Ticao Island,Masbate

“When you’re traveling with someone else, you share each discovery, but when you are alone, you have to carry each experience with you like a secret, something you have to write in your heart, because there’s no other way to preserve it.”

After spending a wonderful time with the rock formations of Biri Island, I decided to go to Ticao Island to explore the island’s hidden gems. From Santa Clara Port in Northern Samar, I took boat going back to Matnog Port  then  rode a bus to Bulan, Sorsogon. I departed from Biri Island around 1pm and arrived at Bulan by 6pm.

Ticao Island is one of the major islands  in the Province of Masbate. It is composed of four municipalities such as San Jacinto, Monreal, San Fernando and Batuan. The island lies in between Masbate Passage to the west and  the Ticao Passage to the east facing the Bicol Region.  The island has been known to have white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, waterfalls debouche into the ocean and the snake island.

How to get to Ticao Island, Masbate

There are daily trips going from Manila to Pilar, Sorsogon through DLTB, RSL, CUL, Philtranco, Peñafrancia, Bicol Isarog, Raymond, etc) from Cubao, Pasay or Alabang Terminal with bus fare ranging from php800 to php1000 and a travel time of roughly 10-12 hours. Once you are in Pilar, take a ferry boat going to Monreal, Ticao Island. Travel time is 1.5 hours and operation hours is from 7am to 12nn daily.

If you coming from Matnog, you can either take a tricycle for php50 or php250 for special trip or take a bus and ask the driver to drop you off at Brgy. Trece then another ride another jeep to Bulan town proper. Boat rides from Bulan to San Jacinto, Ticao is from 6:30am to 1pm daily with a travel time of 1 hour for php150 (aircon) or php120 (non-aircon). Since I arrived at Bulan around 6pm, I stayed at Gotis Lodging house and got the first trip to Ticao the following day. I also had a chance to have a short tour at the town.

Altamar Beach Resort, San Jacinto

There are a lot of places to visit in Ticao Island. I started my island hopping in San Jacinto, one of the municipalities of the island. My first stop was to visit Altamar Beach Resort. This is one of the high-end resorts in the island. This is one of must stayed resort since it provides luxurious accommodation and services. Of course, since I am budget traveler, I opted to have a photo shoot session instead and headed immediately to my next destination.

San Miguel Island, Monreal

From San Jacinto, the boat directly headed us towards Monreal, another municipality in Ticao Island.  Along the way are rock formations with them same features like those in Palawan. The waves were slightly big due to monsoon winds. It is suitable to visit the island during the months of March to June. I stopped over in San Miguel Island and climbed the light house. It was so stiff  that I needed to crawl up just to get to the tower. I do not recommend this activity to those who have heart issues because of the elevation.

Halea Nature Park, Monreal

My next stop was to visit Halea Nature Park. This is a must visit destination when you are in Ticao Island. This is a secluded island but still under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Monreal. See article Monreal, Masbate.

Sitio Mababoy, Monreal

This is small community in Monreal has been very fortunate because of the white sand and clear waters. They are also lucky because they don’t get huge waves because of a small island in front of the village. I had a chance to interact with locals and took a photo with the kids swimming in the shores.

Catandayagan Falls, San Jacinto

This majestic waterfalls lies along the San Jacinto bay. It was first time to witness a waterfalls that goes directly to the ocean. Travel time is roughly around an hour from Sitio Mababoy before you reach this destination. There is no way for you to climb because the rocks are brittle enough due to the consistent flow of water.

Burobancaso Rock Formation, Monreal

This was my last destination of the day. The Burobancaso Rock formation is still under the jurisdiction of the Monreal. Most of the locals preferred to visit this place because it is a small island where can relax, cook their food and take great photos because of the rock formation. The sand surrounding the island is made up of pulvorized white corals and the water is ultra clear. I stayed for about an hour and the boatman told me that it will take another 3 hours of travel time back to the San Jacinto town proper.

I ended my tour around 5:30 pm and stayed overnight in the island because the last trip going back to Bulan, Sorsogon from Ticao Island is at 1pm. I toured around the San Jacinto town proper and slept by 9pm. It was indeed a fun experience exploring  the must the small islands and nice beaches. It was exhausting but worth it.

I also would like to thank the general manager of  Ticao Island Electric Cooperative Inc. (TISELCO) Ricardo Largo for assisting me with the boat and for providing food and accommodation.

Travel Expenses:

  • Bus Fare (Matnog- Bulan) – Php 100
  • Gotis Lodging House (Bulan, Sorsogon) – Php 300 (fan room for 2 pax)
  • Boat Fare (Bulan to San Jacinto) – Php 150 (aircon)
  • Boat Fare (San Jacinto to Bulan) – Php 150 (aircon)
  • Island Hopping Boat – Php 2, 500
  • Tour Guide Fee – Php 500
  • Homestay – Php 350

Sample Itinerary

  • 4:00 am – 5:30 am – Prepared stuff for Ticao Island, Adventure
  • 5:30 am – 6:00 am – I had breakfast near the port area and already checked out.
  • 6:30 am – 7:30 am – First trip to San Jacinto, Ticao Island in Masbate.
  • 7:45 am – 8:30 am – Arrived in San Jacinto Port and bough food for lunch.
  • 9:00am – 9:30 am – First stop was Altamar Beach Resort then photo ops.
  • 9:30 am – 10:30 pm – Arrived San Miguel Island and climbed the light house.
  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Halea Nature Park then photo ops
  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Lunch at Puro Island
  • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Catandayagan Falls then photo ops.
  • 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Burobancaso Rock Formation and then swimming.
  • 4:00 pm – 5: 30 pm – Back to San Jacinto, Ticao Island
  • 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Freshen up before dinner time
  • 7:00 pm – 7: 30 pm – Dinner
  • 8: 00 pm – Lights Off

 

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Monreal, Masbate

“It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return but what is the most painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let the person know how you feel.”

Exploring the different places in Masbate has already been part of my travel check list. From Matnog Sorsogon , I rode a bus going to Bulan, Sorsogon where daily trips are available then to San Jacinto, Ticao Island. Though the island has been featured in several travel platforms but it is totally different when you experience first hand and at the same time, getting to know the culture, food and the people.

The Municipality of the Monreal is a 4th class municipality in the province of Masbate. It is located at the northern part of Ticao Island below Burias Group of Islands. Monreal is known to be a hub of marine life because of the presence of undisturbed coral foundation. There are also small islands located that the northerly part such as Mababoy Island, San Miguel Island, Paltalban Island, Puro Island and Cagpating Island. These islands are composed with white sand shorelines and blue waters.

How to get to Monreal, Masbate

From Manila, ride a bus from Cubao, Edsa Pasay or Alabang to Pilar Port in Pilar, Sorsogon. The usual travel time is within 10-12 hours with a bus fare of php 800 to php 1000. When you are in Pilar Port, you take a ferry boat to Monreal Port in Ticao Island for about 1.5 hours. The boat fare is php 120 and terminal fee of php15 per head. When you are already in Monreal, you can coordinate with the municipal tourism office for boat rental.

Monreal is part of the Ticao Island with four other major municipalities such as San Jacinto, San Fernando and Batuan. Since Masbate as a region is already rich in marine life, it is expected that its districts also has the same thing. The municipality is known to have magnificent rock formations along the coast of Bagababoy and San Miguel islands. As we navigated from one island to another islands, you can see from boat how amusing their sea beds are. According to the locals, dynamite fishing has been banned in the province in which the corals have started to restore has become a breeding ground for different types of fishes.

Tourism has also played a big part in the municipality’s economic status due to the presence of the rock formations, white sand beaches, clear waters and bountiful marine resources, the locals have started to be engaged as tour guides and boatmen as a temporary source of income. Boat fee ranges from php 2,000 to php 2,500 good for 5 person and a guide fee of php 500.

San Miguel Island

This island is situated in the northern most part of Monreal which is near to Claveria, Masbate. You can find a Tombolo from the Italian tombolo, derived from the Latin tumulus, meaning ‘mound’, and sometimes translated as ayre, is a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such as a spit or bar. Once attached, the island is then known as a tied island. The shoreline moves toward the island due to deposit of sand where wave energy and longshore drift are reduced, therefore deposition of sand occurs. Once attached, the island is then known as a tied island where an old lighthouse was constructed served a guide to navigators. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombolo

Halea Nature Park in San Miguel Island

This nature park is located on the order side of San Miguel Island facing the Bicol Region. When you are in Ticao Island, this is a must visit local destination because of its fine white sands and blue waters. This area is also known as a shark sanctuary wherein visitors are allowed to feed but needed not be underwater.  You will need to pay an entrance fee of php 25 per head and cottage fee of php 100. Children are free of charge.

Mababoy Island

This island is located in between Monreal mainland adjacent to San Miguel Island where a small community of Masbeteños is residing named as Sitio Mababoy. The island has been inhabited by a small local community with a total population estimated to less than 50 families. Fishing is the main livelihood among the locals. I had a chance to get along with the locals of Sitio Mababoy and took some pictures with them.

Puro Island

This is Small Island located near Cagpating Island but not inhabited by the locals. A sand bar is formed during low tides. There were small cottages constructed within the island but I am not sure if there are still operational. We stopped over in the island and had lunch. It is advised that during the island hopping, you can to bring food and water because it will take at least a whole day to enjoy each destination.

It was indeed an amazing adventure and to  top it all are the easterly waves which was more exciting. I realized that how fortunate the locals of Monreal because of the wonderful rock formations, crystal clear turquoise waters with white fine sands.

Contact Information 

  • Ana Carolina del Mundo – (Tourism Head of Monreal, Masbate) – 09109950239

Travel Expenses:

  • Bus Fare (Matnog- Bulan) – Php 100
  • Gotis Lodging House (Bulan, Sorsogon) – Php 300 (fan room for 2 pax)
  • Boat Fare (Bulan to San Jacinto) – Php 150 (aircon)
  • Boat Fare (San Jacinto to Bulan) – Php 150 (aircon)
  • Island Hopping Boat – Php 2, 500
  • Tour Guide Fee – Php 500
  • Homestay Fee – Php 350

Sample Itinerary

  • 4:00 am – 5:30 am – Prepared stuff for Ticao Adventure
  • 5:30 am – 6:00 am – Breakfast
  • 6:30 am – 7:30 am – Off to San Jacinto, Ticao Island in Masbate
  • 7:45 am – 8:30 am – Arrived in San Jacinto Port and bough food for lunch.
  • 9:00am – 9:30 am – First stop was Altamar Beach Resort then photo ops. Did not stay long since needed to go to the next destination.
  • 9:30 am – 10:30 pm – San Miguel Island, Monreal and climbed the light house.
  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Halea Nature Park then photo ops
  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Lunch at Puro Island
  • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Catandayagan Falls
  • 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Burobancaso Rock Formation
  • 4:00 pm – 5: 30 pm – Back to San Jacinto, Ticao Island
  • 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Freshen up before dinner time
  • 7:00 pm – 7: 30 pm – Dinner
  • 8: oo pm – Lights Off