In the middle of nowhere between the seas separating Leyte and Cebu, there stands a tiny island that we called "LULI" island (short for lulubog-lilitaw). This tiny island which spans about a hectare or so gets submerged under water during high tide and displays its breathtaking splendor during low tide.
My aunt and uncle, who lived in Toledo knew about the island since they live nearby. The first time we went to Luli island was sometime in 1997. The travel to the island took about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the waves and we were so excited to see for ourselves an island that literally disappears from time to time!
And wow, did our mouths hang dry just taking in the view and the waters. Imagine this- 360 degrees of clear blue waters around you teeming with marine life. You do not even need snorkelling gear or diving gear. Just put your head in the water and fish will literally swim right at your face.
So, each visit to Cebu is incomplete without going to Luli island. I bet there are some other islands all over the Philippines that also disappear when the tide comes in and I bet you also have memories of your own in your paradise islands.
Words could never really approximate the beauty of the island so here are photos of Luli for you to enjoy.
Approaching the island...
Enjoying the scenery... Goofing around paradise.
View from the banca...
See the irregular shape of the island? That is because high tide is coming soon!
About a third of the island...
Goofing around with goofs :)
These are just a few of the starfish found in the island. (Don't worry, we returned them to their homes!!!)
Cousin of Patrick... You don't know Patrick? Ask Spongebob.
On our way back...See the island? What remains is just a thin strip of land.