Pan de Azucar is the biggest and most popular among Concepcion’s 16 islands because of the enchantingly tall and steep mountain, called Mt. Pan de Azucar or Mt. Manaphag, standing like a towering sentinel in the center of the island. Tampisaw is also the name of the festival of Concepcion held in the island on the fourth week of April to celebrate Earth Day.
On the Way to Pan de Azucar Island
Pan de Azucar Island, also referred as “Tampisaw Island” or “Tambaliza,” is located 7 nautical miles north of the poblacion or town proper (in mainland Concepcion) with an expanse of 18.4 square kilometers, occupying 19% of the town’s total land area. It is 30 minutes away from the poblacion via motorized bancas (pump boats), which have regular trips to the southern side of the island. Special tours will have to be arranged with the municipal tourism office or with boatmen docked at the fish port in the mainland.
Rock formations in Pan de Azucar Island
Mt. Manaphag is a 573-foot land mass considered as one of the steepest in the country. It is frequented by mountain climbing enthusiasts such as the Sigarong Backpackers. The mountain, which can be seen from afar (as far as Negros Island), easily distinguishes itself from its surroundings and provides Conception a magnificent and interesting landmark because of its shape and size. The island was named after “Pan de Azucar” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil because of its similar appearance.
Mt. Manaphag, a landmark of Concepcion
At the foot of the mountain are flat lands suitable for farming, one can see a perfect overview of them on top of Mt. Manaphag. If you happen to know a local, try to have him to take you to a coconut plantation and ask for all the coconuts that you can eat. It’ll certainly give you a fulfilling experience.
Farms abound at the foot of Mount Manaphag
Inhabited Shores of Pan de Azucar Island
Pan de Azucar has thin coasts of golden-yellow sand to white sand. Most of them are inhabited and may not be suitable for swimming, though there are still a lot of sites around the island which are perfect for a dip like Malumpatan, which is a short beach with a pebbled shore and spectacular rock formations in its surroundings.
Malumpatan’s pebbled shore and small cove
Along a white sand beach at the foot of Mt. Manaphag, is Pan de Azucar Beach Resort, which offer rooms for those wishing to spend the night in the island. They offer simple accommodations and have water and electricity available.
Pan de Azucar Beach Resort