Sibuyan, Philippines

Crown­ing glory

Action Asia - - ISLANDS -

The joy of the Philippines is that even in a coun­try bustling with more than 100 mil­lion souls, you can find hide­aways where life re­mains laid­back. To strike out be­yond the likes of Boracay and Cebu though, you need to rely on in­ter-is­land fer­ries, basic, over­crowded and run­ning to sched­ules verg­ing on fan­tasy (build in at least a day lee­way at ei­ther end of your trip). In fine weather the ex­pe­ri­ence can feel like a true ad­ven­ture into the un­known; in bad weather, it can be more ad­ven­ture than most peo­ple are com­fort­able with. Sibuyan is an is­land that even few lo­cals know, in the prov­ince of Romblon. Its cen­tre­piece is Guit­ing-guit­ing (G2 for short), a jagged peak that dom­i­nates the is­land and is of­ten rated among the hard­est to climb in the Philippines. There’s surely some melo­drama at work in the nam­ing of its set-piece chal­lenges – Knife Edge, Kiss the Wall and Hil­lary Step – but the ex­po­sure will give some pause for thought. For pre- or post- re­lax­ation, The Boathouse, www.face­book.com/sibuyan­boathouse/, in San Fer­nando, is the pick of the places to stay, with an in­ti­mate feel and good food.

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