It was the last week before the rainy season. Our days in the beach where quite limited. The sun may not come out for days or even weeks. I am a bit sad about this but that’s how our nature really works. So, instead of whining, we decided to have our “huling hirit ng tag-init”.
Welcome to Masbate!
We always wanted to visit the Province of Masbate. I heard so many fascinating stories about this quaint island province. Backpackers are quickly fallen in love to this place and I wanted to know why. It is one of the most beautiful off the beaten path destination in the Philippines. The Province is dubbed as the “Rodeo capital” of the country. But, aside from cowboys and rolling hills, Masbate is home to the most amazing beaches, landscape and natural marine sanctuary.
HALEA NATURE PARK
Located in Monreal town in the Island of Ticao,Masbate, this marine reserve is an ideal beach for snorkeling and scuba diving. The beach is stunning but the real beauty lies underneath the crystal clear water. Colorful corals and vivid species roam freely under the tropical waters. The beach is not yet highly commercialized which is better. You can totally enjoy serenity and calmness in the area. Scattered palm trees and lush vegetation will give you the tropical vibe mood. With few cottages and a small store, the beach is a perfect hide out to chill.
Entrance fee: Php 25
Landing fee (for boats): Php 200
The gatorade water of Halea Nature Park
A secluded spot to relax and to enjoy the beauty of nature.
BUNTOD REEF AND SANDBAR
This is one of the most visited spot in Masbate. The beach is reachable by a 5 to 10 minutes boat ride. The long stretch of sugary white sand surrounded with turquoise blue water is irresistibly relaxing and inviting. Unlike other beaches, Buntod Reef and Sand bar is dotted with mangrove trees instead of palm trees. This is unique and at the same time refreshing. Snorkeling is the best option for a water activity since the area is also a marine sanctuary.
Fee: Php 800 for boat transfer (back and forth) including environmental fee and entrance fee.
The calm nature in Buntod Reef and Sand bar.
Walking in paradise.
BURUBANCASO ROCK FORMATION
This is the best place to experience a 360 degree view of the island. You can climb on top of those huge and naturally build rock formations. The rugged and steep way is not for fainted hearted but once you reach the top,you will be mesmerize by the spectacular view of the whole horizon. After climbing you can rest in a small lagoon located at the bottom of the rocks.
Naturally formed kiddy pool.
Burubancaso rock formation.
HOW TO GO TO MASBATE:
Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have direct flight to Masbate International Airport. For bookings and reservations please click here.
From the airport you can charter a tricycle that will you take you to your chosen hotels. This is also the most common means of transportation in the province.
There are Ro-Ro (roll on-roll off) that departs from Manila port going to Masbate. Ports in Dalahican in Lucena and Pilar port in Bulan Sorsogon have direct trip to Masbate. Travel Time is approximately 18 hours. Please check the schedule of Montenegro Shipping Lines in their website. [Read: Sorsogon to Masbate Ferry Schedule]
Buses such as Bicol Isarog, RoRo bus and Goldline Transit in Cubao have direct route to Pilar, Sorsogon. From the port of Pilar take the outrigger boat to Masabte. 10 hours travel time by land then another 2 hours by passenger boat.
Bus terminal in Pasay also offers direct trip to Sorsogon. From Pilar Sorsogon take the passenger boat bound to Masbate City.
WHERE TO STAY:
7 A.R Golden Beach Resort
Punta Nursery, Masbate,5400 Masbate City
Contact details: 056-582-0175/588-0270
Bambi Pension House
Celestina Subdivison, Masbate City
Contact details: (056) 578-1345/0999 880 6200
Novo Hotel Corner
Ibanes Street, Masbate City
Contact details: 056 578 0687
You can also book your accommodation in Masbate in advance via Agoda to avoid inconvenience.
ISLAND HOPPING FEE:
Island hopping cost at around Php 8,000 that includes a visit to Halea Nature Park, Burubancaso Rock Formation, Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary and Catandayagan Falls. Contact Kuya Jojo for boat rentals and tour packages.
Kuya Jojo- 0920 433 8512
“Leave No Trace Principle”
Plan ahead and prepare.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
Dispose of waste properly.
Leave what you find.
Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
Be considerate of other visitors.
About the Author:
Edss Tolentino is an aspiring travel writer, an adventure junkie and a seeker of the unknown. His goal is to explore the 7,641 islands of the Philippines and share its beauty to the world.
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