In the Visayas, Manila
Sumilon Island off Dumaguete in Negros Oriental used to be a marine sanctuary managed by Silliman University. When we took this trip in 1994, it was no longer a marine sanctuary but a resort being leased by a Japanese company. The marine life was spectacular and the island was beautiful. The cottages were on top of the cliff overlooking clear blue water and a little walk down a narrow staircase carved out of the cliffs will take you to a sandbar perfect for sunbathing.
When we first got to the island, we were surprised to hear that we couldn't stay because the island was reserved for Japanese guests. We had made reservations 3 months before so we were really upset to hear that and just wouldn't leave until they could explain why they let us come all the way here without letting us know. What we found out was that the Japanese guests were a crew of photographers and models who were there to shoot for Japanese Playboy or something of the sort. All the more reason that my 8 male friends refused to leave! After promises to respect their privacy and stay away from the photo shoots, we were able to bring our stuff down from the boats.
The guys did stay away...but they had binoculars and zoom lenses on their cameras for just as good a view as those Japanese photographers.
Imagine sleeping on this blanket, under the stars, a few feet away from falling off the cliff, where you would see hundreds of parrot fish and clown fish when you look down because the water is ooh so clear, seeing falling stars and hundreds of fireflies while drinking San Miguels and local rum. This island paradise is Sumilon, a quick jump off Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.