The Baruang Magic Island in Barangay Macarascas, Puerto Princesa City.

The tourism office in Puerto Princesa encourages locals and foreign tourists to visit Baruang Magic Island in Brgy. Macarascas, which is described as a “island that isn’t an island,” but is actually a small territory surrounded by water that gives the impression of being an island.

According to the City Tourism Department (CTD), the magical island is only 500 square meters in size and is bounded by water that runs to Ulugan Bay, which is not far away.

“Kapag mataas ang level ng tubig dagat, or dahil sa malakas ang ulan, ay lumulubog ang lupang ito at muling lumilitaw kapag ang level naman ng tubig ay bumababa,” CTD’s Mark Maringit said in the Aelaman Indo (Did You Know) segment of the Amos Ta Ren Sa Puerto Princesa radio show.

He explained that the name “Baruang Magic Island” was given to the location because, despite its diminutive size, the area is home to a large number of different species of birds.

It is located within a rich mangrove forest and among the bird species sighted in the place are sunbirds, kingfishers, and wild pigeons. Based on information, Macarascas is about an hour from downtown through the Puerto Princesa North Road.

The site is being managed and operated by the newest community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) association called Baruang Magic Island Tourism Association (BMITA).

“Sa kasalukuyan ay meron na silang canteen at palikuran sa lugar, at nagdadagdag pa rin ng mga pasilidad gaya ng picnic huts at benches,” Maringit said.

He said the place is good for swimming, picnic with family and friends, and bird watching. It is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Going inside the Baruang Magic Island is still free, and if guests are planning to go, Maringit said the BMITA can be contacted through 0997 074 2087.