I took the opportunity to visit the famous Sta.Cruz Island which is only 30 minutes away by boat from Zamboanga City. Apart from its famous pure sands and clear water, here are the 5 Must Knows in Sta.Cruz Island, Zamboanga, Philippines!
1.) Also Known as the ‘Pink Island’
Because of the pulverised red corals brought by the sea waves, Sta. Cruz Island can be a ‘Pink Island’ from its top view. Best reflection of pink would be at sunrise or sunset.
2.) There is a military barracks in the Island
With issues of terrorism or muslim extremists and kidnapping, military barracks were put on the island. You are safe here!
3.) Booking System
a. Guests may do the booking or reservations at the Registration Counter/ Kiosk at the Paseo del Mar, or if available, thru the officially designated mobile phone, landline or the internet.
b. Reservation or advanced booking may be done at least one (1) day or a maximum of thirty (30) days prior to the actual visit.
c. Booking time is from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Sunday, including holidays except on days when registry is officially suspended.
d. A client should fill up a form with the following information during the booking arrangements:
- Date of Visit (to include preferred time of arrival at the registration counter and time of departure from the island)
- Definite number of guests (estimates are discouraged)
- Preferred Cottage/ Cottages (a beach map will be provided)
- Contact Number (mobile phone number, e-mail, or landline)
e. Guests will still be filling up the manifest form at the registration site during the actual date of visit, except if the number of guests for a particular group is 50 or above, they may request for an advance copy of the manifest form which is to be submitted on the day of the visit to avoid registration hassles.
f. If inevitable, in cases when the number of guests booked exceeded the actual number of guests, considerations may be extended. However, if the excess guests from the original booking made, would require an additional transport service, the excess will be booked as chance passengers subject to the first-come-first-served protocol and availability of boat schedules.
g. In cases of ‘joiners’ (group with less than 10 members), the dominant group who made the prior arrangements shall decide whether they will allow others to join their group as long as the fusion will not require additional transport service.
(Guests with reservations are allowed to join with other groups with advanced booking. Walk-ins will only be allowed to join among walk-ins. The management shall have the prerogative to allow otherwise if necessary. )
h. Guests who failed to arrange a prior reservation may still be accepted thru the on-the-date booking system but only as chance passengers, on a first-come-first-served basis, subject to availability of boat schedules. Priorities are to be given to guests with advanced bookings.
i. During the day of visit, guests with prior arrangements will be required to notify the assigned receptionist/officer of the day, 30 minutes before their preferred time of arrival at the registration counter. If a delay is inevitable, the schedule of departure from the berthing point may be flexed to their advantage only if there is prior notice.
j. In cases when guests fail to notify the assigned receptionist, 30 minutes after their appointed time of arrival to the registration counter, and remained non-responsive thereafter, their booking priveleges will be rendered void. The same schedule will be made available to the chance passengers of the day.
k. Only the designated receptionists or officers of the day are to be tasked with the booking arrangements. Any arrangement done without the knowledge or proper processing of the officer assigned for the day is deemed unofficial.
l. During the booking, guests will be informed of the island rules, fees and rents and emphasis on the 30-minute window policy.
Other Related Protocols
- In cases of transport malfunction, boats may be swapped and re-assigned by the personnel in charge, as long as the swapping or re-assignment adheres to the carrying capacity of the involved transport services.
- Officer in charge may deny booking privileges to guests who are abusive, belligerent or non-cooperating to the given policies.
(Note: Guests who availed the advanced booking service will be arranged according to the sequence of their reservation. Groups with reservation who prefer to say in the island for a maximum of two hours or less, or in any related case for that matter, will be given due priority per prerogative of the officer in charge, as long as their preferred time of departure from the island will not be in conflict with other schedules.)
4.) Do’s and Dont’s
Do’s and Dont’s
1.) No trash must be left in the island. They are enforcing the “Garbage in, garbage out” policy.
2.) The collection of corals, shells, and sand, including all living and non-living components of the ecosystem is strictly prohibited, except those that are being sold as catches and trinkets by the villagers.
3.) Vandalism, in any form, is prohibited.
4.) Pets, alcoholic drinks and fishing rods and lines are not allowed.
5.) Loud speakers, videoke and other disturbing sound systems shall only be permitted with prior approval.
6.) Washing and/or cleaning of dishes in the swimming area is not allowed.
7.) Burning and grilling are only allowed on designated areas.
8.) Nudity is not allowed.
9.) Only registered and duly licensed vessels shall be permitted to transport guests in the island.
10.) All other provisions as stipulated in Section 20 of Republic Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992.
5.) Rents and Fees
Php 1,000 Good for one to ten pax roundtrip (Groups with less than 10 members will be paying the same amount. Exceeding the 10th passenger, additional Php100 per pax shall be added depending on the carrying capacity of the assigned boat or transport provider.
Php 20 per pax
Php 5 per pax
Small Php 100- good for 4 to 6 pax
Large Php 200- good for 8 to 12 pax
Pavillion Php 500- good for 20-40 pax
Official time of service is at 7:00 am