The island of Cauit (Kawit) lies off the southeastern portion of the rich fishing waters of San Miguel bay, less than three kilometers from the shores of barangay Sibobo. It has a rugged shoreline with an approximate land area of 14.8 hectares or 36.57 acres. It is about 2 kilometers from tip to tip (west to east) in length and its widest at about 500 feet from north to south. Even with an irregular shoreline the island mimics a tadpole shape. Getting there means a 15 minute trip via a motorized boat from Sibobo.
The island has been on the local real estate market for some time now. Previously owned by the family of the Azurs until it was purchased by the Ongpaucos. Mrs. Azur said the buyers thought of mineral deposits underneath the bosom of the island for development, excavation or mining. In February, Mrs. Azur was given the first choice to get back the island at a premium prize of P5M. She confided they sold the island for only P1.5M years back. Without any discernable development or improvement the island is now on the market for P6M!
During the Azur’s long time ownership, some nine families were living in the island on delapidated nipa huts. Residents get their supply of potable water, diesel, kerosene and other necessities from Sibobo. The island is devoid of electric service. Children have to cross the bay for their schooling, too. We were informed that the locals have transferred to the mainland already.
On a clear day, the island beach facing Calabanga is a sight to behold as small and medium-sized fishing boats are “docked” on its shore under the backdrop of lush vegetation. The area is also a safe haven for the seacrafts during stormy days. Some adventurous excursionists would venture on the island and get their private abode for a short time.
Kawit is suitable for eco tourism development according to some observers from the town. Maybe someday, an aggressive, imaginative private development effort will make it come to reality.
A Sibobo resident who willingly acted as our guide quipped that “Pagasa island is far off better in that it gets good media coverage. They even raised a flag there” (referring to the July 2011 visits of lawmakers on the island municipality of Palawan in the western Philippine sea).
This writer replied that not all islands were created equal. Pagasa lies on an area of (prospective) rich oil and gas deposit.
How many of the 7,107 islands in the archipelago ever get hoisted with a Philippine flag todate?