Long weekend was past approaching and I’m a bit stress because we still don’t have a destination to go where we can truly enjoy the beach, the ocean and just get totally lost to the beauty of the place. Since most of us prefer to go to the beach during long weekend it’s hard to find a destination that is not crowded and yet near to the city. So, I called my friend and asked her if she can recommend a place where we can enjoy our weekend getaway and embrace total isolation and peacefulness. She recommended to visit the municipality of Bulalacao in Oriental Mindoro, then after a week we found ourselves in the middle of the ocean in a ship going to Mindoro. [Read: Top Tourist Spots in Oriental Mindoro]
The province of Mindoro is a traveler’s paradise with its mountain ranges, lush jungles, pristine beaches and the unspoiled beauty of its islands. It’s a dream tropical getaway. Aside from Puerto Galera, Mindoro is home to beautiful landscapes, mountains, caves, forest, picturesque beaches and Virgin islands. The municipity of Bulalacao which located in the southern part of Oriental Mindoro is a perfect summer destination due to its mesmerizing beaches and stunning islands. Most of the islands have no established community which is perfect for beach relaxation and the best part is, that you can totally enjoy the whole island.
Tropical Palm trees ,swaying in the summer breeze.
Our Journey begins in Suguicay Island. The island was blessed with mangrove trees, powdery white sand, coconut trees, crystal shore and healthy and striving marine life. We arrived at this island at around 10 in the evening so we quickly set up our camps and prepared our dinner. After our dinner we decided to take a rest because tomorrow is going to be a long day of beach-ing and exploring. We woke up early to catch our first sunrise in the island. When I unzipped my tent door I was stunned by the splendidness of the place. The sun has started to rise and it creates beautiful hues of colors in the sky. The relaxing sound of the waves kissing the shore was just perfect, I quickly prepare my coffee and I sat on the beach staring at the vastness of the ocean. I felt total calmness and inner peace just by looking at the horizon. I felt that my soul was connected in nature and I felt that I am ready to conquer everything. It was indeed an incredible morning.
Sunrise in Suguicay Island.
The stretch of fine white sand with mangrove forest.
What makes this island really special were the locals, the people were so nice and very accommodating. They were very hospitable like in the highest level of hospitality. Their kindness was just pure and authentic. I want to give credit to Mang Ricky’s family who accommodate us and help us in every way they can. His lovely wife “mother remia” was the perfect example of a kind and caring mother. Her kindness is immeasurable; she is the most loving (we’ll, aside from my mom) and caring mother in the world.
The Island offers a wide range of activities to enjoy like beach volleyball, snorkeling, camping, trekking the mangrove forest, wild duck watching, and sharing stories with the locals. With its pristine shore, fine white sand, turquoise water and tropical aura this island is a must visit place. Suguicay is our “home island” this is where we set our camps, cook our meals and rest after a long day of island hopping. The tropical vibe of this island is perfect for chillaxing. I suggest that you should spend time exploring the whole island; there are more awesome spot to discover in this place.
The turquoise blue water in Suguicay Isaland.
Entrance fee: PHP 20
Where to stay:
They allow camping for PHP 150.
They also have cottages and rooms for PHP 300 to 500.
Contact person (boat rentals and room rentals):
Mr. Ricky Buenaventura – 09503994330/09982517662
The picture perfect beach of Buyayao Island.
On the second day of our Mindoro escapade we headed to Buyayao Island. It’s just 1 hour boat ride from suguicay Island. Buyayao Island is part of the clusters of island in the municipality of Bulalacao in Oriental Mindoro. As our boat gets closer and closer to the shore my heart beats wildly. I was astonished by the pure beauty of the island. The stretch of fine white sand, the peacefulness that it offers and the lush forest providing comfort for a hot tropical day were just surreal.
I felt something, something that is beyond joy and bliss as if the universe were inside my body. This paradise island will make your world stop, you will be captivated by the profound beauty of this place. I was in total awe. The island was blessed with white powdery sand (some part of the island have pink sand!!!), Azure waters and verdant forest teeming with wildlife. I can guarantee that this sunny island can capture the heart of every adventure junkie. The experience and the tropical vibe were just mesmerizing.
Buyayao Island is an example of calmness and serenity.
The powdery white sand matched with turquoise blue water.
There were no established communities in this island but there were cottages for rent and a small sari-sari store. Snorkeling is one the best activity that you can enjoy in the island but be mindful of the strong currents. Also, you can try to explore the forest just be extra careful because according to the caretaker, the forest was home to wild deer’s, python, cobras and really clever Monkey’s. This is a must visit place. This is definitely one of my favorite!
Bamboo cottages in Buyayao Island.
The tropical island vibe Buyayao is irresistible
Contact person (Boat rentals and room rentals)
Mr. Ricky Buenaventura – 09503994330/09982517662
Gemar – 0948 267 5751
Bong – 0948 034 8938
Tambaron Island has its own unique charm that will captivate every tourist.
It’s the third day of our Mindoro getaway and we visited Tambaron Island. It will take approximately 1 hour and 30 minute’s boat ride from Suguicay island to Tambaron. We left early in the morning to avoid rough waves during noon. This enchanting island was located in a secluded beach cove with serene blue and green waters matched with fine white sand. There are tropical trees around the island that creates a picture-perfect atmosphere. The wide stretch of fine white sand is an idyllic spot for beach bumming and tranquility. Snorkeling is one the best activity here. Tambaron Green Beach Resort is the only resort in the island, they offer family rooms and cottages for tourists who are planning to stay overnight. The staff was very friendly and accommodating.
The enchanting shore of Tambaron Island.
Open cottages in the island
Entrance fee: PHP 50
Cottages: 300 – 500 PHP
AJ- 0932 781 3206
How to get to Bulalacao?
There are two options to reach the municipality of Bulalacao in Oriental Mindoro:
First option is to book a flight to San Jose Airport in Occidental Mindoro then take a van that will take you directly to Bulalacao. This will save time but a bit costly. [Read: Batangas to Calapan Ferry Schedule and Fare] The second option is through land travel. This is the best choice among travelers.From Manila,(Buendia or Cubao bus terminals) ride a bus bound for Batangas port/pier (PHP 130-175). From the pier,take the ferry en route to Calapan port (PHP220 to PHP 240/ the fares differs from every shipping lines, just make sure to check their website for fare updates). Montenegro lines offer a much cheaper fare (PHP 192 plus 30PHP for terminal fee). From the port of Calapan, there are vans that will go directly to Bulalacao .Fare is (PHP 250-350). If there are no available vans going to Bulalacao, you can ride a van going to the town of Roxas,then from Roxas you can take the van going to Bulalacao. This will take time but much adventurous.
Where to stay in Calapan? Recommended hotels to stay in Calapan City. Please click the name of the hotel below to check the rates and availability.
11:00 PM to1:00 AM- Ride a bus going to Batangas pier
1:00 AM to 2:00 AM- Roro to Calapan.
2:00 AM to 5:30 AM -Van ride to Bulalacao
5:30 AM to 7:00 AM -Breakfast, preparation, buy food ,supplies and some stuff in the market
7:00 AM to 8:00 AM- Expected time of arrival in Suguicay Island .
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM- whole day exploration of Suguicay Island.
6:00 AM to 7:00 AM- breakfast and freshen up
7:00 AM to 8:00 AM- boat ride to Buyayao Island
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM- whole day exploration in Buyayao Island
5:00 PM to 6:00 PM- back to Suguicay Island.
5:00 AM to 6:00 AM- breakfast
6:00 AM to 7:30 AM- boat ride to Tambaron Island
7:30 AM to 5:00 PM- exploring Tamabaron Island.
5:00 PM to 6: 30 PM – back to Suguicay Island
We decided to explore each island in three separate days, because we wanted to fully enjoy the place and to savor its beauty.
ISLAND HOPPING RATES:
When it comes to rates and boat rentals they consider their price on the number of islands that you wanted to visit. Don’t hesitate to negotiate to the boatmen when it comes to prices. We pay 3,500 to 5,000 PHP for island hopping.
FOLLOW YOUR BLISS!
About the Author:
Edss Tolentino, works as a Visual Merchandiser in a retail brand. He is an aspiring travel writer; an adventure junkie and a seeker of the unknown. His goals is to explore the 7,641 islands of the Philippines and share its beauty to the world.
***Text and photos by Edss Tolentino