I mixed it up with my neighbors and their guests. By the end of today, I felt like a part of their extended 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.
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:
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.
I’m going to replicate the next image when I go there.
Plotting it against the immensely popular resort of El Nido:
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.
I asked Conrad for a short list (up to five) of must-visit islands.
Another take on Conrad’s short list:
See you in Cuyo this Monday.
We visited Baker’s Hill that afternoon.
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.