It would impossible not to love this island right from the start. I grew up knowing there’s this paradise an hour only away from home. I have too many beautiful memories on this island. When all they had were modest huts, a sari-sari store, not even a decent toilet—we had beautiful memories. I always loved Lakawon’s shabbiness and simplicity.
Fast forward decades later and we now have Tawhai, Asia’s largest floating bar wafting next to the island. Then the beautiful dock and the luxurious accomodations started popping up. With its crystal blue waters and powder white sand, it was no surprise that Lakawon became the country’s next best thing.
How to get there:
From Manila or Cebu, fly or take a roro to Bacolod City. When in Bacolod, take a Ceres bus (P55-95) bound for Cadiz. Get off at Martisan Crossing. From there, hire a tricycle to take you to Lakawon port. Then take a 15-20 minutes boat ride to Lakawon Island. From Bacolod, total travel time is 2-3 hours with public transport.
If you are bringing a private vehicle, travel time is approximately 1-2 hours. There are available parking spaces at the port. Parking fee for the day is P75 and overnight fee is P100.
Day Tour Rates:
(As of May 2017)
Entrance fee, Terminal Fee and Roundtrip boat ride – P280/person
Tawhai Floating Bar – P250/person (includes one drink)
Umbrella Hut – P600 (6 persons only)
Family Cottage – P1200 (10 persons only)
Small Canopy Tent – P600 (6 persons only)
Medium Canopy Tent – P800 (8persons only)
Large Canopy Tent – P1000 (10 persons only)
Extra Person – P100 per person
Corkage Charge – P50 per person
Source: Lakawon Facebook Page
Bamboo Huts – P2500/ night (4 persons)
Pearls’ Place – P3500/night (4 persons)
Junior Suite – P4500/night (2 persons)
Premiere Suite – P8950/night (4 persons)
During my recent trip to Lakawon, I was somehow broken-hearted when Tawhai floating bar was—well, not floating. I was told they were expecting some bad weather in the area, so they had to park it at the back of the island. I do understand safety comes first, however, broken-hearts can be avoided if they, for instance, post updates in their social media page regarding these kind of things. I only traveled an hour from Bacolod and I know I’ll be back soon. But to some people, they might have travelled even farther and I do want them to get the full Lakawon experience. Or, if you’re the visitor and you too are going to the island for its floating bar, you may just give them a call to confirm its operation.
I am still lucky, though. I had sunshine that day. Even when forecast says otherwise. And, they allowed me to check out the floating bar even if it was closed. Happy day once again!Sunset Bar (Dining room)I’m a big supporter of potluck. Especially at the beach, when you can have unlimited supply of your very own barbecue and rice. But, the island offers amazing selection of food, too. I especially loved their grilled pork belly. So if you want to avoid the corkage charge, or you’re just as lazy as I am to pack food for the beach, you can’t go wrong with Lakawon’s restaurant. Seeing how Lakawon grew (and is still growing) makes me so happy. This island deserves all the attention it’s getting now. It is absolutely paradise. With, or without its floating bar, it is paradise. I say that even if there’s this selfish part of me wishing it never changed and we, the locals can keep this little piece of gem to ourselves. However, good things are meant to be shared. And, progress is always good. But, I’ll take this chance to remind my very few readers to support RESPONSIBLE tourism. Let us help preserve our islands for us to enjoy, and for the next generations to enjoy, too.
Go and book your getaway to Lakawon Island, and experience this Negros’ gem for yourself!
Source: Lakawon Facebook Page
Lakawon Island Resorts and Spa
Cadiz Viejo, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Inquiries: +639 17 5556979 / +639 17 502 2625