Onuk island, the last frontier of the Philippines?
If you are like me, constantly searching for the pristine, unexploited and off the beaten track, then this can be something for you. But beware, it’s a little bit tricky to find your way out to Onuk island and there is no infrastructure for tourists whatsoever. But that’s part of the adventure right?
And hey! Don’t miss to watch the video clip at end!
How about the safety?
The short answer is yes, it’s safe to go to Onuk island. But consider the long answer as well. Remember before you travel to Balabac it’s always good to listen around regarding the concerns below since things can change.
There have been Malaria outbreaks in the mountainous Mainland Balabac but for now it’s considered safe to be out in the Balabac archipelago. But bring mosquito repellants because there will be tons mosquitos hunting for your blood after sunset.
A minor concern are the saltwater crocodiles but they are only present in the Mainland Balabac. Which means out in the archipelago it’s safe from crocodiles.
The weather can be unpredictable. The dry seasons of April and May are the best times to visit the Balabac archipelago since the sea is perfectly calm on most days during these months. You may also visit Balabac during the months of December to February where it is fairly good. However, these months can the waves be particularly rough on the beaches.
But hey! Balabac islands are located in the Sulu sea. Hmm wasn’t that the place where the Philippine army battle bandits? Yes, that’s right. But that’s on the other side of the Sulu sea at Jolo. There are no bandits in the Balabac archipelago.
Facts about how to get to Onuk island
Be sure to bring your snorkeling gears and you can enjoy the crystal clear water under the surface as well. There were some coral reef surrounding the island. Sorry to say much of the coral was already dead. But beautiful sea turtles were grazing sea grass from the sea floor but ever how hard I tried I couldn’t catch up with them. There were some amazing giant clams which were easier to spot since they didn’t swim away from me.
The final thought
If you are too comfy this trip is nothing for you. But if you are more adventurous and don’t mind to put in a bit effort to experience the beauty of Mother Nature I can recommend to explore this part of Palawan. It’s totally worth it all days in the week! Other post which is related to Palawan click here
Sizzling Republic, a savior in the night
Let’s say, that you for some reason end up late at the bus terminal in Rio Tuba (southern Palawan). Not many tourists go there in the first place... but anyway on top of that you are hungry, craving for some real food after a long tiresome ride in the bus. Then you will soon discover there will not be so many options for you. But if you extend your search by 5 minutes walking distance from the bus terminal you will likely find the Sizzling Republic Restaurant. Surprisingly enough they are open 24 hours and at Friday and Saturday they have live music... and that’s not all they even have a separate menu just for their cocktails!
The main attractions here at Sizzling Republic were of course their sizzlers. It’s what they claim to do, right? But they also had a varieties of breakfasts and other western and Filipino dishes. The menus below show just a sample of what the Sizzling Republic had to offer.
What is a “Sizzler” you may ask? It’s a common dish here in the Philippines and can be something like a open-roasted, grilled or shallow fried pieces of meat, chicken, fish or vegetables and it usually comes with rice, served on a metal or stone hot plate, kept on a wooden base.
Squid and shrimp sizzling
We tried the squid and shrimp sizzling. I liked that they included a large chili fruit. I had it sliced in small pieces and mixed it to get the right level of spiciness. The taste was really good.
If you ever come to Rio Tuba I can definitely recommend the Sizzling Republic Restaurant. Generous open hours actually 24 hours daily, really good food, wide variety of dishes, nice staff, Friday and Saturday come with live music... what else can you wish for?