Waniban Island is located in Pujada Bay. It is a small island nearby Cinco Masau in the western coastline of Mati. From Cinco Masau, it was a 25 minute boat ride that cost us opnly P800 roundtrip. The boat was a tourist boat, so, it had comfortable seats, unlike fishing boats that are commonly used by tourists like me in provinces.
We docked by the shores of Waniban and was happy to see that we were the only remaining guests. The rest went back on our boat when we arrived. Thus, we had the whole island to ourselves and the caretakers. Cottages can be rented, there are around 5. So, I am assuming it's a great stopover for an island BBQ lunch.
The island has fine white sand, not powdery though, but more coral like Palawan's. The sun shone after a while, and we just laid under a tree by the beach. It was paradise indeed. Imagine having a view of of the wavy and mystical mountains Davao Oriental against clear blue waters.
I explored the island on foot, which only took 15 minutes. There were other small beaches on the other side of the island which was rocky. You could see the bigger island of Pujada as well from the other side.
There was also a small mangrove area, which lighted up as the sun shone more. I was disappointed that there was litter though. It seems that there is an increasing number of irresponsible tourists here.
I also met and chatted with some of the caretakers and the ancestral owners of the island. They offered me a drink and a taste of grilled octopus that they dip in vinegar and fish sauce.
I went back to the main beach and swam a little. The water was refreshing and calm. The shore had its rocky and sea grass areas as you go further, so make sure you wear your slippers or some aqua socks.
I love Waniban Island, and it definitely hits the list of my top beach destinations this year. We were lucky we were the only ones left, so we had peace and quiet to match our chill-out mood. And the ancestral owners of the place were very friendly. They even encouraged us to stay for the night.
We headed back to Cinco Masau at 4PM, as we planned to leave Mati at 6PM to arrive in Chema's by the Sea in Samal at 9PM. I was satsified with our day tour in Mati, though I should have stayed overnight. I wasn't able visit Pujada Island and see the inland attractions of Mati, which included several caves. Well, at least I know what to expect the next time I visit Mati. It is a laid back city, with friendly people who take pride and care for their home.