Burias Island Masbate Tour

Burias Islands in San Pascual Masbate is along the Ragay Gulf and 2 hours away from Alibijaban Island, San Andres, Quezon. Burias Island is one of the three main islands of Masbate province and is a part of the Bicol region.

Masbate is between the boundaries of Visayas and Luzon. The province is included as part of Bicol region but in proximity is also near the Visayas. Masbate is a group of island and the main town is Masbate City. The famous Burias Island is known for the stunning rock formation and pristine white sand of the beaches. The other two islands are Ticao and Masbate.

Tinalisayan Island

After two hours of boat ride from Alibijaban Island, Tinalisayan Island is seen from afar. It is a small island with some rock formation nearby the island. It has a small sand bar where the boats dock. During low tide, the sand bar is visible but since we arrived during high tide, we had to walk at thigh high level of water.

The island is astonishing because of pristine white sand and clear turquoise water. They also have small rocks that they balance to form a tower. Tinalisayan island also a camping site but they only have one male and female restroom. There are small stores that sell food.

Tinalisayan island is also a 30 minutes boat ride from the town of San Pascual where they get the stuff for the island. You can also see Snake island from Tinalisayan.

Sombrero Island

While riding a boat going to Sombrero Island, you can also see the town of San Pascual. There are small islands with a rock formation and where some locals were doing cliff diving.

Sombrero Island is called sombrero because of the shape of the rock formation which is like sombrero or “hat.”
The island also has a unique sand bar. It has a wide sand bar and there is an area for camping where there are coconut trees.

To go to the Sombrero rock formation, you need to walk along the rocky sands along the shore. To get to the small island you need a boat to be able to explore the island.

The Burias Island Tour also includes Animasola Island and Snake Island, but because we left Alibijaban a little late we weren’t able to go to the other two. The boatman reminded us to leave at 7am but we weren’t able to wake up that time. We left Sombrero past 4 PM, and the water was already rough.

Animasola and Snake Island are known for stunning rock formations. We went back to Alibijaban Island just in time for the sunset.

How to get there

Since we were in Alibijaban, San Andres Quezon, there are different boats to rent to tour you going to the famous Burias Islands. Rates differ from the capacity of the boat and the number of passengers. You can also ride a passenger boat from San Andres port going to San Pascual. It is 2 hours ride from San Andres, Quezon to San Pascual, Masbate.

Another route is coming from Naga. Go to Pasaco Port and ride a passenger boat for 2 to 3 hours going to the town of San Pascual. From San Pascual, you can rent a boat going to the islands.

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Alibijaban Island, San Andres, Quezon

The 7th Quezon – Bicol trip was in Alibijaban island, located in the municipality of San Andres, Quezon. It is in the southernmost tip of Quezon along the shores of Ragay Gulf.

How to get to Alibijaban Island

My first stop was Calauag, Quezon where I fetched Cam and Emman. John was coming from Manila and we would meet him the following day at the port going to the island. He would travel from Manila bus going to San Andres from Alabang for six hours.
We left a little after lunch the following day, taking a bus from Calauag to Gumaca. From Gumaca we rode a jeep going to Pitogo and we waited for the bus going to San Andres in the bus stop along Padre Burgos – Potatanin Junction. We had our lunch at the bus stop and we waited for about an hour and a half for the bus to arrive, while John was already in San Andres. When the bus arrived, we were seated almost at the back and we were together with the goodies from the back of the bus.

After 3 hours and enjoying the coconut tree view outside, we arrive at the bus stop at past 5 PM where John was waiting. After which we went to the port and availed a boat going to Alibijaban. The tour guide also recommended our camping site.
It was already dark and late and low tide when we reached the island. And because of low tide, we had to walk about 1 kilometer of the shore going to the place where we will stay.

It was a local’s house where they made their front house into camper’s site. They also have a store, bathroom and we can also buy cooked food from them. We talked to them for the boat that would take us to Masbate the following morning.

What to do in Alibijaban Island

We set up our tents, we have 2, one big for three people and the other is for John. There was a family who was also camping on the site and they were kind of noisy the whole night so we slept late. The boat arrived early the following day but we woke up late so we left past 8PM. The boat was a little small, the water was rough going to a boat ride of 2 hours in the first island.

To know more about our Burias Island Masbate Tour you can check the next post. From the boat ride to our Burias Island Trip, we went to enjoy the rest of the other side of Alibijaban Island.

The long stretch of the white sand bar is located at the end of the island. There were a lot of tourists enjoying the island beach front. Some were taking a swim, hanging out, talking to friends, enjoying the view, and playing some sports activities like beach volleyball.

We stayed there for a while until we finally saw the sunset. While the sun is setting we then went back to where our campsite was.
Our campsite is near the mangrove trees. Because it was low tide once again, we had to walk for 1 kilometer from where the boat dropped us. There was a lot of starfish and seagrasses along the shore.

To know more about Quezon Province, check out other posts  Gumaca, Quezon, Borawan Island Beach, Quezon, Dampalitan Island, Padre Burgos, Quezon Calauag, Quezon.   

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Kamay ni Hesus

My mother’s hometown is in Lucban, Quezon. My memories are filled with so many good things about Lucban especially during Holy Week and the San Isidro de Labrador Festival every 15th of May. One remarkable attraction for Catholic devotees was the construction of Kamay ni Hesus or Hand of Jesus Shrine, only a few kilometers from the town of Lucban.

Kamay ni Hesus

Kamay ni Hesus was built in 2002. It is one of the most visited sacred grounds and a pilgrimage site not just during the Lenten Season but almost every day. People flocked the Shrine to repent, give thanks, pray for healing, to be blessed, hear mass and to visit the different sites. The Shrine includes the Via Dolorosa Grotto, Healing Church, Noah’s Ark, Sea of Galilee, Holy Family Park and the Pastoral Center founded by the Healing Priest, Fr. Joey Faller.
It is one of the top destinations in Lucban and in Quezon Province.

And like me who came from Manila and the rest of the Teope clan in Lucban, we would take time to go to Kamay ni Hesus. I’m not sure how many times we experienced climbing the 305 steps grotto to reach the 50-foot statue of Jesus Christ.

From the top, you could see a breathtaking view of the town nearby.

To know more about Quezon Province, please see other posts Gumaca, Quezon, Borawan Island Beach, Quezon, Dampalitan Island, Padre Burgos, Quezon Calauag, Quezon

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Philippine Carnival called Perya

We are all young at heart. We always have “the kid” in us. We will never forget our childhood memories. And one of the notable events in my life was spending it in a carnival or in the Philippines we called it “Perya”.


It is not the usual carnival in other places, the Philippines has a different carnival. There are rides, and shows and other spectacular event but mostly the highlight of Perya is the games we play. The carnival is all set during the town, barangay or barrio fiesta. They occupy a certain portion of land, usually near a park where the organizers set up their different rides and games and stalls.

There are so many different rides. What I love the most are a roller coaster and the Ferris Wheel rides.

Perya Games

But I really go to Perya because of the color games. There’s a board where there are six different colors and you will bet on any color and the three dices will roll. If one color appears, it will double your money, if 2 color appears, it will triple your money and if the three dices show one color, it will quadruple your money. It’s also betting and gambling, the more you’re hooked, the more that the winning money you got would be spent, unless you stop. Or normally you’d stop when all the money was drained. But nevertheless, the Perya only comes every year if there’s a Fiesta and if the town, barangay or the barrio allows it.

There’s the game where you toss a coin and when you get a spot where there’s prize they will give it to you. Most prizes are like glass, cups, plates, figurines, candles, small stuff toys to big ones.

And there’s the famous BINGO, a game of numbers in the card. A game that most Filipinos love to play. It’s actually a game of luck, in what numbers will be out of the “tambiola” from 1-75. And you need to form a certain formation to win – diagonal, box, vertical, horizontal. And if you do, you’d say BINGO. It means that you won.
So after draining the money out of your pocket, remember to save some for there are streets food that’s lined up during the night. Here’s a Perya from my trip in Calauag, Quezon.
To know more about Calauag check my other post: Calauag, Quezon

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Sta Rita Island, Del Gallego, Camarines Sur

Sta. Rita Island is located at Del Gallego, Camarines Sur. It has the longest infinity in Camarines Sur.

How to get to Sta Rita Island

The following day we were supposed to meet at 7AM but we all made it at 9AM, where all of us were heading to Sta Rita Island to swim. It was a two hours ride from Calauag to Sta Rita, but we first check the resort in Tagkawayan called Villa Aeesa but we decided to head to Sta. Rita Island which was our first plan. From the resort, it was a 20 minutes ride more along the highway and another 3 km ride in uneven terrain. A service vehicle is a must since there is no public transportation available going to the resort.

They said Sta Rita island used to be an island where you need to ride a boat for a 10 minutes ride, but they put a man-made pathway to extend the island to the main town of Del Gallego. The entrance for the beach is 50 pesos and the entrance to the infinity pool is 150 pesos. We also rented a nipa hut worth 500 pesos where we stayed. There are sports activities on the island like banana boat and jet ski.

Exploring Sta Rita Island

We were very hungry although it was only past 10 AM. We ate lunch which was prepared by our main cook Eunice. We set up a tent just in case someone needed to sleep while we put all our bags in there. After eating we started to drink Emperador. By past 12 in the afternoon we then tried swimming at the beach.

But the water was murky so we decided to go to the infinity pool where we stayed for a while, had our photo shoot at a different angle. It is the longest infinity pool in Camarines Sur.

It was 3 in the afternoon when we went inside the pool again and trekked the grotto. It was a stairway going up with to the highest spot of the resort where there is a veranda or view deck that will let you see the whole place on top 360 degrees. You will see the hills and mountains of Bicol.

From the top, we also saw that it was already low tide and the sand bars near our nipa hut was located was already visible.

We then went down to check out the small L-shaped sandbar. We spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach front, taking pictures and waiting for the sunset.

For more information about Camarines Sur, please check the post: Caramoan, Camarines Sur

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Calauag, Quezon

For my 6th Quezon – Bicol trip, I was able to see the rest of Calauag. I’d been there so many times but I haven’t really looked at the place.

We went to “C” or Calauagenian Plaza of The “C” Lighthouse. It was restructured in the port area, and at the end of the port is a letter C stands for Calauag, for crab festival, or a different C – sea because it’s overlooking the sunset from the horizon.

Festival, Restaurants and the Church of Calauag

The Crab festival or Alimango festival or Katang Festival is celebrated every July. The festival highlight is the Giant Crab or Higanteng Alimango and celebrates the abundance of mud crab in the province. They also have different seafood like halaan or clams and shrimps and different variety of fishes.

We went to Zeny, a restaurant a few kilometers away from the town center and is very famous for serving crabs and shrimps. You need to call beforehand for the cooks to prepare the order. When we arrived during dinner, we were the only customers inside. We went to the nearby Nipa hut while they prepared for our sumptuous meal, chili-garlic crab, buttered shrimp, rice and although it was a little late since they forgot the sinigang…we were able to enjoy our food.
We went to the carnival afterward. After enjoying ourselves in the local carnival, we decided to look for a bar which was called Lamukan, where we drink some beers and sing our heart out in the videoke machine. Then we planned to go to Sta Rita Island, a two hours ride from Calauag to go to the beach.
After our trip to Sta Rita we went to the church called The Parish of St. Peter the Apostle Church. It was founded in 1846 but it was already rebuilt.

We went to eat at Bahay ni Lolo Ompo before heading back to Manila for lunch. There are other restaurants in Calauag because it has been a major stopover of buses going to Bicol and Visayas.

Other places to go to Calauag

1. Pulong Pasig
2. Calapuhan Beach, Sto Angel Beach, Panaghoy Beach and Talingting Beach
3. Sumulong River
4. Milagrosa Cave
5. Quezon Canal

For more information about Quezon Province, please check my posts: Gumaca, QuezonBorawan Island Beach, Quezon Dampalitan Island, Padre Burgos, Quezon

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Boat Ride from Paracale to Vinzons

Traveling to a beautiful tourist destination in the Philippines is not that easy. Most of the precious, amazing, and unspoiled islands in the archipelago are far away from the town. And Calaguas Group of Island is not an exception.

Two hours ride is not good for other people, especially if the waters are hasty and the waves are high. And if you have a problem being seasick, you have to think twice. And most of the time, the hardest journey ever is the most satisfying of all.
Our jump-off area is the fishing port of Paracale, one town away from Vinzons. Sometimes the problem would be how big is the boat. In our case, since it was owned by a fisherman, the banca was not convenient for passengers. Since tourism had boosted in the fishing port, most of the fishermen’s boat is rented to accommodate travelers like us. And yes we had to endure it for two hours.

While traveling the best way to enjoy the boat ride is to look around. Since it is a group of islands, there will be nearby islands or islets that are just around the corner. We were able to see the Maculabo Island from the left side going to Tinaga along Paracale Bay.

The boat ride is almost straight and just a little left towards the island. Upon reaching the tip of Tinaga island, rocks are visible in the shorelines.
Tinaga Island is the most traveled by visitors because of the long and wide sand bar of Mahabang Buhangin. There is a barangay called Mangkawayan where the local fishermen live with their family. The hillside of Tinaga is also accessible if you want to see the long beach from the top.

We only rented the boat for a one-way trip. The following day, the usual passenger boat from Vinzons arrived after lunch. And we availed the service with other tourists who were going back to the town.
From Tinaga island, we then saw Guintinua Island and some small islets. The water was rough, but because we had a bigger boat this time, the two hours ride was okay. And yes, I didn’t wear any life jacket, even if the waves where a little rough going to Vinzons.

Or maybe because I’d been to different long boat rides in the country that I don’t get seasick or get bored and sometimes it also helps to get excited first to your travel destination and the rest will follow.

For more information about Calaguas you can check the post here: Calaguas Islands, Camarines Norte

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Calaguas Islands, Camarines Norte

Our 5th Quezon – Bicol Escapade is in Calaguas Islands, Vinzon, Camarines Norte. Calaguas is a group of islands including the famous Tinaga, Maculabo, Guintinua islands and other islets, included in the town of Vinzons in Camarines Norte. The seaboard of Calaguas is rough during the rainy season as it is located along the Pacific Ocean. The best time to explore to Calaguas is during summer.

As we often do, we stayed in Cam’s house in Calauag on our first night. We packed our things, this time with a tent, food and water. The following day, we rode a bus towards Paracale. Along the bus stop, we rode another bus towards Paracale town. We headed to the fishing port of Paracale and bought some other stuff while we waited for a boat for a two-hour boat ride. We were excited to see the picturesque paradise from afar. Sighting the pristine white sand of Mahabang Buhangin or Long Beach, the unparalleled green mountainous area of Tinaga Island, turquoise water, the island was a real beauty.
There were no resorts on the island during the time of our visit. But I remembered there were Nipa Huts being constructed at the center of Mahabang Buhangin, and we were told that the owner has a resort in Boracay. Upon setting foot on the island in the afternoon, we were sun-kissed already by the sun’s heat. We looked for a good camping site in the left part of the island.

The island was divided into different owners because there were caretakers in the area. We found a nice spot, near a Nipa hut of the caretaker, with so many coconut trees that shaded our area. At our back, was the caretaker’s source of water, public bathrooms and a small house with a sari-sari store. They have food, drinks, and water supplies.
We set up our tent, mingled with the caretaker where we bought our coconuts. We took a nap to enjoy the tranquillity of the island. There was a set up of volleyball net near us, so Butchick and Cam played beach volleyball, as were able to get a ball from our caretaker.
The beach was fronting a very romantic sunset, as many tourists like us, started lining up to witness the orange colored sun going down the horizon.

Although it’s camper’s site, the phone signal is high and there’s electricity on the island. We had a few drinks with our caretaker and jammed with them because they had a guitar. We watched the stars while in the sand.

Early in the morning, Butchick and I played with the water in the beachfront because there were few boats along the coastline. We stayed on the beach for a long time until the time we had to leave the island.

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Mercedes Group of Islands, Camarines Norte

Mercedes is a town after Daet in Camarines Norte. The town is known for the siete pecados or seven islands around the Pacific along the coastline of Daet which was called Mercedes Group of Islands. The seven islands where Canimog, Apuao Grande, Quinapaguian Island, Malasugui, Apuao Pequeṅa, Canron and Caringo. For me, Mercedes islands where unadulterated and quiet beauties, that provides tranquillity from the crowded Bagasbas Beach.

From my previous post, we spent a night in Daet, within the vicinity of Bagasbas beach because we weren’t able to get a tour package that would take us to Calaguas Island. The locals from Daet suggested we should go to Mercedes Island. The four of us decided again to take a different route from the original plan.
From Daet, we rode a tricycle to take us to Mercedes. From the Daet-Mercedes boundary, we rode another tricycle to get us to the town of Mercedes. When we reached Mercedes town proper, we saw a local restaurant called Graceland were we had our lunch. After which we rode another tricycle to take us to the Mercedes fish port. There was a tourism office in the port, and we inquired about places to stay in Cayucyucan and where to go to Mercedes.

It was only a five minutes ride to Cayucyucan, another barangay in Mercedes. The port is located in Manguisoc wharf. From the wharf, we rode a tricycle and went to Palms Farm Resort. We booked for an overnight stay, and we talked to the staff for an island tour in the Mercedes islands.
The staff got a boatman to tour us in the islands around. And we were all set to tour the quiet beauties of Mercedes, in which way back then was not really known tourist destination. We were able to see 3 out of 7 islands because some islands From Cayucyucan, the first island in our itinerary is Canimog Island. I love the island, because of the long sand bar, white powdery sands and crystal clear water. We stayed here longer for about an hour to swim and explore the island.

From Quinapaguain, we went to Apuao Grande and Apuao Pequena, two islands connected by the sandbar.
Apuao Grande Island used to be a private resort and a golf course area. But due to some problems and was in the state of disrepair, the island stopped accepting tourist but remained open to the public that was managed by the caretaker. The island has a long sand bar, pristine white sand and clear blue waters.

After Apuao Grande, we went to Caringo, a barangay where most locals live. It is also near a coral sanctuary, and the sands were white sands with shells. We were accompanied by our boatman to go to the barrios and bought freshly caught fishes from the fisherman.

From Caringo, we were able to see Malasugui and Quinapagan Island before going back to our resort. Going back to Cayucyucan, we encountered a problem with our boat. For almost 20 minutes were stuck along the shores of Cayucyucan and Quinapagan. But we were not disheartened as we were able to see the beauty of the sunset on the horizon.

We asked for the staff of Palms Farm resort to for us, what we bought from Caringo. During the night, we stayed outside and enjoyed the sound of the water and each other’s company. There were rattan swings, hammocks and wooden chairs and tables within the resort. The beach area of Palms Beach Resort was also good for swimming, and there is a net for beach volleyball fanatics to enjoy the sun.

We went back to Mercedes town in the morning and went to Baybay Beach where there was an event for kayaking and skimming. John tried kayaking and we were grateful of the locals of the tourism department of Mercedes who accompanied us.

For more information about Camarines Norte, please check this posts: Bagasbas Beach, Daet, Camarines Norte Calaguas Islands, Camarines Norte

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Bagasbas Beach, Daet, Camarines Norte

Bagasbas Beach is in Daet, Camarines Norte and one of the top surfing destination in the Philippines. The 4 kilometers stretch of fine, gray and powdery sands is also a surfer’s haven. It is one of the top surfing destinations in the Philippines as big waves from the Pacific Ocean makes it an ideal spot for surfers.

Cam and I started the trip in 2007. In 2012, there were four of us who explored Camarines Norte. We were joined by John and Butchick. John and I came from Manila, while Cam and Butchick were from Calauag and we joined them in Calauag.

We left in the morning and rode a bus from Calauag to Daet. The plan was to go to Calaguas and find a travel package for the four of us that includes a tent since we were not prepared for the camping. When we reached Daet, we rode a tricycle and went to Bagasbas Beach. And because the beach was dragging our itchy feet to enjoy the sand and the water, we opted to stay for a night here.

We then look for a place to stay and found a guest house called Zenaida’s Palace. The place seemed to be a residential house which was turned into a hostel. It was just a few minutes away from the beach, with nearby sari-sari stores. After resting for a while we decided to explore Bagasbas Beach.

It was already low tide when we got there. And because it was not the surfing season, only small waves roll in the ocean. There were surfing lessons being offered. It was a public destination but the beach was very clean. The unadulterated wide stretch of sand bar took us far from the Bagasbas Promenade.

We ate at Surfer’s Dine Inn. Hostels, inns, resorts and restaurants lined up the Promenade. Make sure to book early or you might not find a place to stay especially during the summer season and surfing season.

Bagasbas is facing the east of the Pacific Ocean. We were up early and we were amazed by the view of the beautiful sunrise. Early morning, there are surfers on the beach.

For more information about Camarines Norte, please check the posts: Mercedes Group of Islands, Camarines Norte Calaguas Islands, Camarines Norte

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