“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.
- Ana Carolina del Mundo – 09109950239 (Tourism Head of Monreal, Masbate)
- Margie Villahermosa – 09087272104 (Tourism Office of San Jacinto, Masbate)
- 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- 3, 000 ( Good for 5)
- Tour Guide Fee – Php 500