The Philippines is home to thousands of beautiful islands that beach lovers like you can take leisure in. Whether you go up north in Luzon, in the heart of the Visayas, or down south in Mindanao, there seems to be an endless choice of beaches that you can spend a day or two in. You can opt for the popular ones: Boracay, Coron, El Nido, or even Camiguin. Perhaps you can choose the less prominent spots like the one in the Britania Group of Islands in San Agustin, Surigao del Sur—the one they call Naked Island.
Yes, you read it right, it’s Naked Island. But before you start imagining topless ladies and unclothed gentlemen sunbathing on this white Surigao sand, let me tell you how the name of the island came to be. Actually, among the five land masses comprising the Britania Group, the Naked Island is the only one that is empty—that is without trees or any vegetation. It doesn’t even have any cliff or huge boulders surrounding it. It is only a long stretch of sandbar hovering in the middle of Lianga Bay, which faces the Pacific. Despite its nakedness, flocks of beautiful seabirds can be seen frequenting its fine, white sands. Whenever a boat comes nearer to the shore, though, the herd flies away to escape—almost in unison.
Although Naked Island is purely sand and rocks, the place is famous among vacationers who are fond of lying their backs on the shore, enjoying the comforting warmth that the tropical weather brings, and listening to the calming waves on the background. So do not get astonished to see a sight of bodies lying on the sand from your banca—they’re actually tourists indulging on their dose of sunbathing. Of course, to respect those who came into the beach strip before your entourage does, do not go and run around noisily along the sandbar.
Find your own spot, set up your personal sunbathing space, and relish the beauty of the ocean. Don’t be shocked if you find the island smaller during a high tide; it will not vanish! It will only shrink given the increased height of the sea water.
How to get there?
Going to the Naked Island is quite easy once you have set foot in the town of San Agustin. After all, the municipality’s typical Britania island hopping tour includes the said tourist attraction on the list. Anyway, to get to the jump-off point, you need to ride a bus to Tandag and get off at the Salvacion Tourist Assistance Center. After that, you have to take a motorcycle ride for about 2.8 kilometers to reach Britania, where you then pay the environmental fee paid for by all tourists coming to the area.
When is the best time to start a Britania tour?
With the ever increasing number of tourists coming in to Britania to see some of the alluring 24 islets surrounding the Lianga Bay, it will be certain for you to have a lot of competition when it comes to banca rides. So if you want to avoid the crowd, it is best to start your journey early in the morning and to make good deals with the boatman of your choice. It is best to research about the existing island hopping rates first if you do not want to fall victim to an opportunistic local.
Since no supplies and edibles are being sold in any of the islands, it is best that you and your friends bring your own food. Just remember to keep all your trash in a bag and bring it along with you until you find a bin on the mainland. Take nothing and leave nothing, as the old folks would say.