About the Birds
More Useful Info
To enquire about peak high tide schedule, contact the warden / guide at the sanctuary by phone or sending an SMS message. Refer to Contact Us page for their mobile numbers.
During peak migration(Nov-Feb), approximately 40,000 migratory birds visit Olango.
Olango is the Philippines first wetland of international importance for waterfowl.
Wetlands provide vital habitat for waterbirds, fish, frogs, invertebrates as well as mangrove forests and seagrass beds. Wetlands prevent flooding by holding water much like a sponge. It helps keep
river levels normal and filter the water that passes through them.
Hence, wetlands are vital to humans, plants, animals and to the environment.
Around the year of 1987, approximately 10,000 migratory birds was discovered in Olango Island.
Around 1992, then Philippine President Corazon Aquino signed a law that declared Olango a protected area.
1. From Cebu City take a taxi to Punta Engano Pier, near Hilton Hotel.
Taxi drivers tend to charge a flat rate of Php300 most especially to foreigners on the excuse that they will have difficulty picking up passengers on their way back. Do not fall for this excuse, insist on having the meter switch on. If the taxi driver does agree to use the taxi meter, it is common for them to request an additional Php50 on top of the final fare in the meter. A metered ride with the Php50 add-on should cost between Php200-220.
It is possible to take local jeepney from Cebu city all the way to Punta Engano Pier. However, the jeepney option is not straightforward. The authors of this site have yet to include the detailed step-by-step instruction for the jeepney.
2. From Punta Engano Pier, take a local outrigger pumpboat to Sta. Rosa pier
Go to the small port authority office. As of 2010, the price per person one way is Php15, with additional Php2 for terminal fee. The boat leaves the pier every hour or so.
The pier is shared by public and private boats. After buying your ticket, it is advisable to ask a port staff to point you to the boat you will be docking (it is not exactly the most organized pier). The boat ride will take about 15minutes.
3. From Sta. Rosa pier, negotiate with a tricycle driver.
After disembarking at Sta. Rosa pier, ask the pier staff the departure schedule of the boat. As of 2010, the boat leaves Sta. Rosa pier for Punta Engano Pier (or sometimes referred to as Hilton wharf/pier) every hour, on the hour.
The sanctuary is approximately 5-6km from Sta. Rosa pier. The local mode of transportation is a tricycle (a motorcycle with a sidecar). Public tricycles rarely pass by the sanctuary. It is advisable to agree a set roundtrip fare with the tricycle driver. It is tricky to know how long you will spend on the sanctuary. If you envisage staying no more than an hour, a fair roundtrip fare should cost between Php150 – 200.
If you think you will stay longer than an hour, then it is but fair to pay the tricycle driver a bit more for their time on top of the agreed roundtrip fare. The authors of this site spent a total of two hours at the sanctuary and paid Php250 to the driver.
It should be noted that the road to the sanctuary are unsealed. Rain also causes the road to be muddy and the presence of big potholes makes it slightly challenging for the driver to maneuver the tricycle.
4. Returning to Cebu City
From Punta Engano pier, taxis are not that common. Locals tend to take the jeepneys that are outside the pier. Option 1: Walk to Hotel Hilton and taxis are more likely to be found on that resort. Option 2: Ride two jeepneys all the way to SM Cebu.
From the pier, take the access road on the side of Hilton Hotel and walk up to Punta Engano Road. From here, take a jeepney with a board infront of it that says ‘Highway’. Ask to be drop off at a shop location called ‘Save More’. Fare for this distance is Php9 per person. When you get off opposite ‘Save More’ shop, there are hordes of jeepneys there with a board infront that says ‘SM Cebu’. Fare is Php13 per person. SM Cebu is located at the center of Cebu City.
Local visitors (i.e. Philippine citizens): Php20
Closed on the following holidays:
Nov 1, 2
Dec 24, 25, 31
Jan 1 Easter weekend (between March-April)
There is one small bathroom inside the sanctuary office.
There are no locker facilities. If you have a big bag and don't want to carry it when you go birdwatching, ask the guide and they can store it away for you.
There is no kiosk or convenience store. However, staff can organize fresh coconut for you should you require a drink.
More Useful Info
The team at Cyberplex Software visited the sanctuary for the first time around Oct 2010. The team had an enjoyable and memorable day (many thanks to our knowledgeable and efficient guide, Socrates).
One of the key services of Cyberplex Software is website development. Upon learning that the sanctuary did not have its own website, the team made a commitment to create the sanctuary its own exclusive online presence for free.
OlangoWildLifeSanctuary.org went live around Oct 2010.
This website was created and currently hosted by Cyberplex software for free.
Images used on this website are a combination of Cyberplex own photos and library photos
Sanctuary office: interviews with staff, available posters, etc.
Birdwatching in the Philippines, Volume 1