The water rippled as the wind blew over the sea making picture-perfect patterns across the shallow shoal. Beneath us is the creamy white sand of the famous Manjuyod Sandbar. From the viewing deck surrounding one of the elevated thatched huts, we surveyed the vista unfolding before our eyes, it was nothing short of breathtaking.
I remember the first time I booked a flight to Dumaguete City with no inkling as to what it holds. I quickly googled the places to see in the area and the first thing that caught my attention were the beach huts, seemingly standing like sentinels in the middle of the sea. The Manjuyod Sandbar. I knew I was in for a treat.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to visit the sandbar back then since our trip centered on Siquijor. We did spend some time in Dumaguete, but it was only for a day and Manjuyod seemed too far for that span of time. It was an unexpected surprise that the Manjuyod Sandbar was included in our Negros Oriental tour prepared by the guys at Sta. Monica Beach Club.
From the city, it took almost two hours to reach the small bamboo jetty at Manjuyod where the jump-off for the sandbar is located. Our outrigger boat reached paradise in less than fifteen minutes. Everyone was excited as the first of the sea huts emerged into view as the water sparkled like fluid crystals under the hot midday sun. We have the islet to ourselves; there was absolutely no one in sight.
Bags and packed lunch were quickly laid down at one of the pillared huts; we’re making it our home base for the day. Although we’d only be spending half a day at the Manjuyod Sandbar, guests are allowed to stay overnight at the cottages.
The rooms are spacious enough for a group of friends and there’s a kitchen with an open pit where one can cook using charcoals—which you have to bring with you by the way. The amenities are very basic but worry not, a toilet and bath is available for your convenience.
Note that although the rooms are fitted with light bulbs, charging of gadgets are not allowed since electricity is very limited, it’s sourced from the solar panels installed above the huts.
I once dreamed of staying here for a night. Well, that was before I read a full account of how things went for those who did stay at the Manjuyod Sandbar overnight. Not that I’m dissuading you—with a group of friends, yes—but staying solo for the night, probably not a good idea unless you want to scare yourself sh*tless.
The sea was quickly engulfing the sandbar as we went down. The tide was coming in but we were still able to wade through with our cameras. Where once was fine sand, now was knee-deep sea water.
Kids swimming along happily reported seeing fishes below. It made me so envious that I didn’t bring my snorkel and mask with me. Although the water’s pretty shallow along the sandbar, the seafloor drops very very quickly along its edges; so a bit of caution to where you’re swimming.
In less than an hour, the entire Manjuyod Sandbar is underwater; the creamy sand has now transformed into turquoise green waters. Touristy pictures were taken, lunch was handed out and benches were made beds for siestas. We let the hours pass. We were in paradise.
Manjuyod White Sand Bar
Address: Brgy. Campuyo, Manjuyod, Negros OrientalGPS Coordinates Map: 9° 36' 50.68", 123° 9' 55.92"
Manjuyod Tourism Office
Contact Number: (0919) 488-2950 | (035) 404-1136
Bais Tourism Office
Contact Number: (035) 402-8338 | (0917) 300-5945
Boat Rental: Php2,500.00/day up to 15pax inclusive of the sandbar, bird sanctuary and mangrove forest tour