There may be some debate on whether Immuki is actually an island or not, but one thing’s for sure: it’s paradise.
Immuki Island has a three-part lagoon that forms part of Paraoir Beach in the town of Balaoan in La Union province. It has crystal clear water that perfectly reflects the clear blue sky, and that’s about at the right temperature for swimming, and pockets of sand that allow you to set up a small picnic mat.
Apart from the scenic blue water and the ocean surf, it’s the name that should draw you towards this tiny island in Balaoan. Immuki comes from the Ilocano word for a woman’s genitals (uki), though it also refers to sea slugs or babao. Bao, in case you’re wondering, also refers to the same body part.
Playful locals then named the other two lagoons Bimmuto (male genitals) and Immubet (anus). Quite cheeky, if you ask us.
Things to do
You can freely swim in any of the three lagoons, though diving isn’t allowed. Go in feet-first and make sure you wear slippers because the dead corals (paringit) could hurt. You can also board a raft for Php250 (holds three to four people at most) and have a meal while you go to the island.
Get there. Ride a Partas bus bound for Vigan, Laoag, or Abra and asked to be dropped off at Balaoan. Ride a tricycle to Paraior and asked to be dropped off at the baranggay hall. From there, you’ll have to pay Php20 per person (environmental fee) before you can get to Immuki Island, a five-minute walk from the baranggay hall at low tide (10 if it’s high tide, and you have to wade through waist-deep water).
Photos: Andrew Del Rosario