Masbate is Where You Should Go This Summer

March 25, 2024 Travel

Here is another off-the-radar destination, often overlooked by mainstream tourists but cherished by locals and adventurers seeking unique experiences. This destination features top-tier beaches, picturesque islets, and an abundance of marine biodiversity. 

If you are looking for your next summer destination, Masbate is where you should go.


As part of the Tourism Promotions Board's Domestic Tourism Invitational Program, we embarked on a five-day whirlwind tour of Burias, Masbate, and Ticao—the province's three island groups. However, those days proved insufficient to explore all of the region's beautiful spots.


Our journey began with Burias.


Our first destination was Animasola, distinguished by its rugged cliffs sculpted by the ocean's relentless waves. The island's evocative name, "Anima Sola" (Lonely Soul), from Roman Catholic tradition, symbolizes a soul in purgatory, mirroring the isolated ambiance of this captivating locale.

At the back of the island is the Mermaid’s Lair, a rock pool located at the back of the island, is a must-visit. It is a good place to swim and to get occasionally get splashed by seawater. 


Next was Tinalisayan Island, where we had the grandest welcome ever. Cultural performances welcomed us to the island. And we were led to a buffet lunch, highlighted by lechon, the first of our many roasted pig feasts in Masbate. 


Tinalisayan Island is known for its powdery white sand sandbar, a small mainland adorned with trees, and stone stacks. This is my favorite among the group.


Sombrero Island was the last island on our island-hopping adventure. The island got its name from the unique shape of its islet tip, which resembles a sombrero or hat. The island is known also for its beautiful sandbar. It is privately-owned and there are accommodations for overnight stay.


After, we went to the main island, also called Burias Island. We stayed overnight at Atlaza Resort, where I got my first experience of Kugi night. Kugi is something best experienced than told. 


The following day, we traversed the island, from the municipality of San Pascual to Claveria.  We had lunch there then we rode habal-habals or motorcycles to Pahowaiian Beach. 


The first-time I visited this beach, it was freshly devastated by a typhoon. This was after TRails to Empower Kids or TREK’s outreach in Malacbalac Elementary School. It was nice to see the resort all beautiful and ready to accept tourists. 


We just rested there then rode again to take our boat ride to Aroroy Port in Masbate Island. 


Masbate Island is the largest of three major islands of the province. This is where the capital of the province is, also known as Masbate. 


From the port, we drove for approximately four-hours to get to one of its newest resorts – Beatriz Rafaela Resort located in Balud. It got modern amenities, beach-side dining options, and white-sand beach. We spent the night there. 


The next day, our 3rd day in the province, we drove back to Aroroy. Masbate is also known as the cattle capital of the Philippines and is the site of the annual rodeo festival. 


On our way, we had a bit of that countryside experience.  We dropped by Sese Ranch, where we had a little horse-back riding, and stopped on a view-deck, to admire Masbate’s mountains. 


The day’s hightlight was Tinigban Beach. The drive itself to the beach was already a treat, as we passed by the unique karst formations of Calanay Limestone Hills, a geological wonder, magnificent as it is historic. It was once inhabited by early settlers of Masbate, the Kalanay people, who practiced jar burials. 


Tinigban beach is pristine, with only a few coastal resorts, and tranquil ambiance. We were hosted for lunch by Tinigban Beach Resort, and we had a memorable seafood feast. 


After Tinigban, we went to Masbate City, to spend the night. Our hotel, Treasure Island Hotel, is a true customer-service gem and I had a good stay.


The following, we embarked on our next adventure. We went to Cataingan to see the  Matayum Lagoon, a manmade attraction that become a rising tourist destination. We then dropped our bags at Bahia Vista Resort, where we would also stay overnight.


Our agenda that afternoon was to to attend the annual Himag-ulaw Festival in Placer. Our afternoon was filled with sunshine and the vibrant performances of all the festival's contingents, celebrating the bountiful harvest.


On our last day, we embarked on another island-hopping adventure, beginning with Buntod Reef, just a 15-minute boat ride away from the main island. This reef is known for its rich marine life, beautiful white sandbar, crystal-clear aquamarine waters, and lush mangroves.


Next, we sailed to Catandayagan Falls, nestled on Ticao Island.


Catandayagan Falls is truly a sight to behold as it cascades into the sea, a rarity shared by only about 40 waterfalls worldwide. 


While we had a few other stops planned, the strong waves altered our itinerary, leading us straight to Ticao Island Resort, our final stop in the beautiful province of Masbate.


Ticao Island Resort offers a serene escape without compromising on comfort. Its cottages open up to breathtaking views of the sea, complete with hammocks for leisurely relaxation, and a restaurant serving delectable cuisine and refreshing cold beverages.


From Ticao, we continued our journey to Donsol, marking our third province in this 9-day Domestic Tourism Invitational Program in Bicol Region and our ultimate destination.




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