“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 – Pho 2, 650 (group of 10)
- Alex Geneblazo (Tour Operator & Owner of Juac Marine Sanctuary) – 09183045437
- For Solo Traveler – Please contact Alex Geneblazo first and ask if you can join a group.
- Bus Fare (Manila to Bulan) – Php 1000 RT Php2000
- Tricycle Fare (Bulan to Matnog) – Php 100 but for Php 250 (special trips)
- Island Hopping Fee – Php 1, 650 (solo)
- Fish Food – Php 100
- 3:00 pm – 4am – Manila to Bulan Sorsogon (took this route since I went to Buendia LRT DLTB Bus Terminal.
- 4:00 am – 5: 45 am- Took tricycle from Bulan rotunda in Brgy. Trece going to Matnog.
- 6:00 am – 7:30 am – Visited Juac Island Marine Sanctuary. Kuya Alex allowed me to swim and became my underwater videographer.
- 8:00 am – 9: 00 am – Visited Calintaan Island (Subic Beach Laki & Subic Liit coves)
- 9:15 am – 10: 30 am – Visited Tikling Island and enjoyed the pink beach alone.
- 11:00 am – 11:30 am – Went back to Matnog mainland and opted not to have an overnight since my plan was to be at Biri Island by 5:30 pm.