Tikling Island, Sorsogon

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”

This was my last destination of the day. Right after Juac Island and Subic Beach, we went to this small island located along San Bernardino Straight. This island is just  20 minutes away from Calintaan and Juac Island.

Part of my expedition in Matnog, Sorsogon is to visit Tikling Island. The island is famous because of the pinkish sand due to the red corals. Though there are a lot of pink beaches in the country but this is the nearest to Manila.

How to get to Tikling Island, Sorsogon

Tikling Island is part of the municipality of Matnog, Sorsogon. It lies along San Bernardino Straight which is the route going to Northern Samar. It can only be access through boat and there are no daily trips to island.

From Manila, there are daily bus schedules from Manila directly to Matnog through DLTB, Philtranco, Goldline, Raymond Bus or RSL/Amihan/ Peñafrancia. Travel time is between 14-15 hours. The bus stations are located along Edsa Pasay or LRT Buendia. You can also check their websites for the schedule.

You can also take the Bulan, Sorsogon Route. You just need to tell the driver to drop you off to Brgy. Trece, Bulan then take a tricycle going to Matnog with fare of php50 or php 250 for special trip. If you depart from Manila by 3pm, you will arrive in Bulan by 5am the following day.

If by plane, you can book a flight from Manila to Legazpi or Naga then go directly to their provincial bus terminals then look for a bus going to Matnog, Sorsogon.

Pink Beach in Tikling Island

I have been to a lot of white sand beaches but the shores of Tikling Island fascinated me a lot not only because of its pinkish appearance but it’s a like remote area where there are no cottages, no commercial establishments and apparently the perfect place to unwind, reconcile with nature and suitable to clear your mind.

There are a lot of pink beaches in the Philippines such as Sila Island in Northern Samar, Pundaguitan Beach in Cape San Agustin, Davao Oriental and one in Sta. Cruz Island, in Zamboanga City. So what causes the sand to be pink? Foraminifera or forams are members of a phylum of amoeboid protisits and most are marine which they live on or within the seafloor sediment. Thousands of broken coral pieces, shells, and calcium carbonate materials left behind by foraminifera (tiny marine creatures with red and pink shells) that live in the coral reefs that surrounds the beach blends with the sand

Though Tikling Island is privately owned, tourists are still welcome to explore. Tourists do not need to pay an entrance fee but only donations to the care takers of the island. Part of the island hopping package offered by Alex Geneblazo is to visit Tikling. I also saw a family of wild boar in the island. I was amazed that they are harmless and domesticated. I spent less than 2 hours in the island because I needed to catch the next boat ride going to Biri Island, Northern Samar. But I will definitely go back and will spend a night in the island.

Island Hopping Boat Fee

  • Day Tour –  Php 1, 650 ( group of 10)
  • Overnight – Pho 2, 650 (group of 10)

For Solo Traveler

  • You might wanted to contact Alex Geneblazo first and ask if you can join a group.

Contact Information

  • Alex Geneblazo  – 09183045437
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Juac Island, Sorsogon

The only thing a person can ever really do is keep moving forward. Take that big leap forward without hesitation, without once looking back. Simply forget the past and forge toward the future.”

Juac Island is one of the small islands in the province of Sorsogon. It is located in Matnog, Sorsogon which two hours away from Allen, Northern Samar. It lies within the San Bernardino Straight which is the jump off point to Northern Samar.

How to get to Juac Island, Sorsogon

Juac Island is part of the municipality of Matnog, Sorsogon. There are daily bus schedules from Manila directly to Matnog through DLTB, Philtranco, Goldline, Raymond Bus or RSL/Amihan/ Peñafrancia. Travel time is between 14-15 hours.

You can also take the Bulan, Sorsogon Route. You just need to tell the driver to drop you off to Brgy. Trece, Bulan then take a tricycle going to Matnog.

There are also bus schedules from Legazpi, Albay going to Matnog, Sorsogon. Once you are in Legazpi, take a tricycle going to Daraga Provincial terminal then look for a route going to Matnog with a travel time for about 4-5 hours. Matnog is the southernmost municipality in the province of Sorsogon.

Juag Marine Sanctuary in Juac Island

The Juag Marine Sanctuary is situated in Juac Island. It is owned and managed by Mr. Alex Geneblazo since 2004. He considers the sanctuary as his own aquarium. He started with only few breeds to fish and after thirteen years, it became hectares with different types of marine species.

Visitors will not pay an entrance fee. They just need to purchase fish food worth php100 then ride in a bamboo raft connecting to a center island where they can start the fish feeding.  The bamboo raft can carry at least a maximum of 15 people but sometimes lesser if its low tide.  It is advised not to play with the raft because there are already large fishes swimming at 4 ft. deep. Let the tour guide or care taker do their job to ensure safety of the animals.

According to the care taker, there were recounted incidents of fish kill due to undependable and carelessness actions of the tourists such as not informing the tour guide that they have applied sun protection lotion into their skin that had caused fishes to die. Some tourists jumped at the sanctuary that made the fishes troubled and disturbed.

They were also guides who allowed a lot of tourists to take the bamboo ride more than its capacity resulting to the damages of the coral reefs. And, the most unacceptable behavior is that one tourist caught a large grouper without permission then the owner was surprised that he already started grilling the fish.

Below are the Rules and Regulations in the sanctuary

  • Do not apply sun protection cream. It will surely kill the fishes.
  • Do not jump into the water. It may cause fish fright.
  • Do not throw your trash anywhere in the sanctuary.
  • Do not feed the fishes any other food such as crackers, candies and chips etc.
  • Do not frightened the fishes.
  • Always ask assistance from your tour guide when using the bamboo raft.
  • RESPECT the sanctuary at all times.

Island Hopping Boat Fee

  • Day Tour –  Php 1, 650 ( group of 10)
  • Overnight – Php 2, 650 (group of 10)
  • Fish Food – Php 100

For Solo Traveler

  • You might wanted to contact Alex Geneblazo first and ask if you can join a group.

Juag Marine Sanctuary Contact Information

  • Alex Geneblazo  – 09183045437

Matnog, Sorsogon

“If people refuse to look at you in a new light and they can only see you for what you were, only see you for the mistakes you’ve made, if they don’t realize that you are not your mistakes, then they have to go.”

The Municipality of Matnog lies along the coastal area of the Southern Luzon. This is the last municipality and has one of the busiest port because it is the jump off point towards Northern Samar. A third class municipality composed of different indigenous tribes such as Agta, Tabangon and Cimaron.

However, you cannot identify the natives anymore because they have adapted to the changes.  It was my first time in Matnog, Sorsogon. Although there are already write ups and features about the place but I really wanted to experience the white sand beaches and have a quick escape from the busy streets of Metro Manila.

How to get to Matnog, Sorsogon

There are a lot of options in how to get to Matnog, Sorsogon. There are daily bus schedules from Manila directly to Matnog through DLTB, Philtranco, Goldline, Raymond Bus or RSL/Amihan/ Peñafrancia. Travel time is between 14-15 hours.

You can also take the Bulan, Sorsogon Route.  You just need to tell the driver to drop you off to Brgy. Trece, Bulan then take a tricycle going to Matnog. I strongly suggest to get the night trip, so you can be in Matnog early the following day.

If you missed out the bus schedule, you can either take Legazpi or Bulan route from Manila. Once you are in Legazpi, Albay ride a tricycle going to Daraga- Matnog terminal. Then look for a route going to Matnog with a travel time of 4 hours.  This is the best option, if you are planning to go to Legazpi by air and consider Matnog as a side trip. Once you are in Matnog, you can go to the Juag Marine Sanctuary in Juag Island, enjoy the white sand beaches of Tikling Island and stay overnight in Subic Beach (Laki and Liit).

Juag Marine Sanctuary in Juac Island

This marine sanctuary is owned and managed by Alex Geneblazo, a sanctuary full of large fishes such as snapper, grouper, bluefish, jack cravelle, surgeon fish and tiger lobster. I decided to start with my activity by going to Juag Marine Sanctuary because I was so excited to swim with the fishes.

The Juag Marine Sanctuary is located in Juag Island. It located in the northern part of Calintaan Island.  A 30 minute boat ride from the mainland in Matnog, Sorsogon is a place rich is marine life. See article Juac Island, Sorsogon

Rules and Regulations in Juag Marine Sanctuary

There is no entrance fee at the sanctuary. All you need to do is to buy food then you can enjoy fish feeding. According to the care taker, there were reported incidents that many of their fishes died due to irresponsible actions.  Make sure to follow the rules and regulations of the sanctuary.

  • Do not apply sun protection cream. It will kill the fishes
  • Do not jump into the water. It may cause fish fright.
  • Do not throw your trash anywhere at the sanctuary.
  • Do not feed the fishes any other food such as junk food, chips, crackers, candies etc.
  • Do not frightened the fishes.
  • Always ask assistance from your guide when using the bamboo raft.
  • RESPECT the sanctuary at all times.

Calintaan Island

Calintaan Island is one of the small islands that is still part of the Matnog, Sorsogon. After spending time with the fishes at the sanctuary, my next destination was to visit Subic Beach. This white beach is just 10 minutes away from Juag Island. Like any other white beaches I visited, the composition is just pretty much the same.

Subic Beach (Laki & Liit) 

The beach area is composed of 2 coves such as Subic Laki (big) and Subic Liit (small). In Subic Laki, you can rent a cottage or pitch a tent. There are also small stalls where you can buy food and drinks. However, in Subic Liit, there are no cottages or any establishments. It is just minor cove where you can just relax and enjoy the clear waters.


Tikling Island

My last destination was to visit Tikling Island. It is located at the northeastern part of Matnog. This small island is composed of white sand beach with red coral particles. It is also known as the Pink Beach of Southern Luzon due to crushed red corals that gives pinkish color at the shore. Even though that the island is privately owned, visitors are still allowed to explore. No entrance fee is required but only donations of any amount to the care takers of the island. See article Tikling Island, Sorsogon.

Island Hopping Boat Fee

  • Day Tour –  Php 1, 650 (group of 10)
  • Overnight – Pho 2, 650 (group of 10)

For Solo Traveler

  • You might wanted to contact Alex Geneblazo first and ask if you can join a group.

Contact Information

  • Alex Geneblazo  – 09183045437

Travel Expenses

  • Manila to Bulan, Sorsogon – Php 1000
  • Trece, Bulan to Matnog – Php 50 per pax (tricycle) php250 (special trip)
  • Day Tour – Php 1, 650 (I paid the full amount since I am a solo traveler)
  • Fish Feed – Php 100

Biri Island, Northern Samar

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”

After my island hopping experience and swimming with the fishes at the sanctuary, I immediately packed my things and went to the Port of Matnog because I decided to go to Biri Island in Northern Samar. From Matnog, you need to take a boat going to Allen Port in Northern Samar with a travel time of 2 hours. Unfortunately, the next trip was at 4pm going to San Isidro Port. Only a cargo vessel was available at that time and the only option I had was to wait for the next schedule.

I was so fortunate that one of the crew from that cargo vessel offered a trip going to Allen Port. Though, I was a bit scared but I decided to push through aiming to get the last boat trip to the island. It was my first time in a cargo vessel and the experience was awesome. I arrived at Allen Port, Northern Samar around 3pm and took a tricycle going to Lavesares Port where the boats going to Biri Island are waiting.

How to get to Biri Island, Northern Samar

The municipality of Biri is located at northeastern part of Samar. It is facing the Pacific Ocean to the east and San Bernardino Strait to the west. The island is known to have large numbers of massive rock formations facing along the pacific.

From Lavesares Port, you need to take a boat ride going to Biri Island with a travel time of 1-1.5 hours. The boats are considered a public transport with regular fare of php50. But, you will need to wait for other passengers. The capacity of the boat is between 10-15 people. However, you can get a special trip to the island for php750. First trip from Biri is around 5:30am to Lavesares and last trip back to Biri is at 5pm.

I arrived at Biri Island around 6pm and along the way, I witnessed how beautiful the sunset in the west region. There are a lot of resorts, homestay and hotels in the island. I decided to stay at Gloria Vista Homestay because it is cheaper and recommended by travelers.

I rode a habal-habal (modified motorcycle to seat more than 2 persons and to my surprised the driver was also a tour guide and at the same time, the president of the tour guide association in Biri. We had a coffee at boulevard near the municipal hall and discussed with them my itinerary.

I was given an option from the tour guide to start the tour as early as 4:30 am to witness the sunrise at the Macadlaw Rock formation. However, I decided not to take it because there is a lesser chance because of the weather. He arrived at exactly 6am and our first destination was to pass through Bel-At Mangrove 500 meter walkway going to the rock formation.

There are 7 massive rock formations in Biri Island and each rock formation has its own unique physical characteristics. The form of rock formation is a Stack or Sea Stack where it is a geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column or columns of rock in the sea near a coast, formed by wave erosion.

  • Magasang Rock Formation
  • Magsapad Rock Formation
  • Macadlaw Rock Formation
  • Puhunan Rock Formation
  • Bel-at Rock Formation
  • Caranas Rock Formation
  • Pinanahawan Rock Formation

The rock formation in Biri Island are called Stacks. They are formed over time by wind and water, processes of coastal geomorphology. They are formed when part of a headland is eroded by hydraulic action, which is the force of the sea or water crashing against the rock. The force of the water weakens cracks in the headland, causing them to later collapse, forming free-standing stacks and even a small island. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack_(geology)

There are also Tide Pools near the rock formations. Tide pools or rock pools are shallow pools of seawater that form on the rocky intertidal shore. Many of these pools exist as separate bodies of water only at low tide. Tidal pools exist in the intertidal zones. These zones are submerged by the sea at high tides and during storms, and may receive spray from wave action. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide_pool

I ended my tour at around 11am since I need to go back to Bulan, Sorsogon to get the last trip going to Ticao Island, Masbate for another adventure. If ever you missed out the boat trip in Allen Port, you can go to Santa Clara Port. The Santa Clara Port is just less than 4km away from Allen Port. There are daily boat schedule going back to Sorsogon with only 1 hour travel time.

Contact Information

  • Jun Giray (Tour Guide) – 09288309396
  • Ning Borbon ( Gloria Vista Homestay) – 09472967737 or 09174552500

Note: You might wanted to contact Jun Giray if you will go there in a group so he can make arrangements for your tour.

Travel Expenses

  • Allen Port to Lavesares – Php 50 (tricycle fare/special)
  • Lavesares to Biri Island Boat Fee- Php 50 or Php 750 (special trip)
  • Gloria Vista Homestay – Php 400 (fan room)
  • Tour Guide Fee – Php 495 (day tour) Php 895 (day tour with sunrise)
  • Environmental Fee- Php 50