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)

Contact Information

  • Alex Geneblazo (Tour Operator & Owner of Juac Marine Sanctuary) – 09183045437
  • For Solo TravelerPlease contact Alex Geneblazo first and ask if you can join a group.

Travel Expenses

  • 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

Sample Itinerary

  • 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.

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