The iconic boardwalk of the island loomed ahead of us as we disembarked at the resort's pier. The view of the white sand beach and its turquoise waters was a perfect summer scene. The island's landscape dramatically changed years after it was devasted by a super typhoon that left its residents migrating back to the mainland.
Lakawon Island is a small island resort off the northern coast of Cadiz City in Negros Occidental. The island was once a sleepy fishing village with a beautiful white sand coast where locals would head off to rough it out and chill. But super typhoon Yolanda changed the island's landscape permanently from a local hotspot to one of the most promising beach destinations in this side of the country.
Lakawon comes from the Cebuano word "lakaw" which means "to walk" and walking is the operative word on this banana-shaped island. There are no other means of going around but with your feet as you enjoy the beauty of the island. Let me walk you through the things that we enjoyed when we spent the night at Lakawon Island.
Lakawon Island's boardwalk is the most iconic spot in the island. It gives you a panoramic view of the island on one end and a dramatic view of the sea and Negros island from the other. It is a photogenic spot so it is not surprising that a lot of guests take a lot of time to get that perfect shot.
The boardwalk is the most photographed spot above and below its platform. The visual appeal of an endless walkway makes a dramatic backdrop for photos. They even installed a swing to make the views more dramatic. Capturing a flawless picture can be a challenge though as you expect guests to flick and take their time on the boardwalk.
Go for a leisure WALK to Westpoint
After taking a photo fill of Lakawon's Boardwalk, take a 15-minute walk to Westpoint. The walk, through the paved pathways of the resort, will give you a glimpse of the island's developments. Westpoint is the island's activity center where you can try your hand on windsurfing.
Westpoint's main attraction is its sandbar. Low tide reveals its white sand coast that stretches out to its turquoise waters. We had a great time walking its shoreline, getting our pictures, and enjoying a panoramic view of Panay Island. A small hut was our refuge from the sun.
WALK around Tawhai Floating Bar
You can enjoy the Lakawon's chill vibe aboard the Tawhai Floating Bar. Considered to be the largest floating bar in Asia, it is a great place to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beach vibe while having a cold drink and an afternoon snack. The deck was designed with foam mattresses and large pillows where guests can lounge around. And if you feel like taking a break from doing nothing, you can jump off the bar into the cool blue waters of the Visayan Sea.
We stayed on the lounge area by edge of the bar where we had a full view of Lakawon Island. The cool sea breeze and the afternoon sun were the perfect combination for a laidback afternoon chill. We enjoyed sitting by the edge of the bar and watching a school of small fish doing their run. The whole experience was both fun and relaxing.
WALK and Wade
Of course, walking along the white sand shores of Lakawon is a must. Beach bumming is a perfect activity to do when you find yourself in Lakawon Island. Both Asher and I did not mind getting a tan and enjoying a dip in its cool waters. We had a grand time diving and searching for starfish and trying to swim with the small fish.
If you are staying overnight, take the time to slowdown and just watch the beauty of the sunset. Get mesmerized by the beauty of the skies as it changes color hues. Work your way to beach and capture your silhouette shot with the dramatic sunset skies of the island. I have to say that Lakawon has one of the most visually amazing sunsets that I have seen.
You can also wake up early to catch the sun rising on the other side of the island. Take the time to walk and explore the more rustic side of Lakawon and you'd be amazed with the different facet and charm of the island.
Staying overnight at Lakawon Island is not a problem. They have bamboo hut accommodation to airconditioned rooms. We opted to go rustic with the bamboo hut accommodation and Lakawon did not disappoint. The hut was well maintained and the comfort rooms were beyond expectations.
It is safe to go around Lakawon Island even at night. You can walk along the shore and find your spot to gaze at the stars. The island is a perfect spot for stargazing.
And after a day of fun and frolicking under the sun, you can then catch a comfortable night's rest in the tranquil and peaceful vibe of Lakawon Island.
POST TRAVEL NOTES
The operative word in Lakawon Island is "walk". You explore and discover its beauty by walking around the 13-hectare sandbar. You let your feet enjoy the feel of its white sand shoreline and you let it cool down by wading into its cool waters. It is a place where you either let your feet dangle by the edge to enjoy the beauty of the sea or you raise it to relax and chill while having a cold drink on hand. Lakawon Island is a destination that frees your mind and body from your usual daily grind.
Rising from the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda, Lakawon Island is another example of how Filipinos stand up after a calamity. The fishing village has now turned into a promising and exciting tourist destination that, not only showcases its natural and man-made attractions, but has also provided locals with economic opportunities. I hope that its ongoing development will spawn a better economy in the area and that it will continue to provide opportunities to its locals every step of the way.
Tara... lakaw 'ta!
Getting There: Bacolod City is the closest gateway to Lakawon Island. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have regular flights to Bacolod-Silay Airport. You can then take a van to Bacolod City and asked to be dropped off at the Bacolod North Bus Terminal where you take a bus bound for Cadiz City and ask the driver to drop you off at the Burgos Public Market. Travel time is approximately 1 hour.
You can then take a tricycle at the Burgos Public Market for Lakawon Island. It will take another 45 minutes to the Cadiz Viejo, the jump-off point to Lakawon Island.
Travel Notes: Lakawon Island charges an entrance fee of Php350 per head that covers the entrance fee and the boat trips to and from the island. The resort operates through a cash card system and you can reload the card provided at the resort’s office on the island. Tawhai Floating Bar charges an entrance fee of Php285. You can check out the Facebook page of Lakawon Island for their accommodation rates and other details.
Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.