Cuyo Immersion Day

I mixed it up with my neighbors and their guests. By the end of today, I felt like a part of their extended family.

I brought him to our local Walmart-slash-Costco, NCCC.

"Retired No Way" Conrad hopia

Conrad buying hopia for his family.

Conrad Bonilla will be my primary contact. He’s a kagawad (counselor) of his barangay, Bgy. Balading. That makes him a barangay officer.

Bgy is the abbreviation of Barangay.

His barangay is one of three in his island, called Bisucay <bee-su-kay> His island is the one nearest to the island of Cuyo. It doesn’t appear in this more detailed map of the Cuyo archipelago which came from Wikicommons, a sister site of Wikipedia.

"Retired No Way" "Cuyo Archipelago"

The archipelago according to this image I found on Wikicommons. I wonder how accurate it is.

I wonder if that little unnamed island to the immediate left of Cuyo is Bisucay, my destination.

Cuyo is an archipelago just like the Philippines. Three municipalities have been carved out of the Cuyo group of islands:

  1. Cuyo
  2. Agutaya
  3. Magsaysay

From what I’ve learned so far, Magsaysay was created by the Philippine Senate to honor the memory of the late great President, Ramon Magsaysay. He died tragically when Air Force One–the one he was riding on–crashed.

The municipalities of Magsaysay and Cuyo share Cuyo island. The municipality of Agutaya is in Agutaya island (the large island north of Cuyo island). Agutaya island, I was told, is five hours distant on a pumpboat.

A pumpboat is the Pilipino term for a motorized banca.

Cuyo should be more well-known because one of its 40-odd islands is Pamalican, which is home to Amanpulo–the key to an over-the-top and truly expensive tropical vacation.


Visit Amanpulo’s website and you’ll see what I mean. I understand it’s popular with Hollywood and European royalty. But that’s just a rumor.

Amanpulo "Retired No Way" Pamalican "Cuyo Archipelago"

Screenshot of their website

I’m going to replicate the next image when I go there.

Amanpulo "Retired No Way" Pamalican "Cuyo Archipelago"

I'm going to replicate this image.

Plotting it against the immensely popular resort of El Nido:

"Google Earth" "Cuyo Archipelago" "Retired No Way"

El Nido (left) shown to scale with the Cuyo Archipelago

My barangay buddies: Conrad, Rodrigo, and Jonathan

Conrad was in Puerto on official business. Work was done and it was time to go home to Cuyo. But before he left, wouldn’t it be nice to see the peacocks in Baker’s Hill?

With his fellow barangay officers, we visited Baker’s Hill.

"Retired No Way" Cuyo

Messrs. CONRAD, RODRIGO (Bgy. Caburian) and JONATHAN (Bgy. Balading)

"Retired No Way" Cuyo Conrad

Conrad’s Map

I asked Conrad for a short list (up to five) of must-visit islands.

"Retired No Way" Cuyo

Cuyo Immersion Day - Conrad listed the neighboring islands worth seeing.

"Cuyo Island Map" Conrad "Retired No Way"

Cuyo Island Map: Islands worth seeing, in Conrad's opinion, are numbered.

Another take on Conrad’s short list:

"Cuyo Island Map" Conrad "Retired No Way"

Cuyo Island Map: Islands worth seeing, in Conrad's opinion, are numbered.

Farewell Conrad!

See you in Cuyo this Monday.

"Cuyo Immersion Day" "Retired No Way"

Conrad's relatives pose for a picture with Conrad, whom they haven't seen in 24 years.

We visited Baker’s Hill that afternoon.

"Retired No Way" Cuyo

Cuyo Immersion Day -- Driving the barangay officers to Baker's Hill & back

Then I saw him off at the city pier where he would board the sister ship of the ship that I’m taking on Sunday.

Pier "Puerto Princesa" "Passenger Terminal" "Retired No Way"

Pier of Puerto Princesa, Passenger Terminal

Pier "Puerto Princesa" "Passenger Terminal" "Retired No Way" Containers

Containers at the Pier of Puerto Princesa


3 responses to “Cuyo Immersion Day

  1. Pingback: Balugo, the soapy vine | Retired? No way!

  2. keith conrad bonilla conrad son…tnx for uploading the photos..i got some of them..i like your site…


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