It was 6:00 AM. She was sad. A 7 year relationship isn’t difficult to forget, I didn’t understand how I might comfort my cousin … other than through travel. So we got on a boat from Bulan to San Jacinto in TICAO ISLAND for a short-term escape. Ticao Island is part of Masbate, however separated from the mainland. Framed by a lovely mix of emerald green and turquoise waters, Ticao Island is ravishingly remote.
At first our plan was just an excursion (like what my daddy and I did before), I was going to take her around the beaches of San Jacinto, but they were a little bit run-of-the-mill, so I wished to show her the finest of Ticao Island instead– Halea Island Nature Park. With no swimwears or additional clothing, we leased a motorcycle to Monreal and bumped into a police officer. We asked him where to lease a boat, serendipitously, his brother is a boatman. And that’s how our experience started.
If you are coming all the way from Manila, may as well prepare your trip to optimize your time in Ticao Island because getting there can be more than the adventure you bargained for. Oh, do not be disappointed because you will be rewarded with nature in its pristine state! Here’s my Ticao Island Travel Guide blog to help you prepare your journey.
MASBATE: TICAO ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG
HOW TO GET TO TICAO ISLAND, MASBATE
FROM MANILA TO TICAO ISLAND
(BY BUS + BOAT Via PILAR)
Ride a bus (DLTB, RSL, CUL, Philtranco, Peñafrancia, Bicol Isarog, Raymond, etc) from Cubao, Pasay or Alabang to Pilar Port in Pilar, Sorsogon. Bus fare is roughly PHP 800 (USD 14/ EUR 16) to PHP 1,000 (USD 20/ EUR 17) depending on the type of bus and where you are coming from. Travel time is roughly 10 -12 hours. Bring coat or blanket as the air-conditioned bus can get too cold!
At Pilar Port, ride the ferry/boat to Monreal Port (Ticao Island), fare is PHP 120 (USD 2.38/ EUR 2) per person. There is a terminal cost at Pilar Port for PHP 15 (USD 0.30/ EUR 0.26) per person. The ferry/boat from Pilar leaves for Monreal around 7:00 AM and 12:00 noon daily just. Travel time is approximately 1.5 hours.
At Monreal Port, you can lease a boat for island hopping in Ticao Island for PHP 2,000 (USD 35/EUR 40)– PHP 2,500 (USD 49/EUR 44), great for 5 individuals. Trip guide fee is PHP 500 (USD 10/EUR 9).
ESSENTIAL: Please be advised that ferry/boat journeys to Monreal from Pilar from July to October may be cancelled due to weather. It is best to examine the weather condition updates prior to continuing. Otherwise, your next option is to go to Bulan. See information below.
(By BUS + BOAT Via BULAN)
Take a bus (DLTB, RSL, CUL, Peñafrancia, Philtranco, Bicol, Isarog, Raymond, etc) bound for Bulan, Sorsogon in Pasay, Alabang or Cubao. Bring coat or blanket as the bus can get too cold! The bus leaves around 4:00 PM– 6:00 PM from Cubao and Pasay. Around 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM from Alabang. Travel time has to do with 12- 14 hours. Bus fare is PHP 1,000 (USD 20/ EUR 17).
From Bulan Bus Terminal, take a tricycle to Pier 2. Fare has to do with PHP 40 (USD 0.79/ EUR 0.70) per individual (if sharing the ride with other guests) or PHP 80 (USD 2/ EUR1.40) if you charter the tricycle.
At Pier 1, ride the passenger boat to San Jacinto Port in Ticao Island. Boat leaves for Ticao at 6:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Fare is approximately PHP 120 (USD 2.30/ EUR 2).
At San Jacinto Port, charter a motorbike to Monreal for PHP 250, helpful for 2. Travel time is roughly 30- 45 minutes.
At Monreal Port, charter a boat for Ticao Island Hopping for PHP 2,000 (USD 35/EUR 40)– PHP 2,500 (USD 49/EUR 44), good for 5 persons. Tourist guide cost is PHP 500 (USD 10/EUR 9).
For your return back to Manila, hire a motorcycle from Monreal to take you to San Jacinto Port. Fare is about PHP 250 (USD/ EUR ), great for two persons. Boat from San Jacinto Port to Bulan Pier 2 is 5:00 AM, 7:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM.
At Pier 2 in Bulan, charter a tricycle to Bulan Bus Terminal for PHP 40 (USD 0.79/ EUR 0.70). Buses for Manila (DLTB, Philtranco, CUL, RSL, Peñafrancia, and Bicol Isarog) leave daily at 3:00 PM. I usually take RSL (very same company as Bicol Isarog and Peñafrancia) because it has a toilet. Otherwise, DLTB or CUL are excellent options too. Bring jacket as the bus can get too cold!
(BY AIR + LAND + BOAT)
Fly to Legazpi through Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. From Legazpi Airport, charter a tricycle to take you to the crossing where you can ride a bus or van to Pilar. You can also get to Legazpi Bus/Van terminal. Buses leave for Pilar from Legazpi City every hour from 5:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Fare has to do with PHP 120 (USD 2.30/ EUR 2).
At Pilar Port, take the ferry/boat to Monreal Port (Ticao Island) for PHP 120 (USD 2.38/ EUR 2). Pay likewise the terminal cost at Pilar Port for PHP 15 (USD 0.30/ EUR 0.26). There are only two boat/ferry journeys to Monreal from Pilar daily, 7:00 AM and 12:00 midday. Travel time is approximately 1.5 hours.
At Monreal Port, lease a boat for Ticao Island hopping for PHP 2,000 (USD 35/EUR 40)– PHP 2,500 (USD 49/EUR 44), excellent for 5 individuals. Tourist guide charge is PHP 500 (USD 10/EUR 9).
(BY AIR + BOAT)
Airlines such a Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines fly between Manila and Masbate City. Most affordable regular fare is through Cebu Pacific for approximately PHP 1,799 (USD 36/ EUR31). Do look out for airline company seat sales.
In Masbate City, take a tricycle to Masbate City Port and ride the ferry/boat to Lagundi in Ticao Island. Travel time is about thirty minutes. At Lagundi, you can hire a motorcycle to take you to Monreal for about PHP 300 (USD 6/ EUR 5)– PHP 500 (USD 10/EUR 9) depending on your bargaining ability.
At Monreal Port, hire a boat for island hopping. Typical rate is PHP 2,500 (USD 49/EUR 44), great for 5 persons. Tour guide fee is PHP 500 (USD 10/EUR 9).
Places to See in Ticao Island (Part of Island Hopping)
Halea Island Nature Park
Guinlatayan Rock Formation
OTHER ATTRACTIONS IN TICAO ISLAND
Matangtubig Spring (Monreal)
Casa Fidel (San Jacinto)
Old Homes in Monreal and San Jacinto
Spanish-era Cannons (San Jacinto)
Beaches in San Jacinto
WHERE TO REMAIN IN TICAO ISLAND
Ticao Island Resort
Sitio Tacdugan, San Jacinto, Ticao Island, Masbate
There are cheaper inns in San Jacinto, fundamental fan room starts at PHP 150 (USD 3/ EUR 3) good for two.
TICAO ISLAND COSTS
To assist you in preparing for your journey to Ticao Island, here’s a list of the possible expenses.
|PHP 800 (USD 14/ EUR 16)||Bus to Pilar, Sorsogon from Manila|
|PHP 800 (USD 14/ EUR 16)||Bus to Manila from Pilar, Sorsogon|
|PHP 120 (USD 2.38/ EUR 2 )||Boat to Monrel from Pilar|
|PHP 15 (USD 0.30/ EUR 0.26)||Pilar Port Terminal Fee.|
|PHP 2,500 (USD 49/EUR 44) so||Boat for Ticao Island Hopping (great for 5 persons)|
|PHP 500 (USD 10/EUR 9)||Guide charge (great for 5 persons)|
|PHP 25 (USD 0.44/ EUR 0.49 )||Environmental Cost|
|PHP 800/ 2 = PHP 400 (USD 2/ EUR 2)||Air Conditioning room in an Inn in Monreal, Masbate. Per night rate, great for 2.|
|PHP 120 (USD 2.38/ EUR 2 )||Boat back to Pilar from Monreal|
|PHP 3 (USD.06/ EUR 0.05)||Monreal Terminal Fee.|
|PHP 50 (USD 0.99/ EUR 0.87 )||Rice meal|
|PHP 15 (USD 0.20/ EUR 0.35)||Bottled water|
TICAO ISLAND HOPPING SAMPLE SCHEDULE WITH BUDGET PLAN BREAKDOWN
Here’s a sample 2 days 1 night schedule for Ticao Island with sidetrip to Lezapi City. I have actually consisted of the possible expenditures here. If you are a group of 5, it is possible to spend around PHP 3,190 (USD 63/ EUR 56) per person. See details below.
If you just have a weekend to spend and you don’t intend on remaining overnight in Ticao Island as you want to go back to Manila the very same day (I wouldn’t truly advise this as it is quite tiring), it is possible. You can end the island hopping around 1:00 PM and work with a motorbike from Monreal to San Jacinto Port to catch the boat/ferry to Bulan. Buses to Manila leave at 3:00 PM from Bulan Bus Terminal.
|04:00 PM||PHP 800 (USD 14/ EUR 16)||ETD To Pilar, Sorsogon|
|09:00 PM||ETA Pilar, Sorsogon|
|06:00 AM||PHP 150 (USD 3/ EUR 3)||Supper. Bus Stop.|
|DAY 1||TICAO ISLAND HOPPING|
|07:00 AM||PHP 120 (USD 2.38/ EUR 2) + for PHP 15 (USD 0.30/ EUR 0.26)||Ride boat to Monreal in Ticao Island, Masbate + Terminal Fee.|
|09:00 AM||PHP 800/ 2 = PHP 400 (USD 2/ EUR 2)||ETA Monreal. Check-in at inn.|
|9:15 AM||PHP 2,500 (USD 49/EUR 44) + PHP 500 (USD 10/EUR 9) = PHP 600 (USD 10/ EUR 12) each if 5 individuals.||ETA Monreal, Masbate. Charter a boat for island hopping. + Tour Guide Cost. Purchase lunch at dining establishments. Please include the boatman and guide in your food spending plan.|
|09:30 AM||PHP 25 (USD 0.44/ EUR 0.49 )||Pay Ecological fee.Start of island Hopping: Halea Island Nature Park, Borabangcaso Islet, Guinlatayan Rock Development and Catandayagan Falls.|
|12:00 PM||PHP 100 (USD 2/EUR2 )||Lunch. (Packed lunch)|
|04:00 PM||End of tour.|
|05:00 PM||Back to inn. Refurbish.|
|06:00 PM||PHP 100 (USD 2/EUR2 )||Dinner|
|Day 2||LEGAZPI SIDETRIP|
|06:00 AM||Breakfast. Check-out. Head to Monreal Port.|
|07:00 AM||PHP 120 (USD 2.38/ EUR 2) + PHP 3 (USD.06/ EUR 0.05)||Boat back to Pilar. Pay terminal charge.|
|09:00 AM||PHP 800 (USD 14/ EUR 16)||ETA Pilar. Back to Manila or Check Out Legazpi.|
|09:15 AM||Bus or van to Legazpi City.|
|Explore Legazpi. Daraga Church, Cagsawa Ruins, Lignon Hill.|
|02:00 PM||Back to Legazpi Satellite Terminal. Bus to Manila.|
|TOTAL||PHP 3,215 (USD 64/ EUR 56)|
- You can take a side trip to Legazpi if you return by means of Pilar.
- You can take a side journey to Matnog, Sorsogon (Subic Beach) if you return through Bulan. If you have the high-end of time, you can even extend your journey to take a trip to Biri Island or Capul Island in Northern Samar.
TICAO ISLAND TRAVEL SUGGESTIONS
⊗ Bring mosquito repellent and sun block.
⊗ Bring toiletries. Not all inns offer toiletries.
⊗ Please do not leave your garbage in the islands, take them with you and dispose them appropriately in mainland Ticao.
⊗ We just went to Halea Island Nature Park since we just wished to swim and relax, so the boatman accepted take us there for PHP 1,600.