As I turned 46, we diverted the usual family beach getaway by being a kid again at Gingerbread House in Alfonso, Cavite. But my brother wanted to swim and so I recommended Masasa Beach in Tingloy Island, Batangas. Just last summer of this year, there has been much bustle about this beach and I was curious to find out for myself what this raving is all about.
It was November and a lean season so we were able to book for a room at Nanay Rosie Kubo and Transients two days prior our stay. There are no posh facilities in the island. What they offer are basic accommodations from transients, cottages and huts starting at Php300 per person per night. Tents are allowed during day time only. Electricity runs from 12 noon till 12 midnight and a generator will supply enough power until 5:00 am.
Since we are two families, we boarded in two cars. Coming from Pasay City, our road trip going to Anilao Port which is the jump-off point in getting to the island took us three hours. We paid for the terminal fee of Php50.00/head when we arrived in Mabini. By 8:00 am we arrived in Anilao. Unfortunately, the parking lot was already full. It’s good that there are several private parking areas near the port and we found one which we were charged of Php250/car for overnight.
I was advised by a friend to make sure that we will ride the boat that goes directly to Masasa Beach to save time and money. When we arrived at Anilao Port we found out that there was no ticketing booth there. We paid for the environmental fee of Php40/head in a designated table to where we were assured of a direct route to Masasa. We will pay for the fare at Boat No. 10.
Unfortunately, when the boat arrived we were told by the girl dispatcher that we will be heading to Tingloy Poblacion and not Masasa. We learned that the trip going there is as early as 8:00 am only and the next would be at 2:30 pm. We also learned, they have no well-organized set-up of boat trip going to the island.
The outrigger boat can load up to 100 persons. We were given a life jacket when we sat on the boat. Later we paid for the fare and listed our names to the logbook. The water ride took us 45 minutes only. Thank God the weather was fine so the trip was fairly smooth.
Fare – Php80.00 for adults and kids, Php65.00 for senior citizens
Upon arriving at Tingloy Port, we boarded a tricycle going to Mahabang Buhangin. It was a ten-minute downhill and uphill ride maneuvered by adept drivers. The road was pave and they do not overload passengers. Upon our arrival, the tricycle drivers thanked us and uttered, “Enjoy your stay po.”
Rate – Php120.00 – special trip for 3 to 4 persons.
Guests may or may not ride the boat but can take a twenty-minute walk in getting to Nanay Rosie’s. But since the weather was sweltering (looks like it was summer! Huh!) and we were carrying our stuff, we opted to ride a small boat with no roof. Since we were all eleven, we were divided into two boats.
The shallow water was sparkling clear and glistening. We were so amazed as we saw a sea turtle swimming into the azure water which according to our boatman, they have always been a familiar sight to visitors of Masasa Beach. Sounds exciting. Our boat trip was ten minutes only.
Rate per head is Php25.00.
Our room (Quinn fan room) was situated on a hilly part overlooking the expansive Tingloy Bay. We have no neighbors so we own our area exclusively for us. It has one room only which can accommodate 6 to 8 persons, with hammock near the window, folding bed, kitchen and private bathroom. The shower room is on the ground floor.
I was glad because the kids were not the finicky type. They don’t mind where to stay for they are after exploring the great outdoor activities. Anyway, the view from the window was so rewarding.
Since it was almost 12 high noon we settled for lunch. It was a scorching mid-day so we rested a bit to skip the sunny heat. But the kids were too excited so after they ate they went to the swimming area and enjoyed the sun and sand adventure.
By 4:00 pm we went to the lagoon which was a ten-minute walk only. But when we got there, the water in the pool area receded. The waves were strong so we cannot swim in the shallow area.
The Tawil Rock
Since we can’t swim, we just enjoyed feasting our eyes to the Tawil Rock which is a sight to behold. Its rock somehow resembled the texture of Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Ilocos Norte.
The iconic staircase
After taking pictures, we headed to the iconic staircase. Unfortunately, we can’t have a clean shot without any people in the foreground because they were swarming minute by minute and they don’t mind being a photo bomber at all.
After picture taking, the exciting swimming activity is on! We headed to the swimming area where the sand was light beige and powdery cream. There were crushed corals on the shore. But when we stepped into the mid-waist deep, the seafloor was sandy, no more rocks or crushed corals. Every one of us enjoyed frolicking in the clear and shallow water till dark.
I stopped to swim to capture the magnificent sunset streaming into the horizon. It was truly amazing! Thanks to my SLR for another wonderful sunset photo.
My hubby grilled pork chop and hotdog as additional viands for our dinner. And since this is a family getaway with tempting food and with a homey ambiance, every tummy was happy. After eating, the kids stayed in the room, while I and the rest of the elders enjoyed the night time solitude swapping happy stories. But we experienced several electrical power fluctuations. Nancy, the caretaker assured us that it will be fixed by their electrician. To which they did.
During our sleep, we encountered another power failure making it so uncomfortable to sleep. It was almost 2:00 am when it was restored. But my hubby who slept on the hammock and my brother in the folding bed on the veranda had a good night’s sleep as they basked on the night’s cool breeze.
Mornings at Masasa
Thank God it was a wonderful morning. We awoke by 5:00 am for a fast breakfast to fuel up our bodies to gain so much energy for the exciting activities ahead!
Our island hopping started at 6:00 am. We boarded on two small boats with life jackets, snorkel gears and masks. My family has our own snorkeling gears; Choy has none so they will use what’s in the boat.
The boat ride was a bit bumpy especially when we passed by at Marikaban Island and Sepoc Island. When we reached Sombrero Island, the hat-shaped rocky island, everyone was so excited for snorkeling and fish feeding. My mom though had a fear of the sea also dashed into the water too. We were advised by our boatmen to stay near the boats because of the strong current.
The water visibility was so clear. Truly, Batangas is very rich in marine life. Sombrero Island is one of the snorkeling sites that amused me much. Everyone was so delighted especially the kids when we started to feed the fishes swarming near our hands. There was a lot of brown fish (I don’t know the name), with angelfish and dory (surgeonfish). If it was not with the strong current we could swim farther from the boat.
I cannot share with you how beautiful the underwater world of Sombrero Island for we forgot to bring our underwater camera. Sorry guys.
In getting to Marina Cave, we held the edges of the boat tightly because the waves got so strong. Or else our butts will fall into the floor. When we reached the docking area, we ate a light snack and hydrated ourselves with water. One nice thing in getting to Marina Cave is that we easily navigated the cave by foot. The stony path was manageable as it was not slippery and rough.
The cave was small and has two openings. It was dark since it has no opening at the top. There’s nothing much to do there but to take picture. We do not swim since it was crowded with people. We went back to the boat and headed to our next destination.
Swimming with the Sea Turtles
According to our boatman, the sea turtles are not being feed in Masasa Beach. They grow naturally on the island. Our last activity is to see sea turtles as many as we can. We held the ropes by twos on both sides of the boat while our faces under the water and we were towed on leisure pace.
It was tiring because the waves were strong and my snorkel mask was being filled with water. I only saw one, Lyn saw two, and both were lying on the deep. According to the kids on the other boat, they saw six. It was a nice experience seeing sea turtles roaming freely on this island.
That ended our island hopping. The kids were left on the water watching sea turtles on the seafloor. Our boatmen told us that these sea creatures tend to go underwater if there are boats and swimmers. Maybe they fear being hurt by humans.
Rate for island hopping – Php350/head
When we went back to the house, we rinsed and changed clothes. We ate snack and checked out by 12:00 noon.
We bought souvenir goodies like t-shirt (P150-P200), key chain (P40), ref magnets (P50), bagtag (P40) in a nearby store.
Since there is no public boat bound to Anilao Port in the area, we will do the same trip like we did yesterday.
As what we heard from the news, a lot of visitors were displeased in this beautiful island last summer. I’m happy seeing Masasa Beach free from trash and maddening crowd. We were so lucky that we saw the island in its full glory… clean and serene. The azure water was clear and clean. We were rewarded of a wonderful beach island and we had a great time!
1) There are several transient houses in Masasa Beach but we preferred Nanay Rosie because they have lots of rooms to choose from and they are in the beachfront. They have an air-conditioned room too.
2) If you miss the public boat that goes directly to Masasa Beach you have no option but to alight at Tingloy Port where you will ride a tricycle in getting to Mahabang Buhangin. Then you may opt to ride a boat or walk carrying all your stuff to the beach for fifteen to twenty minutes.
3) Swimming areas at Masasa Beach are far from transients. But rest assured, the water in the main swimming area is clean, clear, and has a fine texture of creamy sand.
4) Snorkeling and feeding of fishes in Sombrero Island is highly recommended not only for the kids but for the adults too. You may bring your own snorkeling gears for hygienic purposes.
5) Swimming in the Lagoon is good if the water fills up its swimming area.
6) Sea turtles are few but for the kids, seeing this endangered species is quite an adventure.
7) You may hike the summit of Mag-Asawang Bato for P100/head if you still have time.
8) Electricity runs from 12:00 noon till 2:00 midnight and the generator will continue the power supply till 5:00 am.
9) No ATM machines on the island so bring enough cash with you.
10) Avoid weekend to skip the crowd.
11) Mobile signal for Globe is strong, but not for Sun and Smart. Mine was Sun, I could not connect to the internet, I can only use it when texting.
12) Anilao port has public market where you can buy meat, fish, fruits, or vegetables for your food to be cooked on the island.
13) There are two ports in getting to Masasa, one is in Talaga Port during habagat season (southwest monsoon) that hits June and October and Anilao Port on amihan (northeast monsoon) from October and April.
14) If you are with a group of friends who loves to venture out for some nice adventure and on a budget then, Masasa Beach is definitely for you.
Nanay Rosie’s Kubo and Transients
Masasa, Tingloy, Batangas
Contact number: 09196864368 – look for Nancy
Other Transient Houses:
Mama Nady;s Lodging – 09561820733; 09192903703; 09351517177, 09163020762
D’ Mariners Bamboo Guesthouse – (Maricel Salazar) – 09279722679, 09219833347
Salazar Transient Rest House – (Ma’am Ariet) – 09282868866, 09053920242, 09282867079
In getting there:
Through public transportation:
Ride a bus bound to Batangas City in Buendia, Alabang, or Cubao (Jam Liner, Tritran, JAC) with a fare of Php160 to Php170 and alight at Batangas City Terminal. Then ride a jeep going to Mabini (Anilao Port) with a fare of Php40/head. Boat fare is Php80/head with the environmental fee of Php40/head.
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