Village Life on Apo Island near Dumaguete

Experiencing Apo Island Life at Liberty’s Resort



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Since my friend Steve is the first visitor from home I’ve had to my site in Dumaguete, I wanted to be sure he had good things to say about the place when he got back to the States. Apo Island is pretty much my favorite place to go visit nearby, so I booked us at Liberty’s Apo Island resort, a community based hostel that has loads of character and is built beside one of the fishing villages on Apo that is filled with friendly islanders. Aside from hanging out on the island with the friendly residents, we also got in a couple of scuba dives at the incredible Apo Island marine sanctuary and the Coconut Point.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    To reach the Malatapay boat landing, Steve and I caught a bus from Dumaguete. This bunch of kids was sitting behind us and were very friendly. Photo by Steve Iams.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    That night we were kept awake by a harsh accent and cursing coming from a room nearby. We traced the ruckus to this offending dude who apparently was angry that his girlfriend had used his credit card to help get herself a better boyfriend. Steve and I didn't feel sorry for him, and were happy to see him go on the next boat back to the mainland. He did leave us with some memorable lines in broken german accented english though.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    The banana pancakes for breakfast are pretty good.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    No, that's not a shot of whiskey on my plate for breakfast, it's syrup.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    Mangoes were pretty much back in season and are great with any meal here.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    Manaus, Brazil is only 19,281 km away from Apo.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    Before we went diving in the afternoon, Steve and I went snorkeling in the Apo sanctuary.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    This was the first time I'd ever seen an anemone fish like this one.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    The local kids in the dive shop always wanted Steve to play games with them.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    Buying a t-shirt is pretty much mandatory when you go to Apo, and it's usually pretty hard to choose who to buy from since they all have the same shirts.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    A large t-shirt in the Philippines is a lot smaller than a large t-shirt in the U.S.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    At the Malatapay beach, it looked sort of like Steve was signing autographs.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    The kids didn't want to let Steve go diving.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    The coconut trees tower over Apo's beach. Just watch out for the falling coconuts when the winds get strong though.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    After diving in the afternoon, Steve, Erica (a volunteer from my batch who brought her parents out to visit Apo) and I took the short hike to the highest point of Apo where the lighthouse is. We climbed up the rickety ladder and through this narrow hatch to get the best view of the island from the top of the lighthouse.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    The sun was setting brilliantly over the sea, and we could even see Mindanao in the distance.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    We're probably about 50 feet off above the island in this photo! Photo by Erica Chan

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    Back at Liberty's the sun was setting dramatically over the moored boats.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    The view of the sunset from our balcony at Liberty's was pretty good too.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    We all caught the early morning boat back to the mainland together the next day. Luckily the seas were really calm, so we didn't get soaked on the crossing.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    The sea wasn't very rough for the crossing to Apo Island, and 45 minutes after we left Malatapay, we landed on Apo's coral sand beach.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    We stayed at Liberty's Resort, the community based hostel on Apo that is perched over the beach and looks out over the water. The buildings at Liberty's are designed so that they blend in to the features of the landscape and don't intrude on the natural charm of the island.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    After we dropped our bags off in our room, Steve and I took a walk through one of the small fishing villages on Apo. When we reached the beach on the other side of the island that is beside the marine sanctuary, this dog really seemed to want his picture taken with us.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    Heading back to Liberty's from the beach, we stopped to visit with these nice islanders from Apo.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    By the time we got back to our room at Liberty's, the sun was setting over Negros Oriental and Dumaguete.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    We had a great view of the sunset from the balcony in our room that overlooked the water.

  • Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004

    Liberty's Apo Island Resort - November 2004
    We had dinner at Liberty's with Suzanne and Hans who are volunteering on Apo to help out with their dive ranger program, environmental awareness, and proper garbage disposal. Suzanne also told us about some close calls she had with Great White sharks while diving in her native South Africa.