manila-batangas pier: bus (P130+) about 2-3 hours
batangas pier-abra de ilog: ferry (about 3 hours)
abra de ilog-sablayan: non aircon bus (about 4 hours of dusty, bumpy ride)
sablayan-pandan island: motorized boat (about 20 mins)
i joined this tour package with nacci (www.nacci.coms.ph) which cost me P3288.00 exclusive of batangas-mla-batangas bus fare but included the rest of the fares, accommodations for 2 nights and 2 buffet dinners with a bonus of 2 breakfasts and after dinner drinks. Yeah, we had to pay an additional of P650 for the trip to Apo Reef. But believe me guys, the trip is worth every penny. the pictures and our beaming faces were proofs of it all.
the white sand beach of pandan island will remind you of the beach in world famous boracay but its clear waters are free of those greenish seaweeds (lumot) that seems to be forever present in bora. if you're lucky enough you may get a glimpse of the sea turtles (pawikans). i was one of those unlucky ones as i slept through while the rest of my friends waded at once upon arrival from that long trip. sadly though no one got to show me a picture as they said it was ruined in the process (hhmmm...)
the following day we went to a two-hour boat ride to apo island. near apo island is the reef where we could snorkel to our heart's content. a couple of my friends went diving that i couldn't help but be really envious. t'was kinda scary looking down though as farther into the ocean you could see the wall of the reef where nothingness seemsed be beyond it as it was just too deep. on more shallow waters though you would enjoy the many colorful corals and different fishes you'd actually think you're swimming inside an aquarium. the current then was kinda strong though that it became more difficult for us to go back to our boat so instead we just went on and swam with the current towards the shore. and yeah, the shore is but another treat. the sands were so white it could actually hurt your eyes to stare at it with the glaring sunlight. its so powdery fine and the waters around it were crystal blue. good thing we had our waterproof cameras with us as almost all spots were so scenic one can't help but get shutter-frenzy.
in apo island you could climb up the lighthouse and be able get a birds eye view of the entire island and even the coral formations in the reef. you could easily see the different hues of green to dark blue waters and the white sand. amidst the island are the mangroves where it gives you an impression of an enchanted lake which is comparable to the serenity of kayangan lake in coron. the bamboo bridges though that lead you to the mouth of the waters we're not really maintained, on some parts we had to wade through the water. my friend, patrick even asked to be "videod" acting as if he's some forest ranger in the amazon hehehe...
all in all pandan/apo could definitely give you the natural high you'd want in a real adventure/nature trip. but if you're in for rest and leisure though i won't really recommend it. other than the longish trip, the resort is not as first classy as there's no electricity in the area except for the solar panels which power their mini light bulbs. and fresh water has to be rationed all the way from sablayan. and yes, pls bring insect insect repellants as mosquitoes are also regular residents of the island.
if given another chance i would not mind going back there though ;).