The town of Ginatilan is situated in the southwestern part of Cebu. It is known as the hometown of the second Filipino saint, St. Pedro Calungsod. The place used to be called hinatdan, which means bringing things to the place. The town used to be a barangay of the neighboring town of Samboan. During this time, Ginatilan already had a chapel but the chapel was only a structure and did not have any of the things used for a mass. Each time a mass was held at the place, all the things necessary for the mass were brought to the place. The name of the town was eventually changed to Ginatilan by the Spaniards after they found it hard to pronounce the word hinatdan.
The marine sanctuary in Ginatilan was established on February 1, 2006 and is located in Barangay Poblacion. It was meant to protect and safeguard a coral reef system in the area. The coral reef is the habitat, breeding ground, and nursery of fish and other marine life. Protecting the coral reef allows fish and marine life to thrive and eventually grow to maturity without any constant physical disturbance from human activity. It allows the number of larvae to increase and ensures they grow into mature fish, which would circulate around the marine sanctuary and traditional fishing areas along the coast of the town.
Aside from the marine sanctuary, Ginatilan also has a number of other tourist spots where visitors can drop by for a visit. The most famous tourist spot in the town is the Inambakan Falls, which is a three-level waterfall system. Another noteworthy place to visit is the Ginatilan Lighthouse, which is one of the last remaining lighthouses in the island.
You can get to Ginatilan by getting on a bus bound for the town at the Cebu South Bus Terminal. The trip to the town takes around four hours. Once you reach the town, you can get on a motorcycle for hire to take you to the marine sanctuary.
Have you visited the marine sanctuary in Ginatilan already? Tell us about it on the comments section below.