Island Hopping Bliss: Sombrero, Tinalisayan, Animasola, and the Unforgettable Reasons for a Comeback

May 08, 2016 Beach Camping

Have you ever been to a place so enchanting that you're already planning your return even before leaving? Even if it's far away, requiring more than a weekend, and despite an unexpected shortening of your trip, the allure is so strong that a prompt comeback is inevitable.

I will get to that later because that is not the point of this post.

We’ve been planning our trip to these islands ever since our boatman from San Andres told us about these lovely islands. It was way before these islands became popular. So, needless to say, it was a much-awaited trip and it was an eventful one.

I traveled with a big group to the islands. We decided to take the San Andres, Quezon route instead of the more popular one, which is Pasacao, Camarines Sur. Also, instead of sleeping in an inn or staying in a homestay in San Pascual, we decided to camp on Sombrero Island.

Oh, and by the way, it was my first time to visit Masbate, my 59th Philippine province.

Sombrero Island was everything we envisioned it to be, except we wanted it less crowded, but it was okay. We were happy to share the island with other happy campers, plus we got a lot of juicy stories. (Hello to the ate and kuya who had their morning delight in their tent!)

Sombrero is actually a twin island. There is the hat-shaped island and the white sand island, which are the designated campsites. The sands are white, the rock formations are picturesque, and the water surrounding the island is so clear. 

We coordinated our trip with Dong of Sombrero Islands who arranged the boat for us, reserved the accommodation, and prepared our food. We had our own one-bedroom hut with its own comfort room and an open cottage. It included a welcome drink. Sweet, right?

We paid P 2,200.00 per head. 

Sombrero was supposed to be our base for two nights, but as mentioned, our trip was cut short. Nevertheless, the stay was awesome enough because we had a charming sunset, a good sleep under the stars, and a relaxing morning walk. I also got to watch the sunrise again.

We reserved our second day for island hopping and we were pleasantly surprised to find Tinalisayan and Animasola even more beautiful. From the boat, the long stretch of white sand was incredibly inviting.

Despite the scorching heat, we couldn't resist taking a refreshing dip in the clear water.


Unlike Sombrero, Tinalisayan, with its abundance of trees, seemed perfect for hammock camping. Additionally, it provided the convenience of male and female comfort rooms, along with chairs and tables. We had lunch at Tinalisayan before proceeding to the farthest island, Animasola.

Animasola offered a unique character compared to the other two islands. With stunning rock formations reminiscent of Biri in Samar, it became a canvas for creative pictures. The inspiring rocks even prompted one of our travel companions to embark on a climbing adventure.

Then, it happened.

A loose rock, a fall, an accident.

We rushed back to Manila. Leaving was difficult, but our primary concern was our friend's broken legs. It brought back memories of my own accident, and I empathized with the pain. Fortunately, it wasn't as severe as anticipated, and surgery wasn't necessary.

So, there it is! I hope it won't take another two years before we can return. Looking forward to it!

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