Manjuyod Sandbar: The Shallows

Off the coast of Negros Oriental, some 67 kilometers north of Dumaguete City, there is an amazing natural beauty that is constantly drawing visitors and sandbar chasers all throughout the year. Most people call these shallow parts of Manjuyod as the Maldives of the Philippines. The Shallows on a low tide, unveil an area of white sand, more like a naked island in the middle of Tañon Strait.

It is an emerging tourist destination in this part of Negros Island. Tour operators generally offer a side trip to the Manjuyod Sandbar in their Bais dolphin-watching package. The Shallows are nearer to Bais City than the town proper of Manjuyod.

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Cottage on shallow waters

How to get there?

The easiest way to get there is to take a flight to Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. From Dumaguete, it is a 40 minute drive to Bais City. Another option is to take a bus heading for Bais. Then transfer to a tricycle (tuktuk) in Bais and head to Capiñahan Wharf. From there, arrange or rent a boat that would take you to Manjuyod Sandbar. The boat rental is between Php 2,500-5,000 depending on the number of people in the group.

Please be advised that there are no stores or shops at Manjuyod Sandbar. If you plan to stay at Manjuyod for a day or overnight, better buy food first before you hop into an outrigger boat. There are only a few cottages on the sandbar. Reservation is needed if you want to get a cottage. They can be rented for a day (Php 1,500) or overnight (Php 4,000). Contact either the Bais City Tourism Office or Manjuyod Tourism Office.

My visit to the Maldives of the Philippines happened last June 2016. We were a group of seven wanderers who decided to meet up in Bais City at the junction of Kabankalan-Mabinay-Bais Road and the Western Nautical Highway. This junction is near the Universal Robina Sugar Milling Corporation (URSUMCO). We already made an arrangement for a boat prior to this trip. Our contact, Rey Balena instructed us to head to the North Bais Bay and from there, it’s a 15min ride to the shallows.

And since there are only a few cottages in the sandbar, most of the outrigger boats serve as ‘floating’ cottages. Some have wash rooms and area where you can cook your food. The boatmen can also offer to grill food and cook rice. There are other boats that go to every banca to sell seafood (mollusks, oysters or sea urchin), drinks and whatnot.

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It is important to know though when the low tide is going to happen because that’s when the sandbars become visible. We reached the shallows just before lunch time and we had a perfect timing because the low tide was scheduled in the afternoon, enough time to swim, frolic and enjoy the lovely place.

Photos from our visit to Manjuyod Sandbar.

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Oppie and the emerging sandbar

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Low tide

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Oppie up close, Manjuyod backdrop

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What remains of one cottage

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Lovin’ some sunshine

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Sunset time

Take that trip to Manjuyod sandbar pretty soon. It’s a great experience like no other. Just don’t get caught up by the high tide.

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