Camotes Islands

Hotels & Resorts in Camotes
Buho Rock Resort
Flying Fish Resorts
Super Bowl
Map of Camotes Islands

  • Central Visayas, Philippines

  • Long time ago, when the Spaniards arrive to Camotes Islands for the first time, they meet some native islanders who were farming, they ask about the island name. The native islanders think they were asking for what they were putting in their basket, so they answered "Camote"(sweet potato). After that the island got the name Camotes Islands.
    Camotes is a group of four small islands namely: Poro, Ponson, Pacijan,and Tulang diot located near Bohol, Leyte, and Cebu, in Visayas central Philippines. Tudela and Poro are two municipalities of Poro island, Pilar is lone town of Ponson island, while San Francisco is the only town of Pacijan and Tulang diot. There are three different dialects each municipality for example in English: GOOD MORNING...the people of Poro with her citizens of seventen barangays says: MA-AZONG BUNTAG, Pilar says: MA-ADZONG BUNTAG, while San Francisco and Tudela says: MA-AYONG BUNTAG. People living here are very friendly and hospitality. Camotes is also called " The Island of Enchantment " because of its untouched natural beauty, and rich in culture. It is one of the famous destination of local and foreign tourists in Visayas, and other places where you could relax and forget the busy life in the city.
    There are regular fast ferry trips from Cebu city to Poro, Camotes twice daily as well as local pump boats across to Danao. There is also light aircraft capable airfield at San Francisco for receiving charter flight from Cebu, and elsewhere.
    Camotes islands are part of Danao city, province of Cebu.

    In 1521, a few days after Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines for Spain, history dawned over Camotes islands. After the historic Mass in Mazaua (Limasawa) Leyte, the expedition’s official chronicler Pigafetta wrote on his journal that the flotilla of five ships dropped anchor on the coast of Polo (Poro), near Pozon (Ponson) and Ticobon (Pacijan) islands, to wait for Kolambu, the chieftain of Mazaua. The group then proceeded to Zubu (Cebu) where Magellan erected a wooden Cross to symbolize Spain’s Christianization in the Far East.
    The Municipality of Poro was founded on December 15, 1701 but was given recognition by the Spanish Colonial government only on January 16, 1780 through the efforts of Pedro Estrera who was named the first Capitan of Poro as recognition of his leadership. The name Poro came from the Waray word “pulo”, meaning island. The early settlers of Poro came from Samar, and later, they were joined by others from Cebu, Bohol and Panay .
    During the Spanish period, Poro was already a thriving community overseen by Jesuit Mission posts in Palompon, Leyte . A survey made by the Spanish authorities under Capitan General Gomez Perez Dasmariñas in Manila on May 31, 1591 revealed that the whole of Camote ( Camotes Island ) and Mactan (Mactan) had 287 tributes with a population of 1,148 inhabitants. By this time, periodic raids from marauding slave traders had become the constant threat to the growing populace.
    The Alcalde mayor of Cebu thought that it was better for the natives to unify and defend themselves from the attacks. Poro at that time had two settlements: Maktang (now a sitio of Barangay Esperanza of Poro) and Tag-Anito (now the municipality of Tudela ). A conflict arose as to which settlement should become the seat of government. On the advise of Panganuron, an elder who lived on the banks of a river (now Barangay Libertad), the two settlements journeyed on foot towards each other at the break of day. They met on the site of what is now Poblacion, Poro, approximately eight kilometers from both settlements. On that day, inhabitants of the two settlements came to live together for the first time. They built a chapel on this site which later on was improved and became the parish church. The establishment of Poro brought about the creation of three more parishes in the Camotes Islands : Pilar (1859), San Francisco (1863) and Tudela (1898).
    The Philippine Commission Act 952 was enacted on October 22, 1902 reverting back Camotes Islands of Cebu Province . Earlier the Spanish government has annexed Poro and the rest of Camotes Islands to Leyte because of geographical proximity. Perhaps Camotes was seen as nearer Cebu City , the seat of the Cebu Government, than Leyte’s set of government which is Tacloban City . Other events followed: five days after Camotes joined Cebu , Poro was annexed to Tudela, a former settlement of Poro. In 1909, it was re-established again as a municipality although the seat remained in Tudela until 1914 when the seat was transferred to Poro.
    Porohanons are descended from generations of seafarers who came and tamed the restless sea the sea that in turn defined and shaped their lives. In the early days when the dry “Habagat” wind battered its shores and when the nippy air of the “Amihan” turned up, the island isolated itself from its neighbors. All activity is suspended; trade from other ports and news from the mainland temporarily came to a stop. Thus, once in a while, they lived a life of seclusion, waiting for the unkind weather to recede. Life then meant a cycle of frequent squalls and tranquil intervals.
    A distinction that separates Porohanons from the rest of Camotes Islands is their sub dialect which is a combination of Cebuano, Waray, Boholano and Ilonggo. The patois is profusely spattered with the letter “z” and spoken with a thick accent. Dr. Resil Mojares, a Cebuano historian, said in an article that “at one point in time, the Camotes dialect was distinct from either Waray or Cebuano” until it evolved into a totally different sub dialect retaining older features which the Cebuano language has lost. Spoken alongside other dialects (like Cebuano, spoken by the other Camotes towns), and Tagalog (courtesy of television seta and tabloids), the Porohanon tongue is totally distinct and has survived through the years without any dilution at all.
    Bridge boundary

    Camotes Island’s major attractions to the tourists are their beaches which are white-sand, azure-colored and translucent. The island has gained a premier reputation of being a good place to have a get-away with. One of the destinations here is the massive mangrove plantation along the San Francisco - Poro road.  Lake Danao has also become a favorite attraction for tourists visiting of the islands.
    Camotes Island’s simple and warm people give tourist hospitality and friendly welcome. Most of the people in the town live through farming industry and small local retailing. The plain people here are also contributes to tourist attraction.
    To date Camotes  has 10 major resorts that offer comfortable accommodation. They are: Santiago Bay Garden & Resort, Mangodlong Rock Resort, Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort, Greenlake Park Resort , Lake Danao Park, Boho Rock Resort, Flying Fish Resort, RN Beach Resort, Masamayor's Beach and House Resort, Bellavista Resort


    Camotes is what you expected for it to be. From the word of the mouth to the pictures that appears on the façade of Google Photos. Clear blue waters, calm ambiance; perfect for a solemn getaway and a true lovers paradise.
    With its developing local economy due to the popularity that is rising from time to time; Camotes Island, that is situated North West from the main island of Cebu, is now a revamped inter-island rural escapade.

    Going to Camotes from Danao City
    If you want to reach the island, you must ride a bus at the North Bus Terminal, near SM City Cebu (Mall) going to Danao Sea Port , Danao city
     ( all  bus liners in that terminal are bound anywhere North)

    From the Terminal to Danao Sea Port is a outline: two (2) hour ride if traffic, and one and a half hour ride if not. It is fortunate whenever you ride any Ceres Liner since the waiting time for it to travel is short, because Ceres Liners really do not have to make the bus fully packed with people; in addition, every hour of the day, there’s a Ceres Liner waiting for you at the Terminal. So, basically, the convenience is for the passengers, not the liner.

    Evacuation saves whole island from Typhoon Haiyan

    GENEVA, 15 November 2013 – The prompt evacuation of 1,000 people from a tiny island that had all 500 houses destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan saved the entire population according to a local leader who has been a long-time champion for disaster risk reduction. 

    The former Mayor of San Francisco, Cebu Province, Alfredo Arquillano, said years of work to strengthen community preparedness and reduce disaster risk prevented a catastrophe for the residents of Tulang Diyot. San Francisco is officially recognized as a role model by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in a highly hazard-prone part of the world.

    “The day before, when it was clear how bad the typhoon would be, we decided to evacuate all 1,000 people. Because we’ve done so much work on disaster risk everyone fully understood the need to move to safety,” Mr. Arquillano said. He is still referred to locally as Mayor Al.

    “My goodness, it was a good decision; it’s fair to say it saved everyone’s life. There is not one house left standing on the island, everything was wiped out.

    “It just shows that preparedness pays. We have been working for years on early warnings, evacuations. The awareness level of the community was so high that it went well. We have worked hard to localize the international agreement on disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action.”

    Tulang Diyot is about 1.5km long and 500 metres across at its widest and lies about 1km off San Francisco island, part of the Camotes Islands which are sandwiched between the larger neighbouring islands of Leyte to the east and Cebu to the west.

    Mr. Arquillano who is a Champion of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign, said it was important now to work towards reducing future disaster risk.

    “We’re already talking with the islanders that they should relocate to the main island (of San Francisco). They shouldn’t go back. While most people understand the risk because Tulang Diyot is so low-lying it is very hard for them not to return as this is their home.

    “It will be a challenge to try to relocate them somewhere safe and where they can rebuild their livelihoods as fishermen or farmers.”

    Under his leadership San Francisco won the UN’s Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011 for its community work based on what is known as the ‘Purok system’, an indigenous method of self organization within villages.

    As part of the ‘Capital Build Up’ programme, the community deposits agreed amounts as initial capital for post-disaster assistance

    Tulang Diot Video
    3 -video of Typhoon Yolanda

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    1. many places now in camotes islands are tourist spots especialy in Pacijan island....

    2. "Lovely and beautiful Camotes Island"!
      It is really worthy to visit and spend holidays in this amazing Island. There are lots of beautiful white Beaches and good Hotels. The people there are very friendly. The environment is simply peaceful, lovely and not polluted. Please enjoy.....

    3. "Lovely and beautiful Camotes Island"!
      It is really worthy to visit and spend holidays in this amazing Island. There are lots of beautiful white Beaches and good Hotels. The people there are very friendly. The environment is simply peaceful, lovely and not polluted. Please enjoy.....

    4. Robert Hauser Augsburg, GermanyJanuary 16, 2011 at 6:38 AM

      Ein schönes unberührtes Fleckchen der Erde. Hab mich sehr wohlgefühlt auf diesem Eiland bei meinem letzten Verwandtenbesuch. Allerdings schon sehr lange her.
      Hab ein wenig Heimweh nach dieser meiner zweiten Heimat. Ein Stolz für die Bewohner für diese ihre Heimat.

    5. あなたの場所は、私が住むのが良い見つけることができる平和である..

    6. 的camotes島嶼會成為大遊客當場

    7. Totalt sett bor det ca. 40 Tusen mennesker på øyene som egentlig bestar av Feuer Øyer med. Feuer byer. Byene ER Pilar, Poro, San Francisco og Tudela, Herren øyene heter Pacijan Insel , Poro Insel (Poro & Tudela), Ponson Insel og en liten Bitte øy som heter Tulang Insel . Pacijan og Poro ER faktisk bundet Sammen med. asfaltert vei. Ponson ER atskilt av Camotes Meer, OG ca. ligger Feuer km nordost fra Poro. Tulang ligger Nord für Pacijan. Skal Mann si mer om noe plasseringen av øyene så ligger de ca. 60 km nordost für Cebu City. Kartet unter viser øyene i forhold til og jeg har Cebu tegnet Inn fergerutene fra Danao til og fra Consuelo Cebu Stadt til Poro.

    8. Everything is perfect in Santiago Beach. The sand, the sun, the skies, and the seas. The place which can be described in cool blue is very picturesque. Im sure every photographer would love to catch its refreshing environment.