song: End It With You – Sitti (Sessions)


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  1. OMAYGAAD SOBRANG GANDA! I think Sumapao Shoal is better than Camiguin’s White Island if we take account its powdery white sand. Yung sa Camiguin kasi, mejo course tas malalim. Haha!

  2. I want to go to Camiguin!!! Thanks for dropping by, Renz! 😀

  3. Wow! I would love to spend a few days in one of those cottages, you know, after those crazy nerve-wracking days at work 🙂

  4. So I envy you kasi I’ve lived in Dumaguete for almost all my life but haven’t been to Bais sandbar! Hahahaha Such a loser meh. 😛

  5. I miss you @elaljanelasola:disqus 🙂 You have all the time in the world to explore Dumaguete. Siguro I’ll come with you because I haven’t been to the twin lakes yet. mehehe! 🙂 See you on the road soon! More kulitans!!!

  6. Very true @nortehanon:disqus 🙂 The place is breath-taking 🙂

  7. Nice! Great read! Missing our travel times!

  8. Thanks ate Joy! 🙂 Let’s travel once again soon 😛

  9. Lol! Elal Jane… 🙂

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