Sibuyan is a crescent-shaped island of Romblon Province, Philippines. It has an area of 445 km². The island has two prominent peaks, Mount Guiting-Guiting with a height of 2,058 m and Mount Nailog with a height of 789 m. It has been dubbed by some local and international natural scientists as the Galapagos of Asia.
The people speak the Sibuyanon dialect of Romblomanon, a Visayan language.
Sibuyan has lived with its isolation from the rest of the world since its birth. Never in its geological history has it ever been connected with any part of the Philippine archipelago. Seismic forces pushed up a 2,000-meter peak from the earth’s crust, forming a series of smaller peaks and slopes. The peak is Mt. Guiting-guiting (literally means “the saw-toothed mountain”, in reference to its jagged ridge. And because of the steep slopes, much of its original forest remains untouched), and the rest is the island as we find it today.
Primary forests cover 140 square kilometres, which is 33% of the land area of Sibuyan. However, most of the lower altitude forest has been logged or is secondary. Mt Guiting-guiting Natural Park (equivalent to the IUCN category of National Park) was established to protect these forests, which are mainly in the centre and north of the island, and covers an area of 157 km² out of Sibuyan’s total area of 445 km². The Park is remarkable for its outstandingly scenic landscape with twin towering peaks set amidst closed canopy forests. Its forests remain largely intact, and include the entire elevational gradient from lowland dipterocarp forest (at 200 to 900 m) and mangroves, through montane forest (above 700 m) to mossy forest, heathland and montane grassland around the peaks.
Photo Credit: byelukha