Masbate has to be the most underrated travel destination in the Philippines. It is nestled at the center of the Philippine Archipelago, surrounded by Burias and Ticao Pass in the North, San Bernardo Strait to the east, Sibuyan Sea to the West and Visayan Sea to the South. Perfect for those who want to be at one with nature! Here’s the rundown of what to do in the islands of Masbate:
DISCONNECT FROM TECHNOLOGY IN BURIAS ISLAND
This island is completely unspoilt. With no tourist infrastructures, you are able to bask in all the gloriousness of its natural wonders and virgin coasts. Live your best nomad life by visiting the different islets in this complex – walk along the Tinalisayan Sandbar, check out the turtle reserve on Sobrero Island and marvel at the rock formations at Amanisola Island.
SWIM WITH MANTA RAYS IN TICAO ISLAND
If one of your life’s wishes is to swim with Manta Rays, this island should be on your radar. Ticao Island is home to the “Manta Bowl”, where you can get the chance to swim with these majestic creatures. Sharks and Whale Sharks have also been spotted by lucky divers. The best time to visit is from December to June, according to Dive Booker, although the rays can be spotted less frequently during the rest of the year.
If swimming with the rays is not your cup of tea, don’t fret. Ticao is also home to the Halea National Park with its coves, crystal waters and colorful fishes and the unique Cantandayagan Falls meets the neighboring sea.
CATCH THE SUNSET AT PALANI WHITE BEACH
Crystal clear waters, powdery sands and the sound of wind rustling through coconut trees – that’s Palani White Beach in a nutshell. Although not as idyllic as the previous islands, the beach provides the perfect balance of comfort, and seclusion that a 10-kilometer beach can offer.
GET A GLIMPSE OF A FORGOTTEN ERA WITH THE AROROY LIGHTHOUSE
An hour and a half from Masbate is the Bagui Point, where you can find the Aroroy Lighthouse. This lighthouse is strategically located in the northern part of the island. Built in 1896, it bore witness to the Filipinos’ revolution against the Spanish colonizers.
BONUS: SADDLE UP DURING THE ANNUAL RODEO FESTIVAL
Apart from the secret beaches, Masbate also has rolling hills that provide pasture for farm animals. People from all over the country flock to the province every end of March to Mid-April to get a chance to be a cowboy or cowgirl for a day.
Living like a castaway doesn’t mean you have to get stranded on a boat. There are two major airlines offering direct flights from Manila to Masbate City. Philippine Airlines regularly runs promos for domestic flights, which means you don’t have to detach from modern conveniences of an in-flight snack and check-in baggage just yet. Save that for when you go around the unspoiled beaches on the islands, just remember to pick up your trash as you go along to preserve the beautiful scenery!
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