|Author: Carla P. Gomez
A TOURIST attraction in northern
Negros may soon give Boracay Island
a run for its money.
The challenger is Lakawon, a 15-hectare banana-shaped island
about three kilometers off Cadiz City.
Few people have heard of the island, but ''Lonely Planet,'' a book
circulated internationally for travelers, has already included the
pristine islet and its shifting white sands among the places
worth seeing in the Philippines.
''Nature has provided Lakawon with a gorgeous white beach
consisting of coarse coral sand and the island is covered with
palm trees and in places dense bushes,'' Lonely Planet says.
Lakawon, unlike Boracay, will not be commercialized, according
to Victor Puey, who manages a family-owned resort on the islet.
While more cottages have been built at the resort to
accommodate families and groups, and air-conditioned rooms
have been planned, Puey says they intend to keep Lakawon a
wholesome place to stay.
Conventions and seminars can be held on the island, but Puey
says, ''We want to keep it an island for families.''
Aside from its vast expanse of white sand, Lakawon has clear
blue-green waters free of coliform (disease-causing bacteria).
As one approaches the island in a pumpboat, speedboats and
jetskis brought in by resort visitors take a break from
high-speed fun at sea.
Other guests enjoy windsurfing. Children frolic in the sea as a
lifeguard keeps watch. A net prevents them from straying into
The well-lighted beach front allows visitors to enjoy swimming
under the moonlight and to spread sleeping bags on the sand.
Many foreigners and local tourists have found Lakawon an
alternative destination to Boracay, Puey says. It takes only an
hour's drive from Bacolod City and a 15-minute pumpboat ride
from Barangay Cadiz Viejo in Cadiz to reach Lakawon. Travel
time is much longer for those going to Boracay.
Rooming rates are also a lot cheaper (P1,400 for an overnight
stay at a cottage that can accommodate 10 people) in Lakawon.
Deliciously cooked seafoods, like crabs, fish, squids and
seashells, are reasonably priced. Along the beach front are
trampoline tents that can be moved into the water by people
who want to enjoy a good meal while feeling the sea on their
Lakawon is one of those few places in the world that are free of
the boundaries of time and responsibility, says Puey.