We all do crazy things in life – like spending a whole month salary overnight, getting broke and drunk with people who don’t give a shit about us, and falling in love with every person who gives us a special attention. I had my fair share too. One afternoon, after a halo-halo date with my mom, I decided to pack my things, boarded on a Roro bus, and allowed fate to take part on this uncertain journey. And out of all the beautiful and eventful things my mom and I discussed while battling with all the ingredients of such dessert, I intentionally didn’t mention about this random plan. Like I told you, we all do crazy things in life.
It has been a childhood prank to choose between parents: to whom would you go with if things don’t work out? I love my father, but I’d always choose my mom. There’s something about mothers that keeps us always feeling at home and comfortable – that everything in life would be bearable when you are with them. I don’t know if it goes to all, but the first person I’ll look upon getting home is my mother. HAHA. So imagine what a traitor I felt when I told her I was traveling with friends.
I don’t remember how it started, but Masbate has always been a place that I dreamt of visiting. So when a long weekend occurred, an idea instantly played on my mind. I initially asked some friends to come however, because I find it difficult to decide the when-where-how-and-how-much the trip to Masbate would be, it ended up as a solo backpacking Masbate adventure. I left home without knowing exactly where to go, what to do, and what for am I doing such. I just wanted to go. Period.
HOW TO GET TO MASBATE
From Cebu North Bus Terminal, I boarded on a Cebu-Masbate Roro Bus that brings passengers straight to Masbate City – a four hour ride to Bogo City, six hours to Cataingan Port, and another two hours to Masbate City. That night, the initial plan was just to arrive at Masbate, who cares what happens after; but when morning came, I started to panic. What am I going to do here?! Everyone inside the bus looked familiar to each other, everyone knew where to disembark, everyone knew what they’d be doing for the weekend. Pressured, I started befriending Google and searched for places to visit around the island. This then led me to a waterfalls that I have been long itching to visit – Catandayagan Falls. For some time, I had tried this “chasing waterfalls” trend; however, I have come to tire such useless mission. I stopped counting, comparing and ended up enjoying whatever that can be seen in every hiking experience – no expectations, no heartbreak.
When the bus going to Masbate finally came to a halt, (even if I didn’t want to) I was forced to disembark and embrace the warmth of the furious sun. Typical island vibe. HAHA. I went to the nearest port and asked the guards where I can get a ride in going to Ticao Island where Catandayagan Falls is located. They directed me to a nearby station where small bangkas docked. Minutes later, I just found myself among the locals, delving into conversations and checking from time to time on Google on what to do next in this random trip around Masbate.
Upon arrival at Lagundi Port in Ticao Island, Masbate, I looked for a motorcycle to bring me Monreal Port where most island hopping tours are offered. While chatting with the habal-habal driver, I found out that local boatmen actually offer island hopping tours around Ticao Island, Masbate. So in the middle of the journey, inside of pushing the Monreal plan, we backtracked and proceeded with the island hopping in Lagundi – with the same driver. HAHA.
The boat I rented for the islandhopping in Masbate was good for 20, but there I was… alone. Well, not literally because the boatman and his assistant were there. Through the journey I learned their life stories, local terms and traditions of the island, and some memorable adventures they had with their guests. And guess what, it was the first time they tried having a single guest in a whole day trip in Masbate!
WHAT TO SEE AROUND MASBATE
Two hours after, we finally arrived at the famous waterfalls in Masbate that cascades directly from the top of the cliff down to the seas – Catandayagan Falls. Beautiful was an understatement. For moments, I stood on the tip of the boat and watched in amazement how on earth I arrived on such place. When my eyes got tired of feasting such enormity, I jumped from the boat and swam near it – instant massage! HAHA. My companions were kind enough to lend me their panyapak (wooden fins) and goggles for me to see underneath the underneath. Behold, it was almost similar to the underwaters of Coron.
Borabangcaso Islet and Guinlatayan Rock Formations
It was late in the afternoon when we decided to proceed to our next destination – Borabangcaso Islet and Guinlatayan Rock Formations. They were yet another perfect destinations in Masbate for beach bums. The rock formations were ideal for Instagram! Since it wasn’t a peak season, there were only eight of us in the islet – my company and some locals having picnic. And instead of maximizing the time for photo ops, I decided to continue my underwater escapade until my legs rallied for surrender, signaling the end of such random adventure.
By six in the evening, I was back in Masbate City and uncertain on what to do after. I spent almost an hour looking for a place to stay only to end up riding a van going to Cataingan which then led to Placer – one of the most traumatic nights of my life (I’ll try to write this one of this day… if I won’t be on the procrastination anymore HAHA).
Up until now I still couldn’t understand why I went to Masbate. But probably some questions need not to be answered. Its mere existence is the answer to its presence – the same logic why I, so undeserving, was blessed with an understanding and kind mother. So to all the crazy individuals out there: the ones who’s never figure out things in life, those who have not gone beyond the rebel days despite the presumed age of maturity, those whose directions seemed unfitted and unwise, let’s keep the faith. We might not know where these things are leading us… but if we won’t keep going… what difference will it make?
SAMPLE ITINERARY UPON VISITING MASBATE
8:00pm – Roro Bus to Masbate (Cebu North Bus Terminal) – P850.00 all in(P680.00 with Student’s ID)
12:00am – Polambato to Cataingan (Montenegro)
6:00am – Cataingan Port
8:00am – Masbate City Port (Bust Terminal)
9:00am – Bangka to Ticao Island – P10.00 (Terminal Fee)
10:00am – Lagundi Port
10:30am – Start of Island Tour (Catandayagan Falls, Borabangcaso Islet, Guinlatayan Rock Formation, and Halea Island Nature Park)
5:00pm – Back to Masbate City
*8:30am – Roro Bus Schedule Trip back to Cebu
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Bangka rate usually range from P3, 000.00 – P5, 000.00 depending on the capacity and haggling skills. Rate for my trip was different. I was alone after all – NOT RECOMMENDED IF YOU’RE ON TIGHT BUDGET.
- Boat trip schedule to and fro Cebu may vary every day. Keep updated on the change of schedule and fare.
- Other places to visit: Burias Island, Butod Reef Marine Sanctuary, Palani White Beach, Rodeo Festival (April), Pawa Mangrove Park, and Aroroy Lighthouse.
- Keep the sanctity of the place and be a responsible tourist. Leave no trace.
- For inquiries, direct contact me thru Facebook and Instagram. See you on trails!