Exploring Isola di Francesco | Blushing Geek

Exploring Isola di Francesco

Panglao Island is known for its beautiful small islands such as the famous Balicasag Island, Gak-ang, and Puntod or which is now called Isola di Francesco. Isola di Francesco was first known to travelers as Bohol Virgin Island and it’s a place of meditation and reflection owned by the Philippine Centre of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.

HOW TO GET THERE?

Exploring Isola di Francesco | Blushing Geek

It’s pretty much easy to go there since almost all island hopping packages include a tour in Isola di Francesco. But what if you’re only planning to visit Isola? Well, it’s your lucky day for I’ll tell you how below:

  • The start off point is Tagbilaran City. If you’re in a hurry, you can haggle a tricycle driver to take you there. But if you’re not in a hurry and on a very tight budget, I suggest taking a jeepney. You can either take a jeepney bound to Alona/Tawala, Dauis or any jeepney as long as it stops at Panglao Public Market. The earliest schedule they have is 6:00 AM and I guess it will only take you a half to quarter an hour reaching Panglao Public Market.
  • After reaching Panglao Public Market, you can either ride a habal-habal or motorbike to Panglao port or have a little exercise and walk. You can ask some locals on how to get there. Pretty much, you just need to walk straight until you see the Panglao church and on the right side is the port.

And that’s it! easy-peasy right?

The Isola management has their own boat service that starts to operate and accepts passengers not earlier than 9:00 AM or unless it’s high tide. You just need to register your name and then, they will give you your priority number. And by then, you will be called once it’s your turn to ride on the boat.

Exploring Isola di Francesco | Blushing Geek

Please be reminded of Isola’s boat schedules:

  • Mondays – Sundays 
  • Back and forth: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • And max of 3:00 PM going back to Panglao Port

Just like going to the island, you also need to get a priority number if you’re ready to head back. You can get them at the island’s canteen.

THINGS YOU NEED TO OBSERVE WHEN VISITING:

  • Always observe silence – the island is a place of meditation and reflection, so keep your voices down while on the island.
  • You are not allowed to bring food and drinks. Only foods from the island’s canteen can be consumed while staying on the island.
  • The place contains numerous doves and the Isola management refrains from touching or shooing them away.
  • Observe cleanliness
  • For more, kindly refer to the picture below:
Exploring Isola di Francesco | Blushing Geek

SOME FACTS AND REASONS WHY ISOLA DI FRANCESCO IS A MUST VISIT ATTRACTION IN BOHOL:

  • Isola was first named as Puntod Island but is popularly called Virgin Island.
  • The raising of the Philippine Flag to the island was done on June 12, 2013
  • Isola di Francesco is open to everyone with no entrance fee with free boat shuttle service and only accepting donations.
  • At the middle of the island is the statue of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina that stands tall over the pious guests and devotees.
  • It’s a quiet place for relaxation and meditation with art installations of scenes from Jesus’ life and ministry.
  • It features a mini-museum of the stigmatist Padre Pio, who is known as the saint-confessor for Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.
Exploring Isola di Francesco | Blushing Geek

OUR EXPERIENCE:

It’s low tide when we arrive at the island and the scenery is just so breathtaking.  How much more when it’s high tide! Well, if you’re curious, you can check this video of Isola di Francesco from above. Amazing isn’t it?

It’s not yet summer when we visited the island but the heat is quite unbearable, so make sure to bring an umbrella, a cap or sunglasses with you. It’s so picture-perfect too that’s why my sister and I can’t get enough taking pictures at the place lol.

Aside from taking amazing photos of the place, I also enjoyed walking to the white sand of Isola di Francesco. There’s no shade while walking to the island’s sandbar but if you walk through the water, just like me, you’ll forget the scorching heat of the sun.

Isola di Francesco is absolutely one of my favorite islands in bohol and I pretty much took a lot of pictures that I can’t post here or it will take a day for this post to load lol. So, you can all check them out on our Facebook account and let those pictures convince you to visit this island. *wink

FACILITIES:

The island really has the best restroom facilities so make sure to stop by while visiting the island, you’ll be amazed at how cool it was.

They have kayaks too, so you can absolutely borrow it. Just don’t forget to drop some donations *wink

If you’re hungry or thirsty, you can absolutely get them at their canteen in exchange for a donation.

Aside from Padre Pio’s mini museum, godly statues and reflective scenes from Jesus’ life, you can also find a small chapel on the island. They also conduct mass every 23rd of the month at 10:00 AM.

Exploring Isola di Francesco | Blushing Geek

TRAVEL TIPS:

  • If you want a more peaceful trip, it is advisable to go there on weekdays.
  • It’s not advisable to go there during the ber months because of the habagat, the best time would be during summer.
  • If you plan to go swimming, you can absolutely enjoy it when it’s high-tide. Make sure to check your calendar for the perfect date and time to go there.
  • The island could get too populated, so if you’re availing their boat shuttle service, make sure to get your priority number early to avoid longer waiting time.
  • The perfect time to go to the island is when it’s high-tide. Believe me, the experience is more enjoyable when you walk in the sandbar while feeling the cold refreshing water.
  • It could get pretty hot, so make sure to bring an umbrella, hat or sunglasses with you.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Place: Isola di Francesco
  • Location: Isola di Francesco, Panglao Island, Bohol
  • Ticket price: Free
  • Date of the trip: January 2017

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8 Comments

  • Kristin March 4, 2017 at 1:17 am

    This sounds like a wonderful place! I don’t meditate but I do like non-roudy places and most beaches tend to be crowded with a lot of loud and obnoxious people. So I’m glad to hear there are a lot of rules in place so that people can just go, relax, and take in the beauty of the island.

    Reply
    • Vanessa March 4, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      Yep, beach tends to get crowded and loud especially during summer, but this island is nothing like that. Definitely a perfect place to read books too 🙂

      Reply
  • Alyssa Susanna March 5, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh. Now I want to take a vacation. In the middle of the semester. Well, spring break is in two weeks… yeah it’d probably cost me an arm, a leg, and a lung to go here and come back. Maybe in a few years when I’m making the big $$$ (yeah right). 😀 😀 😀 😀 Beautiful post, Vanessa!

    Have a great weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    Reply
    • Vanessa March 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Alyssa. Hope you’re having a great weekend too 🙂

      Reply
  • kindlemom1 March 6, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Looks absolutely beautiful!

    Reply
    • Vanessa March 8, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      Yes, this place is just magical.

      Reply
  • Sophia Rose March 7, 2017 at 2:35 am

    It looks like a lovely place and sit and meditate on some thoughts and then swim or kayak. Love reading your travel adventures. 🙂

    Reply
    • Vanessa March 8, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      Definitely! It’s so quite which is so perfect to read books too 🙂

      Reply

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