A Superpod of Dolphins at the waters of Pamilacan
A Superpod of Dolphins at the waters of Pamilacan

I’m glad I was staying at Peacock Garden in Baclayon and only had to wake up around 4:30am to prepare for our early morning boat ride to Pamilacan Island. I met my young host couple at the reception and they will accompany me on this island trip. Grabbing our bags of towels and packed breakfast, we rode our Van and drove for only 10 minutes (or less) to the Baclayon Baluarte (port).

Baclayon Baluarte
Baclayon Baluarte

Even a little past 5am the sun was already up behind the low mountain peaks of Bohol, radiating a warm glow to the port. We were quickly led to a large outrigger boat which was also used as a fishing vessel at times. It’s a great additional livelihood for local fishermen here to use their boats as a tourist vessel.

Pastel morning at Baclayon
Pastel morning at Baclayon

I put on my shades to shield my eyes from the harsh light. Since the boat ride would take a little over 45minutes before we reach the water of Pamilacan, we grabbed our packed breakfast. It was a large heavy serving of ham and egg sandwich and a bottle of water. A few minutes later, my head was bobbing from sleepiness as we ride the smooth ocean waves that morning.

Outrigger Boat for Pamilacan
Outrigger Boat for Pamilacan

A little commotion woke me up from my light slumber. I see the watchman pointing out on to the sea near the island. “Oh there, there! Amazing!” said Chris, a young entrepreneur with use. I squint my eyes to try to see what the heck they were excited about. I see a line of disturbance from the sea, a line of dolphins jumping causing a line of gentle splashes above the sea.

Pamilacan Waters
A few dolphins by Pamilacan Island

Our boat turned and headed to these pods of dolphins. No wait! It’s not just a pod, it’s a superpod of dolphins. I’ve never seen so many pods of dolphins as many as this. I noticed the precision and grace of our boat as we entered to what seemed to be a parade of a hundred dolphins on a morning feed.

Dolphins up close
Dolphins getting up close

The boatmen at Baclayon were trained by people of WWF themselves unlike the regular fisher folks of Panglao. They know the proper approach on a pod of dolphins. If there are a number of boats in the area, they know how to take turns of approaching as not to disturb the natural early tuna feeding of the dolphins. Hiring people at Baclayon increases one’s chance of sighting these dolphins.

Dolphin Jump
A lone young dolphin jumps at a distance

Bihira mangyari to (This is a rare event)” our boatman told us in regards to this hundreds of dolphins on parade. Most of the time people would only see pods and the sighting would last for only 4-10 minutes then they’ll be gone. But this one went on for at least 45 minutes. Just when we thought they were leaving, pods and pods of dolphins would appear around our boat. It was really amazing. Later I learned that a lot of these dolphins were the Frasier’s and the Bottlenose types.

Dolphins superpod at Pamilacan Video

It must have been the full moon or there were just lots of food in this waters making for an early morning feast for them at that time. I see a few young dolphins jumping out of the water in play, some old pods moving slowly behind like a pack of elders taking a leisurely ride on the waves. Now this is what I call a dolphin show. Amazing!.

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Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.

17 Responses to “Bohol: A Superpod Dolphin Sighting at Pamilacan Island”

  1. Hi Ferdz! 🙂 Since that day, we’ve taken a lot of other groups to see the dolphins. We’ve always been fortunate to see them every time, although some would ‘only’ be about 10 minutes long. But I’d have to say this one was the best so far – we were really lucky! Thanks for your support of the Baclayon dolphin watching livelihood. Cheers!

  2. Amazing… The first time I experienced Dolphin Watching, we only saw a few from a distance and they move so quick we hardly had a chance to take a good photo. You were lucky indeed and I do hope to go here when I get the chance. Thanks.

  3. Thanks Oman! First time I’ve seen something like this as well 😀

    Hi Amanda! Yes I thought we were real lucky at that time considering I know someone who was there at the same time and only got a 4sec sighting.

    Thanks Nina! I think Pamilacan is a great place for dolphin watching

    Hi Doncha! Dolphins usually feed there in the morning most times of the year. But I would suggest going there on a full moon 🙂

    Yes Photo Cache! It’s great to see them out there and not constrained in a pool

  4. nice ferdz… when we went to panglao, there were also lots of dolphins, the problem is, there were also lots of boats of tourist so i didnt have any decent shots… parang mas ok dyan sa pamilacan…

  5. True Dom! I must commend the people of Baclayon for taking care of their natural resources.

    Hi Lino! What’s good here in Panglao is they moderate the boats and they take turns as well.

    Thank Saggi! Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. If you are in Bohol and would like to see dolphins, try stopping by the Baclayon Baluarte. The Tourism Office is in the area across Baclayon Church, behind the municipal hall. The guides from Pamilacan, not Panglao, are DOT and WWF trained so they know how to do proper dolphin watching. The boats are more expensive than those you can get at the beach, but it’s only because this is starting out. Besides, all the fees go directly to the boatmen and it would be good to support this more sustainable approach. =)

    Check out http://www.BRAABO.com for contact information.

  7. It is always atreat to follow you rtrvails. Plan to visit in 1/11 and your article on Bohol is very helpful. Will go there by then. Any planned local (Phil)trips in January next year?

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