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Why Do Islands Change Names? Isla de Saging to Banana Island?

March 6, 2013

It was day 3 of the 4-days/ 3-nights Coron trip. The face-hidden wanderlust a.k.a. Violet  and her cousin took the island hopping tour D which includes Bulog IslandBanana Island and Malcapuya Island for 1,100/pax.

Heartbroken. The face-hidden wanderlust doesn’t want to leave her pristine Bulog Island, she and the other guests took the last look of the island, not yet leaving but feeling totally nostalgic. The calm and clear salty water, amazing shore of seashells, natural hill as view deck, nearby islands, scenic view, sand bar, and reflection of the blue sky to the vast body of water… maybe God had been His happiest the day He created that island. It was absolutely perfect. But the journey must continue and they had moved to the next island to have lunch.

Banana Island a.k.a. Isla de Saging

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Violet as a talkative and friendly-type of person, she always asked questions regarding places, people, history and events (even non-sense questions) of the places she visit.
She wondered, why some islands in Coron have several names. She found out that most of it really have local names such as the Isla de Saging.

The next island was known before as Isla de Saging. “Isla” literally means “island“, “de” means “of” and “saging” means “banana,” as owned by Tagbanuas (genuine local/ ethnic tribe from Palawan) but when an entire island is sold to another person, all rights are surrendered and thus the place can change its name if desired by the rightful owner. It had  brought the change of name of the island which is now called Banana Island, from Spanish into it’s English name. Simply translated by it’s foreign owner. This was according to our tour guides: Kuya Larry and Shane and other stories from our boatmen.

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Aside from the intriguing island buying, Violet never thought that the Coron islands and even the sea is owned, not by the government, but by local Tagbanuas or foreign owners. Every island or water areas around have entrance fees:

  • Banol Beach: P100/ person
  • Banana Island: P200/ person
  • Barracuda Lake: P100/ person
  • Bulalacao Island: P200/ person
  • Calauit Wildlife Safari: P250/ person
  • Calumbuyan Island: P150/ person
  • Coral Garden/ Lusong Sangat Gun Boat: P50/ person
  • Culion Museum: P250 local/ 350 foreigner
  • CYC Beach: no charge
  • Dalawang Isla: P100/ person
  • Ditaytayan Island: P200/ person
  • Kayangan Lake: P200/ person
  • Malaroyroy Island/ Bulog Island: P100/ person
  • Malcapuya Island: P150/ person
  • Maquinit Hot Springs: P100/ person
  • Pulang Lupa: P100/ person
  • Sangat Island: P200/ person
  • Siete Pecados: P100/ person
  • Skeleton Wreck: P100/ person
  • Smith Beach: P100/ person
  • Twin Lagoon: P100/ person

But all entrance fee are inclusive when you avail a tour. Setting this aside, here are some drooling photos of Banana Island.

And what can you do on this island? It has resting areas like the huts, picnic table, benches, plenty of shades from the trees (mostly coconuts), volleyball area, and most important of all, is an area to eat! The lunch was spicy crab, grilled fish, rice, fruits and bottle of coke (all included in the tour package). This place is also perfect for jump-shots.

Afterwards, off again for snorkeling. Violet forgot to rent a snorkeling gear and it was her biggest regret, but thanks to Kuya Jowel (boatman) who lend his mask and he also fed the fishes with the cooked rice to go near them.

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After an hour or so of snorkeling with her cousin and Kuya Jowel (and the rest didn’t even dipped into the waters just like in the Bulog Island), it was time to leave again. Violet is feeling the burnt sensation in her face, they had forgotten to re-apply their sun blocks. Hello sun-kissed skin or hello sun-burned skin?

*Note: Do not forget your beach essentials like sun blocks and snorkeling gear.

They headed to the last island Malcapuya.

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