Date Published: 20 July 2014
Keywords: olango island wildlife sanctuary, cebu islands
Walking on the water towards Olango Sanctuary (photo courtesy: Nilo Arribas, Jr.)
What is Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary?
Olango Island is just one of the few remaining wildlife sanctuaries in the country.
The island is where ‘international’ migratory birds refuel for their seasonal travels.
It has been observed that of the 77 migratory bird species Olango Island hosts over 60 percent of them using the East-Asian Australiasia flyways.
Olango is located in Cebu Province, Central Visayas region, the Philippines. There are around 40 thousand birds that replenish in this over 1,000 hectares of sandflats and mangroves covered area.
This is a paradise for the birds that fly back and forth to places as Siberia, Northern China and Japan (and probably South Korea, too) trying to take get away from winter seasons.
It has been observed that Olango Wildlife Sanctuary has the greatest number of migratory birds so far in the country.
The Philippine government’s main environmental agency, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, is naturally and fundamentally responsible to protect and look after this special natural resource. The office of Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary serves as the starting point where people enjoy birdwatching or just do nature walks.
Far Eastern Curlew migratory birds (photo by: Nilo Arribas, Jr.)
There are about a hundred (or 97) species of birds being observed in Olango Sanctuary. About 48 of them are migratory birds while the remaining number comprises the residents on this haven.
The website of Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary mentions some of the birds that you can most possibly observe during peak (between November and February) the migratory season…
Chinese Egret, Little Egret, Little Heron, Grey Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Sand-Plover, Far Eastern Curlew, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler, Ruddy Turnstone, Asian Dowitcher, Great Knot, Rufous-necked Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, Common Kingfisher, White-collared Kingfisher, Barn Swallor, Pacific Swallor, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Golden-bellied Flyeater, Pied Fantail, Brown Shrike, Olive-backed Sunbird
Certainly, when you want to visit and see the sanctuary you would probably ask if there’s a place (accommodation) or room for rent. There answer is: NO. The whole area is free from any bigger establishments including rooms for rent, which are common in most tourist places.
It means that you must bring your own provisions.
May 14, 1992 is when the Philippine Presidential Proclamation 903 proclaimed Olango Island as protected area. This proclamation is one component of a republic act known as the National Protected Area System (NIPAS Act) of 1992.
On November 8, 1994, Olango Island was declared as a first Ramsar Site (Wetland of International Importance) in the country during the Ramsar Convention in Ramsar, Iran.
The Important Bird Area (IBA) also recognized Olango Island as one of the important reservation or sanctuaries for birds and waterfowls in the whole of the Philippines in 2001 (Mallari)
Olango Wildlife Sanctuary Contact Details
Address: Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, San Vicente, Olango, Lapu-Lapu City,
Mobile Phones: +63 915 386 2314; +63 928 713 0117
Landlines: +63 32 3469177; +63 32 343 9268
Office Hours: All days of the week from 9 to 5PM
Close on holidays: November 1 & 2; December 24, 25 & 31; Jan 1 & Easter
Charge for visitors: Filipinos: Php20; Foreigners: Php100
Now, if you are interested to visit this sanctuary, depending on your point of departure you can have the following choices of directions:
From Cebu-Mactan International Airport or Cebu City
Take a metered taxi (insist on using it) to Punta Engano Pier nearby Hilton Hotel. It will cost you around Php200-250 with meter rate including Php50 add-on charge.
Then, at Punta Engano Pier you may take an outrigger boat (locally called ‘pumpboat’) that will bring you to Santa Rosa, which is about 15 minutes.
As you arrive Santa Rosa Pier, use your skill in dealing with tricycle drivers than will bring you Olango Wildlife Sanctuary which is around 5 kilometers. Motorcycles are the omnipresent mode of transportation in the country—a motorbike with a side car. A roundtrip ride for an hour stay would be not more than Php200.
Back to Cebu City
Since taxis are not readily available at Punta Engano Pier, you may have to walk to Hilton Hotel where you can find taxis.
Another option is to take a Jeepney ride (transfer once) for SM Cebu. Take the jeepney with ‘Highway’ signboard then get off at ‘Save More’ shop, and then take another jeepney with an ‘SM Cebu’ signboard. SM or ShoeMart is a huge department store located in Cebu City.
Hope you’ll have a great time when you decide to visit this bird sanctuary.
Until then, please visit this website for more interesting features about Cebu Province.
Return to Cebu Environmental Sites from Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary
Return to Cebu Bluewaters Home from Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary