Medio Island LOCAL NAME :Panganoron Island (Panganoron being the native word for "sky") AREA :401,124 sqm or 40.11 ha or 99.12 acres MAXIMUM ELEVATION :65 meters above sea levelOTHER PARTICULARS :Medio Island is one of the three islands owned by the heirs ofMartin Palacio, whose address is Dalupirit, San Antonio, Northern Samar, Philippines. Thetwo other islands owned by the heirs are Rasa and San Andres Islands. All three islands arein that cluster of islands known since galleon times as Islas Naranjos (Naranjos being theSpanish word for "oranges.) Medio itself is at the very center of this group of islands, henceits name Medio, meaning "middle" in Spanish. The whole island group lies at the entrancefrom the Pacific along the Paso de Acapulco, or San Bernardino Strait. The Pacific Ocean isnearly 10 nautical miles to the ENE. The Naranjos were the watering place and victualing
station for the Spanish galleons in olden times on voyage to and from Acapulco.The islandsare presently utilized as coconut plantations.ECONOMIC PROSPECTS :Like its sisters Rasa and San Andres islands, Medio possesses itsmain assets: clear blue waters and white beaches of fine sand. Its beach is about 200 meterslong and 60 meters wide, capped by a gently rolling hill ideal for resort cottages andappurtenances. Mainland Luzon, Samar and Masbate with their airports are only 30minutes by speedboat and 1 1/2 hour distant by motorboats. With their coral reefs, Medioand sister islands are ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, yachting, jetskiing,parasailing and marine life observation. Medio, Rasa and San Andres Islands, are the onlyremaining islands of economic size with complete privacy in this area of the Philippines. As abase for island hopping, sheltered from the NE tradewinds and SW monsoon; and calmduring most of the year, the islands are unsurpassed.Medio Island has a clean title.Price: USD$3,000,000
PROJECT SITE DESCRIPTION AND LOCATION NARANJO ISLANDSThe Naranjo Islands lie 12º 13 North, 124º 02 East in the east central periphery of thePhilippine archipelago. This group of islands is bounded by Sorsogon in the North, TicaoIsland in the West, Masbate in the Southwest and Northern Samar in the Far East. It isapproximately 10 nautical miles from the Pacific Ocean and sits near the entrance along thePaso de Acapulco, otherwise known as San Bernardino Strait.Naranjo Islands (also known as San Vicente Islands) consist of six islands formed in a circlecluster with Medio Island at the center. The other islands are San Andres, Rasa, Darsena,Aguada and Escarpada. This group of islands lie within a volcanic belt that has been activefor the last 5 1/2 million years and stretches from Southeastern Luzon to SoutheasternMindanao. This volcanic belt includes the active Mayon volcano in Albay.The circular pattern of the islands and the volcanic composition suggests the grouprepresents the remnants of a submerged volcanic cone which may have formed during thelast ice ages when sea level was lower. On the other hand, it could have formed underneaththe ocean itself. Medio Island, the center of the group of islands, could be the dome of thisextinct volcano.
This group of islands have been the last stop for victuals by the Spanish galleons beforetheir long journey to Acapulco, Mexico.Naranjo Islands previously belonged to the municipality of Capul. It was later transferred toSan Vicente when Destacado Island was renamed San Vicente in the early sixties. NaranjoIslands belong to Region VIII and are part of Northern Samar.The islands are presently utilized as coconut plantations.In May 2007, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9458 [H. No. 786] - An Act declaring the island towns of Biri,Capul, San Antonio and San Vicente (also known as Naranjo Islands), all in the province ofNorthern Samar as ECO-TOURISM ZONES, was passed.
MEDIO ISLANDMedio Island has many natural assets that would make it an ideal first class island beachresort. It is a 40.1123 hectare island of gently rolling hills, mostly of coconut vegetationand shrubbery. The highest point of the island is on its northern portion with a maximumelevation of 65 meters above sea level.Medio Island is approximately 1,300 meters long (SW to NE), 550 meters wide at its widestpoint and some 330 meters at its narrowest portion. It is blessed with 3 beaches that couldserve a variety of purposes. Its main or South beach of fine white sand and corals is about300 meters long and 60 meters wide. The North beach on the opposite side of the island isapproximately three quarters long compared to the main beach and is more secluded. TheWest beach on the far end has a small extended portion on the West side and is about aslong as the main beach. It is separated from the main beach by a lava rock formation. Thisbeach has the best coral bed among the three beaches.The Southern portion of the island has the least vegetation while the Northern part has themost number of coconut trees. Small trees, shrubs and cogon grass also on the North andWest side of the island. Volcanic and lava rocks are visible around the islands.
ACCESSIBILITYMedio Island is best accessible from Manila to Catarman, Northern Samar. It is alsoaccessible from the provinces of Cebu and Sorsogon.* Philippine Airlines and AirPhil Express flies from Manila to Catarman daily. Flight time is 1hour and 15 minutes. From the airport a 45 minute land trip to Allen after which a 30minute speedboat ride or a one hour and a half long ride in a motorized boat to NaranjoIslands will take the guests to Medio Island.* Cebu has become an international gateway to Japan, Singapore, Brunei, MalaysiaIndonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Australia. A night cruise from Cebu may be arranged tobring the tourists to the island giving them enough time to rest before indulging in thebeaches of Medio Island.* Manila - Sorsogon may be the longest route (about 12 hours by car or bus) if one travelsby land but it is definitely one of the most scenic routes as one passes through the manyidyllic towns of Southern Luzon. This route shall allow a short visit to the hot springs in Tiwi,Albay; Mayon Volcano (the volcano with the perfect cone) and the Cagsawa church ruins inLegaspi. The road ends in Matnog, Sorsogon. A ride in a motorized boat may take about anhour and a half from Matnog. For those who would like to take a plane, a Manila-Legaspiflight is available. Travel time is approximately one hour.
ENVIRONMENTAL SETTINGMETEOROLOGYLocal TemperatureThe climate in the general area of Samar is typically warm and humid. Local land and seabreezes prevent extremely high temperatures at the beaches, so that a maximum oftenoccurs just before the onset of the sea breeze. The minimum temperature is reached justbefore dawn. Mean annual temperature is 27.5 degrees Celsius and relative humidity is inthe low eighties.Wind ConditionThe prevailing winds are the Southwest monsoon which begins about the end of May up tothe middle or end of September; and the Northwest monsoon which generally startstowards the beginning of October. The winds are normally light to moderate with anaverage velocity of about 2 or 3 meters per second (5 to 7 miles per hour).RainfallThere is no weather station in Naranjo Islands. The nearest weather stations are in Masbateand Catbalogan, Samar. The weather condition of Naranjo Islands may be anapproximation of those of Masbate and Catbalogan. Based on the Philippine AtmosphericGeophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Climatological NormalsNaranjo Islands annual rainfall is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year andmay range from 2,000 mm to 2,600 mm with 35 percent occuring during the months ofOctober, November and December.
Weather DisturbancesSamar has always been mistakenly identified as synonymous to typhoons but the statisticsof PAGASA (1941-2001) indicate that Region VIII ranks only 5th among the 13 regions withregards to the frequency of tropical cyclone passage. This may be attributed to the weatherstation in the East coast of Samar, Borongan, where storms forming in the Pacific areusually monitored. Most of these disturbances usually re-curve to the Northwest and sparethe province from the path of the storms. Those that do not re-curve pass through theNorth and East coast of the province leaving the Naranjo Islands safe from the destructivetracks of the typhoons.In the area of Naranjo Islands weather disturbances seldom pass through. The surroundingwaters of Medio Island are generally calm most of the year although the North beach ofthe island experiences swells during the Northeast monsoon season. PAGASA dataindicate Ticao Island, which is just west of Medio Island, had only one tropical cyclonecrossing its general area in the over 50 years.OCEANOGRAPHY
Current FactorsThe declination of the moon primarily dominates the currents in the San Bernardino Strait.When the moon is nearest the equator, two flood and ebb currents occur each day, but asthe moons declination increases there is an increasing velocity in the flood current and adiminishing velocity in the ebb. At the moons maximum declination, North or South of theequator, the diurnal difference in the ebb current is so great that one ebb entirelydisappears and there occurs only but one flood and ebb current in a day. It will be notedthat during this time, the flood lasts for the longer time of the day and is of varying strength.Current Flow in the General Area of Naranjo IslandsThe North Equatorial Current approaches the Philippines as a broad West flow across thePacific. It is stronger during the Northeast monsoon and has an average velocity of 1 knot inthe latitude of Samar. The flood current enters the Samar Sea from the North through theSan Bernardino Strait at a velocity of about 4 or 8 knots and generally sets Southwestbetween and around the Naranjo Islands, South between Capul and Dalupirit Islands andSouth-Southwest between Dalupirit Island and the Northwest coast of Samar.In the channel between Aguada and Escarpada Islands, the flood current sets Northwest;and between Rasa and San Andres Islands, it sets Northeast. The meeting of the currentscauses rips and tides in the area Southwest of the San Andres Island, North of Rasa Islandand in the entrance of the passage between Rasa and Darsena Island.FRESH WATER SOURCESAguada Island is the major source of spring water in the area. A large reservoir has beenconstructed in Barangay Ternate of the same island. Water faucets are strategically locatedin the small village for accessibility. Medio Island has a deep well but the water needsboiling if it shall be used for drinking. Capul also is a major source of potable water.
MARINE FAUNAThe waters of Naranjo Islands are rich in marine life due to the strong currents from the SanBernardino Strait. Magnificent coral gardens and tropical fishes abound in the area. One ofthe investigated area, Binangtan Island off the North coast of Darsena, has the mostnumber of tropical fishes and splendid coral gardens. Hard and soft corals flourish in thearea like fan corals, table corals, vase corals, stag horn corals, among others. Moreover, thewaters surrounding Naranjo Islands are also considered the game fishermans paradisewhere varieties of fishes such as swordfish , marlin, yellow fin tuna and grouper can becaught.Some areas of Medio have long beds of beautiful corals and an abundance of colorful fishesand marine life. A small portion of other areas have coral reefs with some damage primarilybecause of blast fishing. Some corals in Medio Islands South beach and some portion of theNorth beach have been regenerating. The diverse fishes in the area are interesting andfascinating. Local fishermen are selling parrot fishes as large as 2 or 3 kilos a piece andlobsters caught in the area. Sea abalones, large mussels, crabs, oysters and sea urchinsabound in the waters of Naranjo Islands.VEGETATIONThe Spaniards named the group of islands "Islas Naranjos" because of the oranges that grewon the island during the galleon days. Unfortunately, the natives did not know how to carefor this type of trees and eventually they all died and were replaced by the sturdier coconuttrees which are now the major vegetation in the area. Crop planting like rice and vegetablesare virtually nil.WILDLIFENaranjo Islands has not much wildlife to speak of. This may be attributed to the lack offresh spring water in the islands and hardwoods. There are no endangered species that maybe dislocated upon the transformation of the area into a tourism zone.
DIVING POTENTIAL OF THE AREAThe diving potential of the area may be gauged primarily from the current movements inNaranjo Islands, its coral beds, adjacent islands with potentially good drop-offs and crystalclear water. The strong currents coming from the San Bernardino Strait would indicate amyriad of underwater life forms in the area. Marine fauna is expected to be abundant andideal for scuba diving and snorkeling.At present, there are seven (7) major dive sites in the country. Namely:1) Southwest tip of Batangas in the Verde Passage2) Northern part of Mindoro including Puerto Galera3) Busuanga area4) Northern Palawan5) Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea6) Cuyo Islands in the Northeast area of Palawan7) the waters between Negros, Cebu and BoholDue to the funnel-like structure of the San Bernardino Strait, current in this part of theSamar Sea could be quite significant. The current flow in some areas of Naranjo Islands mayreach about 3 meters per second. Such currents may offer drift diving activities to the moreadvanced divers. Drift diving could extend a divers area of coverage and diving time. Thewaters in this part of the Samar Sea may become the new frontier of the more adventurousdiving enthusiasts.Investigated AreaWith only 2 days of diving expedition, the area of the underwater survey was very limited.The first dive was made at the Southern tip of Darsena where a good drop-off is located. Thearea at the Northwestern side of Medio was surveyed and was found to have a number ofinteresting underwater caves. A long bed of good corals have also been noted in the area.Plenty of diverse tropical fishes abound. The southwest, East and Northeast areas of Mediohave a few broken and scattered corals due to blast fishing. The last area of be investigatedwas the Binangtan Island in the North coast of Darsena. This has been the best coral
grounds so far surveyed. It has the most number of tropical fishes and the largest variety ofcorals.Other Possible Dive AreasThe islands in Naranjo are all surrounded by coral reefs and drop-offs. There are more thana dozen potential diving areas waiting to be discovered. The waters of San Andres,Escarpada and Aguada remains unexplored. Some of the possible interesting places are:Budong Point, South end and the Northwestern tip of Escarpada, Caua Point and SamuroPoint of Aguada, Southeast and Northwest area and Sallao Point of San Andres, Westportion of Rasa and the channel between San Andres and Rasa.Naranjo Islands are formed in a circular pattern such that one can always find a safe placewhere the water is calm even during a storm. This unique formation coupled with thenumerous diving areas available to choose from make scuba diving relatively a 365 days ayear activity.Diving PrecautionsThe strong current in and around the islands could pose some danger to the novice divers.An extensive survey of the diving areas must be made to plot, plan and time dives accordingto the existing current. The underwater caves on the North shore of Medio will beextremely dangerous during strong currents as sucking motions were noticed on the firstdive to the caves as flood currents are coming in. Only advanced divers must be allowed todo drift diving activities with strong current flow.BRIEF HISTORYEastern Visayas is one of the most historical regions in the Philippines. It was the site of twoevents that have influenced the country’s history. The first being the discovery of thePhilippines by a Portuguese explorer named Ferdinand Magellan in March 16, 1521 as helanded on Homonhon Island off the southern tip of Samar. The second was the promisedreturn of the American General, Douglas MacArthur, in 1944 in the province of Leyte thatliberated the country from the Japanese occupation during the second World War.
The exploits of Magellan encouraged Spain to send in more expeditions and laterestablished the Manila Galleon Trade. The route passes through the Southern coast ofLuzon down to the San Bernardino Strait and across the Pacific to the California coast andfinally southward to Acapulco in Mexico. These voyages are long and perilous and may takesome 200 days or more and provisions are usually acquired where it was available. The“Islas Naranjos” sitting near the mouth of the San Bernardino Strait was the galleons laststop for water and other victuals before venturing out into the Pacific en route to Acapulco.During World War II, the region became a major zone of the Pacific theater of conflict. Usingthe same gateway that the conquistadors had taken some 400 years ago, Gen. MacArthurtook a gamble and penetrated the center of a Japanese network of airfield and militarybases by landing in Leyte to defeat the Japanese army.