When it comes to Bicol, Masbate might be the one that is least visited mainly because of its distance from the mainland. As a Bicolano, I admit I haven’t been to Masbate. The Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary & Sandbar has recently caught my attention and for days I was itching to go. I finally get the chance to visit Masbate during a long weekend and wow it was such a paradise.
Cebu Pacific Air flies daily to Masbate however, we haven’t scored a PisoFare deal yet so we decided to go on a bus trip. I always take the bus to LA (Ligao, Albay) so I’m used to the long bus travel time. I thought we’d only have to add a couple of hours and we’re in Masbate so it was not a bad deal. Also, we haven’t experienced RORO so it was another reason to go on this epic adventure.
|EXPENSES||2 PAX||PER PAX|
|Cubao – Masbate||2500||1250|
|Pio Duran and Masbate Port Terminal Fee||120||60|
|Masbate – Cubao||2300||1150|
|Accommodation at GV Hotel||951.59||475.795|
|Boat + Environmental Fee in Buntod||640||320|
|Trike GV – Buntod – GV||100||50|
|Habal Habal GV- Mobo||60||30|
|Habal Habal Mobo – Mayong Payong – Mobo||250||125|
|Habal Habal Mobo – Mangrovetum||100||50|
|Mangrovetum Entrance Fee||30||15|
|Trike to GV||40||20|
|Trike to GV-Safehouse-GV||150||75|
|Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner||700||350|
For 4k, I think this is expensive lol. But this should only cost 3k if you could score Cebu Pacific’s PisoFare 😉
Bicol Isarog Transport has multiple trips throughout the day going to Masbate. You can book online at https://bicolisarog.com. In our case, we just walked-in at EDSA Cubao and bought tickets since it is not peak season yet. One way ticket costs 1250 pesos inclusive of the RORO fare. I think it’s a great deal just that travel time would eat up 16-17 hours.
We departed EDSA Cubao terminal at 2PM and arrived in Pio Duran Port 2AM the next day. We have to get off the bus, clear the security checks and pay the terminal fee at the port, and then finally get to the vessel. The RORO vessel departer at 3AM and we arrived in Masbate at 7AM. I thought I’d wait for the sunrise but then it rained and then I fell asleep. When I woke up, the vessel was already at the port lol.
We walked our way to GV Hotel which is located just a few blocks away from the port. The standard check-in is 2PM however, they allowed for early check-in at 7AM. Awesome right? 🙂
Since we had plenty of sleep from the long bus ride plus the smooth sailing RORO experience, we decided to go on tour already. We first grabbed a heavy breakfast and some baon before going hailing a trike to the port going to Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary & Sandbar.
We paid 500 pesos for the roundtrip boat transfer, 100 pesos for the entrance/cottage as well as 40 pesos for the environmental fee. That’s 640 pesos for two. The trip is only 10-15 minutes from the port and there’s only few human beings on the island. This is why I love off-peak seasons.
Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary & Sandbar is the highlight of this tour and looking at the drone shots, I fell in love with Masbate. I think Buntod can take on Maldives!
We stayed for 4 hours in the island and then went back to the hotel to freshen up and then we decided to go to Mayong Payong Mountain Peak next. We hailed a habal-habal to Mobo, Masbate and then another habal-habal going to the peak. It was a crazy trip going to this place but the view on top was worth it. If you’re going to Masbate, definitely add Mayong Payong to your itinerary.
I have made a quick video on our trip to Mayong Payong and it shows our struggle to get up there 🙂
We were supposed to watch sunset at Mayong Payong however the clouds turned dark and it rained. We decided to go back as soon as the rain stopped. Our habal-habal driver waited for us and then we asked if he could take us to Mangrovetum. He said they are only allowed within Mobo so we had to transfer to another habal-habal.
Mangrovetum is just 10-15 minutes away from our hotel and entrance is only 15 pesos. It is a nice park with lots of green. The visitors here are mostly lovers and there are romantic songs being played on the park speakers. This is also a nice place to watch sunset. Mangrovetum was still in Valentines Mode and we were waiting for the lights however the rain came again.
We hailed a trike outside Mangrovetum and asked to take us to SuTuKil however it was closed during our visit. What a shame! We just asked the driver to take us to Kaykay’s Sinangag. They offer delicious meals for very very affordable price plus it is just a few steps away from our hotel.
I woke up very early and went to the port so I could secure a bus ticket going to Manila. I first saw Raymond Transportation booking office and inquired. It seems there’s only one trip daily to Manila and that leaves at 12noon. I bought our tickets already so I could secure our seats. Supposedly, I planned to go to Ticao Island but it seems we don’t have enough time.
I bought some pandesal on my way back to GV. We had breakfast and then went to Masbate Cathedral which just a few steps away.
We then hailed a trike going to Safehouse where the famous I ❤ Masbate signage is located. This is located near the port going to Buntod. Ideally, you can go here right after your visit to Buntod 🙂 We asked the trike driver to just wait for us. The resort is under renovation but the owner allowed us to go inside. There’s a P20 entrance fee.
We then went to Masbate Public Market and bought some pastillas for pasalubong. We also had buko for just P20. Too bad we couldn’t find a ref magnet!!!
We went back to our hotel to packup and went to the port to catch our bus bound for Manila.
Masbate Rodeo Capital of the Philippines
Masbate, you are such a paradise. Thank you! We will be back! 🙂
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