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.