Onuk Island – Balabac Palawan – The Country’s Last Frontier

I was lucky enough to book flights for free using my Cebu Pacific GetGo points. One of those flights was bound for Puerto Princesa, Palawan, my target — to explore the southern-most part of the province, Balabac Island.

Wikipedia has such a short description of this town. It simply says, “Balabac Island is the southern-most island of the Palawan province in the Philippines, only about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north from Sabah, Malaysia, across the Balabac Strait. Administratively, the island forms the main part of Balabac Municipality and is divided into 14 barangays. Balabac Island is home to various endemic species. It is the home of birds like the grey imperial pigeon (Ducula pickeringii), Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), blue-headed racket-tail (Prioniturus platenae), and the Palawan hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei). The Philippine mouse-deer, a subspecies of the greater mouse-deer (Tragulus napu) can only be found in this island. The Molbogs, a Muslim ethnolinguistic group, is concentrated in this island. Their livelihood includes farming, fishing and barter trading with the nearby Mapun and Sabah market centres.” It listed the 14 barangays and that’s it! That’s what the whole page contains . Yeah, I just literally copied and pasted the page 😀

Well, that’s probably long enough. For me, I only have few words for this place, “Astonishing!” “Stunning!” “Surreal!” “Refreshing!” “Paradise!”

Photos below are taken in Onuk Island, a privately owned island in Balabac. One has to get a permit from the owner, who happens to be the town’s mayor, in order to visit the island. Even tour packages do not guarantee that you can enter the place.

I hope your eyes will have a feast on the following photos, cause I had ! 🙂 Apologies if some photos might look almost identical, I just can’t stop myself from pressing the shutter in every move I made 😀

Approaching the Island…
I got excited that I even sat in the front of our little boat.

I had the island to MYSELF!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
The caretakers were in their usual “tambayan”

I had fun walking on stilts! That’s a first for me 🙂

Moooooore stilts shot!

Clearest water I’ve ever seen!!!!!!

They are planning to put stilts in this area as well. YAY!!! More Stilts, More Fun!!! 😀

One would probably have a good ZZzzzzZZZZzzz in that hammock.

There are lots of these stuff underwater… even bigger!
♫♪ So keep your eyes set on the horizon… on the line where blue meets blue ♪♫ – Rachel Platten
Please ignore that black circle on the photos. My camera lens had that dirt the whole time I was in Palawan 😦


One thing I always do in every place I go… JUMP!

Bye, Onuk! Til next time 🙂

Main reason why I didn’t feel afraid while sailing without lifevest (and the fact that I don’t swim cause I CAN’T) is this clear, shallow-looking water!

I have every intention of going back in Balabac! There are still lots of islands to explore. And perhaps, I can ride a boat bound for Sabah! haha! just kidding! 😀




  1. The place is awesome!!! are you planning to go back this year? if yes, i would like to go with the group to share with you the expenses if you want to go….let me know please! Thanks!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I paid almost double that price BUT that covered ALL I would need for 4 days – food, boat (I used it during island hopping for 3 days), and tent for 3 nights. The cost is lower when you are in group.

      But I also heard stories of people paying 5000, even 25000, just to get to the island, but i think that price is divided among the participants. They would rent their own boat, probably bigger than the one I used.


  2. Stunning pictures, thanks for sharing! Is the south of Palawan safe for non-Filipinos, that is the one reservation we had during our last visit (based on some blogs)? Puerto-Princesa & everything north is a well-oiled tourism machine but we’d love to explore the south the next time 🙂

    P.S. we have a lens dirt spot for months, I’m too lazy to clean the spot so I stamp clone every pic 😛


    1. Thanks for spending time reading my post 🙂
      The place is Safe for Filipinos and Non-Filipinos as well. My hosts said that before me, they have Russian couple as their guests. I have to say I felt little scared — traveling solo in a place with orientation different from yours. But my hosts (caretakers of the island where I stayed) were always with me. They accompanied me in the island hopping. We even went to this island where most of the population are Muslims, and their proximity to Sabah is soooo close that the goodies they sell are mostly from Malaysia instead of the Philippines. 😀 😀

      I did not dare to remove my lens cause I was afraid that sand flies would get in!!! They were so small that I didn’t even notice them feasting on my arms and legs! I think if there’s really something to be scared of in that part of Palawan, it’s the Sand Flies!!! I am still treating the marks I got from that trip last Feb 4-8. :/


      1. Aww sorry about the bites. We have something similar in Scotland called midges. They make camping in Scotland hell. We always apply anti-midge spray (which is unpleasant) but they still make their way into our tent / manage to bite us 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Balabac and its islands are worth all bites and marks. And i know Scotland is too! How I wish I can go to Scotland! have to do a lot of money-saving for that 😀


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