Measuring a mere 25 square meters during high tide, the tiny Pulupandan Islet is usually the first stop of the island-hopping tours that explore the wonders of Islas de Gigantes. The islet, which is called Turnina Island by some, is so small you can walk from one end to another in less than ten minutes. The island got its name from the Pulupandan trees that once filled the area.
There is a small gathering of rocks at one end of the islet and you can stand there to get a better view of the surrounding areas. The sand is usually described as off-white with a slight tint of yellow. The islet has become almost completely barren because of the super typhoon Yolanda. Curiously, there is a single coconut tree still standing in the middle of the island. Before the typhoon, there were three (or two, depends on who you ask) resident coconut trees, which dwindled to one after the storm. It’s as if the typhoon spared the tree as an act of mercy and serves as the remaining survivor of the islet.
Aside from the tree, there are just a couple of sheds that adorn the stretch of land so wearing sunscreen is a must if you wish to spend some time here. These sheds or huts are used by fishermen as refuge against bad weather. Standing on top of the rocks provides a good perspective of the adjacent islands and endless expanse of clear emerald waters.
From Iloilo City, you can take the bus or drive your own vehicle to Estancia. This involves 2-3 hours of travel time. Once you reach Estancia Port, take a rented pump boat which will take you to Isla de Gigantes. After an hour and a half, you will reach Pulupandan Islet.