Going Solo in Masbate

“CebGo Flight DG 6177 bound for Masbate is now boarding” my happiness can’t be contained as I hear those words ringing through the waiting lobby. A whisper to myself with a grin saying “My solo adventure begins!”

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Touchdown Masbate! I know no one, I’ve never been here, I am simply lost by the time I boarded off the plane. Well, atleast I have a plan -and that is having no plan! I checked my resources and learned that Provincial Capitol is just nearby and that is perfect. I headed directly to the tourism office for assistance.

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I planned my Itinerary right away as soon as I reached the office and get my contact as well. I meet Sir Clark who guided and accompanied me during my stay in Masbate City. First agenda, getting around the area and having lunch then he dropped me off the port for Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary.

Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary and Sandbar

The sandbar is accessible by boat 10 minutes from the port. I have no expectations at all going here, so when I saw the pristine blue waters of Buntod Reef I knew I’ve made a right decision to be here.

IMG_0119The water is cool, enough to soothe the heat of the radiant sun. I am not a beach person but I guess I am being converted by these waves; inviting, enticing, seducing me to be a beach bum and well yes, I did gave in.

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At the end of the sandbar lies a mangrove bed that serves as a haven for small fishes and crustaceans alike. I was able to see colorful blennies, a school of small fishes breaking through the shallow waters, crabs, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, various sea shells and of course the ever adorable starfishes.

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What can I say more? The only thing that’s running on my mind is that -Thank you Masbate for officially opening Summer for me!

Road Trip Over The Rodeo Capital of The Philippines

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Not only blessed by clear waters, Masbate can also boast its rolling hills and pasture-worthy green meadows to which explains why cattle is the main produce of the province. Having a roadtrip, windows down, with green hills on the backdrop and fresh breeze from the sea is heaven!

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Bat-Ongan Cave

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Located in Mandaon around 40.4 km from Masbate City lies Bat-Ongan Cave. One of the untapped Masbate gem that holds a mystery. Who will not wonder why would mangroves grow in this hill that is landlocked by rice fields and mountains?

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trekking to the summit of the cave gives you an almost 360° view of the location featuring farms and mountains at the horizon.

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A REALIZATION: Tourism is a double-edged sword, if regulated and properly handled it protects nature otherwise it will destroy it. It was one of the things Sir Ambing taught me while spelunking on this wonderful cave.

A PLEA: To all Masbateños and visitors of this cave please protect and preserve this cave it is something I want to go back for. It is one of the things I want my future posterity to see.

Fazenda de Esperanca -The Farm of Hope

As the name implies it gives hope, The farm is actually a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center run by the Catholic Church, I was moved to see faith-based methods in practice to battle the dreaded disease of addiction. The best part of it is that success rate is really high.

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This is a facility where alcohol and drug dependents renew their faith, find the meaning of life and ultimate recourse their lives for the better. They work hard to change their lives and you can see the progress through the smile and through their eyes. I’ve never seen hope so tangible in front of my very eyes.

Mangrovetum

Before the day end I decided to visit Mangrovetum it is actually a simple park surrounded by mangroves located just 5 minutes away with a tricycle ride from the city.

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Masbate City

The city offers a lot of colors from ports, market place that sells freshly harvested produce and caught of the day seafood. I grew up in Bicol but Masbate is really unique, I am torn between the feelings of I-am-home and I-am-a-stranger but who cares, whoever you are, wherever you came from Masbateños are very accommodating that you will feel that maybe in the past life I was actually here.

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After spending few hours in the city, I found myself back in the airport lobby after the announcement saying “CebGo Flight DG 6178 bound for Manila is now boarding”. Still sleepy, with a boarding pass on one hand, a pack of Carmelado on the other and a warm regret-free feeling in my heart with a whisper saying “I’ll be back!”

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