The Best Places for Firefly-Watching in the Philippines
How about some real-life fairy lights?
by Tynne De Leon | November 02, 2017
Fireflies, like most things magical, are beautiful, short-lived, and luminescent. If you grew up in suburbia or the province, they would have most likely been part of your childhood. But if you grew up the city, you probably only learned about them in a movie or a storybook. Either way, they don’t get less enchanting as you grow older. They do, however, become rarer.
Lucky for us, there’s still quite a few places in the Philippines to watch this natural show. Here are some with the best seats in the house.
Sicsican and Iwahig River, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
What sets Puerto Princesa apart from its other famous sisters Coron and El Nido is this extraordinary attraction: firefly watching. It’s the perfect day-ender after the beach activities; you’ll get some quiet time with nature while gliding through the river in paddle boats. For 30-45 minutes, you’ll get to witness a stunning show as sprinkles of fireflies light nearby trees.
Who needs electric fairy lights when you can watch the real thing? Book the tour and see the full itinerary here.
Ogod River, Donsol, Sorsogon
Sorsogon is often an overlooked destination, but it has hidden wonders up its sleeve. Cruise down the seven kilometer-long Ogod river and watch the place glow with magical lights from hundreds of fireflies in the trees. You can even go up close, and there’s a chance that one will fly towards you! Ogod is also home to the famous whale shark, so the best time to come here is during the Butanding Festival every summer.
Magdiwang River, Sibuyan Island, Romblon
via Wow Romblon
Sibuyan Island in Romblon is a great choice for those looking for a secluded island with fewer tourists, but with a lot of breathtaking attractions. Dubbed as the “Galapagos of Asia,” this island is blessed with turquoise waters, scenic mountain vistas, and majestic waterfalls. The place is also known for its lush mangrove plantation, where hundreds of fireflies thrive. See hundreds of these glowing creatures as you course through the steady river.
You can take photos, but make sure to turn the flash off! Get a tour package here.
Lincod, Maribojoc, Bohol
via Bohol Tourism
Ever tried kayaking during night time? You can hit two birds with one stone: go kayaking and then firefly-watching in one of Bohol’s pristine mangrove rivers! You’ll be oriented by the certified kayakers before the tour, so you know it’s going to be a safe and relaxing adventure. Aside from the mesmerizing lights from the fireflies, you’ll also witness the sweeping view of the sky during sunset (and that on its own could be worth the trip).
The tour is also safe for children above three years old, which means you can bring the fam! Click here for more details of the tour.
Hambilica Ecolodge, Siquijor
There was a story that during the colonial era, it says that Siquijor evenings were full of firelies, hence the moniker, Isla de Fuego (Island of Fire). They can be hard to find now, but the best place to view them is in Hambilica Ecolodge, a resort slash firefly and bird sanctuary. All you have to do is check-in at this green resort and you can watch hundreds of fireflies by the sea for free! They’re also open to outsiders for a fee of PHP100.
Know other places in the Philippines where we can find these magical creatures? Share with us in the comments section below!