Still haven’t tried the balsa or floating cottages? The balsa fever continues in Misamis Oriental particularly in Laguindingan and Alubijid towns with the number of floating cottages now over sixty. The unexpected rise in tourism in the area started late last year and continues up to this day.
By the way, experiencing family or group picnics on floating cottages is good if it is sunny weather and the sea is calm but maybe uncomfortable during bad weather when the sea current is quite strong.
The floating cottages are located in a “no fly zone” for drones since it is near the airport. You can see one group of balsas near the Boardwalk Mangrove Eco Park in the horizon. Here’s a closer shot of the cottages as seen from the Airport Diversion Road.
Aside from Barangays Moog in Laguindingan and Baybay in Alubijid, balsa operations have also started in Tubajon and Mauswagon in Laguindingan.
The cottages are positioned some 500-600 meters offshore.
The cottages are held in place by ropes tied to concrete slabs or rocks embedded in the seabed.
Motorboats transport tourists and guests to the cottages and back to the shore.
Cottages can be rented for a day from as early as 6:00am to 3:00pm. Rates range from P2,200 to P4,000 depending on size inclusive of the boat ride to the cottage and back.
All guests including children are required to wear life jackets. Bringing of food and drinks is free.
Cottages have a variety of amenities but most common are dining area, mini pool, grilling area, and dressing area. Each cottage also has its own theme. Trash bags are also provided as well as first aid kits. Lifeguards also accompany guests. Some cottages have portalets.
Meanwhile, this group of floating cottages is located near the Old Moog Port. This group is much bigger.
The port is closed so operators now depart from either Tubajon or Baybay.
More balsas are being constructed to date as most balsas are fully booked especially on weekends. In fact, many balsas are already fully booked for the February.
Because the area is getting crowded or saturated with the number of balsas, new cottages are being built and planned to be established in other offshore areas in Tubajon and Mauswagon.
Most bookings require a reservation fee of at least P1,000. All guests are also required to pay environmental fee of P15 and P10 entrance fee (P25 total). For an updated list of balsa operators, check our post below.
The surge of balsa operations in the area was not planned at all. Local ordinances need to be updated to regulate such operations and preserve the marine environment in the area.