Let’s Go to Ticao Island in Masbate!

BY RICKY MONTECILLO

June 12, 2016

That’s the beauty of riding motorcycles, you get to go to lots of faraway places while enjoying the journey. Nothing beats the joy of blasting through highways at break neck speeds and negotiating those twists and turns of the country roads.

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Last May 2016, we rode all the way to Pilar, Sorsogon from Metro Manila en route to our destination, Masbate. It would take us more than 14 hours to arrive in Pilar, Sorsogon travelling more than 450 kilometers. We rode at night, that’s why it was doubly hard due to lack of sleep. But when you ride a big bike, that’s all part of the fun. Our bikes’ brands are eclectic, ranging from BMW 1200 GS, KTM 390 and KTM Adventure 1200, Honda 500, and Yamaha Tenere 1200 and a Ducati Scrambler. So our pace was fast but smart and safe. All in all we rode 12 big bikes.

Rides like this is regular fare for The Long Riders group. That’s why we call ourselves The Long riders. It’s never a quickie but always epic, always an adventure. Resty, the group’s spear head had been wanting for us to go to Masbate and so he organised the trip.

From Pilar, Sorsogon, we parked our big bikes in a house near the pier for 100 pesos a night / per bike. From the Pilar Port, we took a ferry boat to Masbate for 400 pesos per person. The boat ride took about 3 hours. The Ferry was fairly clean and comfortable, just like riding an airplane. Tired from our long ride, the boat ride was opportunity for us to catch some shut eye.

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Arriving in Masbate, we were picked-up by the uncle of Third Gonzales, one of the riders. He played host to the group and we stayed in the house of his father-in-law. Third told us that his father-in-law Antonio Gozum built this house with passion, designing it himself without an architect. It stands on a hill and from its porch you have a good view of the Bay and the Buntod Sand bar. The house is big and it had enough space for all 13 of us.

Even though it was a warm summer day, there was always a breeze and we didn’t really need air-conditioners.

I told Third that maybe someday they can transform the house into a Bed and Breakfast and he said he is thinking of the same idea.

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Third Gonzales’ in-laws’ Rest House in Masbate

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View from the House. Buntod Sand bar

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Arriving in the house, we had a sumptuous dinner, with freshly harvested shrimps. Had a few drinks and retired early.

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We awoke early to prepare for our day long tour to around Ticao Island. The house had a spectacular view of the sun rise and after breakfast, we headed off to the Masbate Port to board our big banca for our tour.

Sunrise in Masbate

Sunrise in Masbate

First we went to the Catandayagan Water Falls. This is the first time I’ve seen a water falls whose water goes directly into the sea. Although when we saw it, there wasn’t much water falling because it was summer time. It is such a wonder and the surface looked like stalagtites or stalagmites that you see inside caves,which takes hundreds of years to form.

 

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Catandayagan Falls, Ticao Island, Masbate

IMG_1859Catandayagan Falls 2

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We proceeded to the Borobancaso islet. A small island with a picturesque rock formation in a small white sand beach. The waters are so clear and with a blue summer time skyline, it was picture perfect.

Borobancaso Islet, Ticao Island

Borobancaso Islet, Ticao Island

Long Riders Spearhead, Restie

Long Riders Spearhead, Restie

Crystal blue waters of Borobancaso Islet

Crystal blue waters of Borobancaso Islet

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local catch

Then we rested for a bit in the Halea beach. It’s a deserted white sand cove, which must have been a resort back in the day. It had some small huts where you can eat and rest, but since we didn’t bring food with us, we just rested.

Halea Beach

Halea Beach

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From Halea beach we went on to Ticao island. And upon reaching the small port of Ticao, we were greeted by a big bunch of Habal-habal riders who were all waving and shouting at us. At first I wondered why they were doing that and it felt intimidating. They were like a small mob.

But then when we asked, we found out that they were elbowing each other to make sure they got passengers for their ride. Habal-habal or small motorcycles are the only means of transportation in Ticao island. We got 12 habal-habals all in all, one for each of us.

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Habal habals

We were so hungry and we immediately rode to the local eatery of Mr. Lee. We devoured the carinderia food in his small eatery.

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And after eating we went to see the Matangtubig spring resort. A small local resort with a small spring swim pool. It is located in the midst of rice fields and trees. After a brief swim, we headed back to the port.

We paid the habal-habal 500 pesos each. It was worth it even though a bit scary because they tended to race each other while we were back riding. I guess they were trying to impress us after they found out that we were bikers. Good thing no one crashed cause we weren’t wearing any protective gear.

Our last stop was all the way back to Buntod Sand bar in Masbate. It was a long 3-hour boat ride and we arrived just in time for sunset. It is a major attraction in Masbate and it is being maintained by marine conservationists. It has a rich mangrove and during high tide, one can snorkel around the islet and experience a rich marine life underwater.

Buntod Sand Bar Masbate

Buntod Sand Bar Masbate

buntod groupBuntod mangrovebuntod sand bar

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We headed back home to Masbate afterwards.

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On the trip back to Manila the following day, we took the early Ferry at 08:00am to Pilar Sorsogon had a quick lunch and then made the long ride back. But even if the ride was long and tiring amid the hot sun and into the night, riding motorcycles with good friends makes it always enjoyable and always a true adventure!

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