Masbate 2D1N Itinerary for 4k

DIY Trip to Masbate

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
SafeHouse Entrance 40 20
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner 700 350
GRAND TOTAL 7981.59 3990.795

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.

Bicol Isarog EDSA Cubao Terminal
Bicol Isarog EDSA Cubao Terminal

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.

GV Hotel Masbate
GV Hotel Masbate

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!

Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary & Sandbar
Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary & Sandbar

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.

Masbate Itinerary
Kaykay’s Sinangag

Lights Out.

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.

Masbate ItinerMasbate Itinerary Masbate Cathedralary Masbate Cathedral
Masbate Itinerary Masbate Cathedral

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.

Masbate Itinerary
I ❤ Masbate

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 Itinerary

Masbate Rodeo Capital of the Philippines

Masbate,  you are such a paradise. Thank you! We will be back! 🙂

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Mayon ATV Ride – Get Up Close and Personal with Mayon Volcano!

Wherever you are in Albay – Mayon is a sight to see – it seems like it follows you. The closer you get – the more mesmerized you become with the world’s perfect cone. The best way to get close to her is riding the ATV! I’ve always wanted to try this activity since 2013. Despite being in our hometown almost every year – I never got the chance to cross this off my list.

I told my girlfriend that if we go to Bicol for vacation, we’ll definitely experience Mayon ATV Ride. Quality Time. They say couples should try new things together right? :”>

Prior to our trip, I have texted Sir Noel (09291932759) from DIY Group and I informed him that we’ll go for the ATV Ride once there. Our pickup point would be at Sumlang Lake then transfer to their base in Legazpi. Originally – this was planned as an activity for two and my family will just wait at their base while we’re gone for an hour for the ride.

While en-route to the ATV base, I asked my Mom to try the ride but she was uncomfortable – reluctant even. She said that she prefers to just look after the kids. Sir Noel said that the kids are FREE as back ride so she has no choice but to go haha.

We picked the shortest and also the cheapest trail. It costs P700 per person and would take an hour to complete. For 3 adults, it costed us P2100. I would’ve asked for a P100 discount but the kids were not charged so it’s not a bad deal right? 😉

Here’s our pictures and more of the story 😉

Mayon ATVMayon ATVMayon ATVMayon ATV

JACS Outdoor Adventure ATV Trail. Their base is located at San Agustin St. Diversion Road, Pawa, Legazpi City. You don’t have to worry about getting there since they have a van to pick you up in Legazpi City.  They have free WiFi, water station, lockers and comfort room. You can select your preferred ATV from their fleet. You may reach out to them for inquiries at 09957320289 / 09063716374.

Mayon ATVMayon ATV

Gear Up! After selecting our equipment, we had a brief orientation regarding the activity – do’s and don’ts. We also did a couple of laps maneuvering the ATV at their base.

Mayon ATV

Photo Op! Too bad Mayon was covered with clouds though.

Mayon ATVMayon ATV

The trail consists of paved to muddy to bumpy to rocky and dusty roads as well as shallow to knee-deep rivers. Wear comfortable clothes and slippers/sandals.

Mayon ATVMayon ATVMayon ATVMayon ATVThis was the end of the trail. Photo op before heading back to base.

Mayon ATVMayon ATVLook at the smile on my Mom’s face. She truly enjoyed this activity! <3 #LolaDuties

So yeah – if you find yourself in the Bicol Region – don’t miss this fun activity. I’m sure everyone will surely enjoy the Mayon ATV Ride – from kids to grandparents! Truly an unforgettable experience!

I highly recommend JACS Outdoor Adventure ATV Trail. They have very courteous and friendly staff. Kudos to them for our safe ride as well as for taking most of the pictures and videos! Salamat tabi!

We’ll definitely be back to try the Black Lava Trail! B-)

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Albay – 2D1N Itinerary

I’ve always known that Albay – which is 500+ kilometers away from Manila – is 12 hours away by bus. I was surprised that my recent trip only took 9 hours one way! This made me realize that my birthplace got even closer and can be visited on a long weekend.

I’m really not a fan of taking a plane to Legazpi since I feel like the time allotted to prepare, travel to the airport and be there 2-3 hours before the flight is not worth it. I always prefer to leave late Friday afternoon at Araneta Bus Port and be in Albay early next morning and then start touring right away.

Where to Stay?
Since I am from here, I don’t usually spend on accommodation. I stay at my Aunt’s place. Check out Agoda for your accommodation.

Going Places?
It is easy to go places in Albay by riding jeeps and trikes. Don’t hesitate to ask the locals for directions should you find yourself lost (but I doubt this lol) and they’ll be willing to help you out.

Here is my simple and very relaxed purely DIY itinerary for Albay that is very child friendly as well. I’m sure the kids would enjoy touring the province just like my nephew and niece who seemed to have so much energy during our tour!

DAY 1

0600 Arrival
0800 Sumlang Lake Eco Park
0900 Quitinday Hills and Nature Park
1000 Mayon ATV Ride
1230 Ligñon Hill Nature Park – Lunch
1400 Albay Park and Wildlife
1600 Embarcadero de Legazpi
1700 Legazpi Boulevard
1830 Ayala Malls Legazpi – Dinner
2000 Lights Out

DAY 2

0800 Daraga Church
0900 Cagsawa Ruins
1000 Kawa-Kawa Shrine
1200 Ligao Centro / Public Market – Pasalubong Hunting
1230 St. Stephen Church
1300 Home Sweet Home
1800 Back to Manila

If you have an extra day or two, you can explore more of the region and add Sorsogon province as well as tour Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte as you go back north to Manila. 😉 I plan on doing this and once done, I’ll share it of course.

Oh, before I forgot, pictures!

legazpi boulevardLegazpi Boulevard with Mayon Volcano at the background :)

sumlang lakeSumlang Lake

mayon atv for kidsGeared up for Mayon ATV

Albay Park and WildlifeLook at that dinosaur at Albay Park and Wildlife!

Embarcadero de LegazpiEmbarcadero de Legazpi

Kawakawa HillAtop Kawa-Kawa Hill

albay itinerary (7)Going back to Manila

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Ligao City – There is no place like home…

It has been a while Ligao City! Lots of memories here in my hometown, indeed: “there is no place like home”. Ligao has changed gradually over the years, but to me, the memories I had in this city feels just like yesterday – as if nothing has changed.

I had friends here when I was little but now I can’t really tell who they were. I can only recognize my cousins and relatives. The Bicol dialect though still remains in me and I’m still fluent in speaking – as if I never left. (this still surprises me lol)

Ligao City is in the province of Albay and part of the Bicol Region. It is about 9 to 10 hours bus ride from Manila. The most common tourist spot is the Mayon Volcano and  Kawakawa Hill.

Should you wish to stay – book your accommodation in Agoda.

Here are some pics during my January 2018 visit.

Ligao CityThe chapel which is just a few steps away from our house.

Ligao CityMayon Volcano as seen from our covered court (zoomed though)

Ligao CityMy mom ready to go to the market

Ligao CityEating taho in the fields with the majestic Mayon Volcano for view.

Ligao CitySaint Stephen Protomartyr Parish – we used to attend the Sunday mass here.

Ligao CityLigao Town Center

Ligao CityProcession of the Black Nazarene in Ligao

Ligao CityLigao CityLigao CityLigao CityLigao CityLigao CityLigao CityChristmas in Ligao City which gives me the Ayala Triangle feels

Ligao CityThere are lots of street foods / stalls around the town center

Ligao CityMy favorite puto! (rice cake)

Ligao CitySinapot / maruya and banana cue for meryenda

 

 

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