If you've been to the White Island in Camiguin, then the Agutayan Island in Jasaan, which is on the way to Camiguin will be very familiar. Way back in 2006, I came upon a group of friends in Cagayan de Oro who just came from a summer outing in Jasaan. They were talking about this white sand island that had no trees. The name of the island was Agutayan.
I quickly searched about the island, and I didn't get much info about it. I've been to Cagayan De Oro since then every year, but managed not to visit Agutayan. Finally in 2008, I was persistent enough to bring a group of 8 for a very short visit to the island. Talk about being impulsive and convincing as well.
It was fortunate that our hosts from CDO knew about the island, however, they have never been there. They knew how to get there, so that solves it. From the Puerto Public Market where we were conducting an interview shoot, we rushed to Liyang Beach in Jasaan, at 3PM. The trip took us only 30 minutes. Liyang Beach is where you can find boats to go to Agutayan.
So, after negotiating with the boatman, who charged us only P1000 for a huge boat, we were off to Agutayan, which I couldn't see from a distance from Liyang Beach. I was always asking the boatman where the island was, and he said "Susulpot nalang yan." Interesting and exciting.
After a seemingly long 25 minute boat ride, we glanced the white sand shores of Agutayan. And it did pop out just like that in the open sea. It was in the middle of the gulf, and you could see Camiguin from afar.
We slowly glided upon the clear blue waters as it turned shallow. The coral reefs disappeared and white sand was all over. We docked late in the afternoon, and hurried into the island.
It was an overcast sky at 4PM and the sun was already low. The colors were pretty bad, but that didn't hinder us from enjoying taking pictures left and right in this small sand bar.
Agutayan is a tree less sand bar. It is a marine sanctuary, as coral reefs surround the area. I'm assuming Agutayan is a perfect resting place and picnic ground for divers. There is a small outpost sitting on concrete pillars 50 meters away from the island. I guess the caretaker lives there. There wasn't anyone on the island when we arrived, except for some fishermen who passed by. It was smaller than White Island, and the sand is not entirely white, but more golden. Nevertheless, it was fine.
Agutayan is not as big as White Island too. The water is refreshing and there are stronger waves on the more exposed side of the island.
So, when in CDO, try to spend a day or even just hours in Agutayan. Bring your friends, and have a great picnic. You don't have to go far to Camiguin just to experience a laid back sand bar like Agutayan.