travel

Masasa Beach: Off the Beaten Path in Tingloy, Batangas

If you’re up for some quick getaway, there’s a nearby beach paradise located only 3-hours away from Manila named Masasa Beach. During its earlier years, Masasa  Beach was an untouched island with no convenient source of food and shelter available for visitors. But this hidden paradise didn’t stay hidden for long. It gained fame for its pristine clear seas and soon enough, the local tourism brought thriving business opportunities to what used to be a dormant town.

This recently uncovered treasure is humbly situated in a fish-shaped island named Tingloy, the only municipality in Batangas that is not part of mainland Luzon.

Looking back from its virgin state, the progress in the island includes standardized transient homes, access to drinkable water and electricity, the availability of consumer products transported from the mainland, the convenience provided by tour operators and boatmen. Along with this development came a greater responsibility for the communities and tourists to maintain the cleanliness of the beach. Until now, everyone is trying to address the coastal waste management issue in the area. In the midst of this challenge, the locals are all putting their efforts to promote this awareness and keep Masasa Beach’s beauty intact.

May 8, 2017 — My closest high school friend and I have decided one night to get away from the life of the city and find a quick escape. With all things considered – budget, accommodation, travel time and navigation – we have decided one Sunday night to go to Masasa Beach in Batangas the next morning.

 

Getting There

It took 2-hours of travel time from Dasmarinas, Cavite going to Batangas Grand terminal via Star Tollway. (If you’re coming from Manila, it will take around 2-3 hours via ALPS Bus line or DLTB in Cubao) Since we were in a UV Express (for ₱160/pax), this part of the journey was a breeze.

When we got to Batangas Grand Terminal, we rode the jeepney (for ₱40/pax) bound for Anilao port. Arriving at 10 in the morning wasn’t a very good idea. We waited for about 20 minutes to fill the vehicle with passengers and only at 10:20 am we’ve gone on a roll. It was a case of a bad timing as we got stuck in a standstill, giving way for the opposite lane since there was a road reconstruction. The supposedly 45-minute travel time from Batangas Grand Terminal was extended by 25 more minutes.

Upon reaching Anilao Port, we rode the ship bound (for ₱80/pax) for Masasa Beach. The boat ride took almost an hour. The waves weren’t very strong by this time of the day, and the boat was well-ventilated that we fell asleep soundly. The passengers who shared the ride with us varied from tourists to locals coming home to Tingloy.

 

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My friend Renee and the tall cocnut trees of Masasa Beach

My friend Renee and the tall coconut trees of Masasa Beach

 

After an hour of travel via ship, we arrived at the Tingloy port and hailed a tricycle (for ₱30/pax) going to the beach. We met Kuya Berto on the tricycle stop and he willingly showed us around his transient house. We were okay with the homestay. The ₱300 fee already includes a room with a queen-sized papag (low bamboo bed) with Uratex foam for two, the use of water, electricity, and pa-luto. Right after we finished unpacking and getting ourselves ready for the outdoors, we trekked downhill from our transient house and walked for 7-12 minutes on a concrete pathway towards the beach. We easily got dehydrated from the intense heat of the sun!

 

Beach

If you’re coming to Masasa Beach expecting a Boracay sand texture to touch the tip of your toes, I’d advise you not to get your hopes up. The sand here is not white and powdery, but rocky and filled with wooden debris.

 

 

What you can look forward to though, is Masasa Beach’s pride to its rich marine ecosystem which is home to a beautiful ocean biodiversity. We were able to get a glimpse of this wonderful marine life by hiring a boatman who took us to a coral reef area where we snorkeled for an hour. We were charged ₱100 for 30 minutes. It was already inclusive of the bangka rental fee, gas,  and the snorkeling gears. I saw pawikans! (Apologies for having no photos to show!)

 

 

P.S. Also, just by the beach is the iconic stone staircase which, I’m not sure what it was for.

 

Lagoon

Just by walking 10 minutes to the right side of the main beach, you’ll reach the Lagoon. In this area are rock formations that depict the impact of ocean’s crashing against the stones, thus creating a formation that reminded me so much of Kapurpurawan in Ilocos.

 

This is personally my favorite part of the island because the rocks served as shades, and also an elevation for a slight cliff jumping feeling. The lagoon was like a playground in a swimming pool!

 

 

People come here for the clear soft waters that are swimmable and not too itchy to the skin.

 

Masasa Beach, Tingloy Island, Batangas First Page

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The sunset would’ve looked beautiful from the lagoon. However, as much as we’d like to stay longer, it was already getting dark and we had to go back to the main beach for our safety.

 

Pink Sunset Skies

The main beach wasn’t the best place to view the pink sunset, but the sky still gave us a great sight of the cotton candy skies as the sun sinks down to the horizon.

 

 

We watched the sun go down on us and stayed on the beach until 7 PM.  We noticed that there were still a lot of people camping by the beach at this hour and were surprised that they weren’t sent away. We were told that as per barangay ordinance, camping overnight by the beach premises is prohibited. People can only stay until 7 in the evening. This regulation was rooted in a case of a missing person who camped by the beach unsupervised and was gone missing the next day. People can still pitch tents and set camp in the area, however, they must be under the care of their respective homestay.

 

Homestay

At 7.30 in the evening we  returned to our homestay and was blessed by Kuya Berto as he provided us a dinner treat. He cooked Calderetang kambing  to celebrate his son for coming home to Batangas that day. I must say, they have a beautiful family 🙂

Since the electricity source is shut off by midnight, my friend and I didn’t feel most comfortable that night. Sleeping was a huge challenge. We opened the windows to let the air circulate, however, there were bugs that came in and crawled on the bed sheets. It wasn’t long before we finally got the hang of it and slept soundly due to exhaustion.

The next morning, we went back to the beach to swim some more. There are other activities on the island such as trekking Mag-asawang Bato Peak and island hopping (around ₱1,500 to ₱2,000) to Sombrero Island, an island that is hat-shaped, and Sepoc Island. The activities seemed promising, however, we didn’t opt to do those because my friend and I just wanted to unwind and savor the moment. I’m glad we did that here in Tingloy Island.

 

 

Guide to Masasa Beach, Tingloy Island

  • It is better to visit Masasa Beach on a weekday because the area is crowded during the weekends;
  • Camping overnight by the beach premises is prohibited. People can only stay until 7 in the evening;
  • Electricity is only available from 12 noon to 12 midnight. During this period, make sure to charge your phone, batteries and other electronic devices;
  • There is no flowing source of water on the island. Locals fetch water from the deep well and store their supply into huge drums for household use. Conserve;
  • There are sari-sari stores around the area just in case you forgot a supply;
  • Do not delay going back to Tingloy port. Go to the pier as early as 1pm  because the last boat ride is scheduled at 2:30 in the afternoon. If the boat reached its full capacity already, it will sail earlier than the 2:30pm. Should you not have caught the ship, you can rent a boat to take you back to the Anilao Port for ₱2,000 – ₱3,000.

 

How to Get There

1. Ride a bus/van going to Batangas Port. If you are around the vicinity of Dasmarinas, Cavite, it is better to ride the UV Express in Pala-pala Van Terminal (across Robinson’s Dasmarinas) bound for Batangas Grand Terminal than going to Manila to ride the bus. If you are around the vicinity of Dasmarinas, Cavite, it is better to ride the UV Express in Pala-pala Van Terminal (across Robinson’s Dasmarinas) bound for Batangas Grand Terminal than going to Manila to ride the bus.

2. Once in Batangas Port, ride the Jeepneys bound to Anilao. Confirm with the jeepney drivers if they’ll pass by Tingloy Port.

*According to everyone we’ve met, it is better to go to Masasa Beach as early as 8AM because traffic gets bad in Bauan.

 

Things to Bring

  • Snorkeling gear
  • Bottled water
  • Sunblock lotion
  • Mosquito repellent lotion
  • Battery-operated portable fan
  • Power bank
  • Flashlight
  • Packed lunch
  • Trash bags

 

Contact Persons

Kuya Berto Mandanas Transient House
Person to look for: Ma’am Chona
Mobile Number: (0997) 124 3567 and/or (0946) 205 3742

 

Itinerary and Budget

Note: This itinerary was fit for a group of 2 people during a 2017 trip.

 

May 8, 2017 (Day 1) 7:30 AM Meet-up at Mcdonalds Pala-pala / Breakfast
8:00 AM ETD Pala-pala Van Terminal bound to Batangas Grand ₱160/person (Van Fare)
9:50 AM ETA Batangas Grand Terminal
10:20 AM ETD to Anilao Port ₱40/ride (Jeepney to Anilao)
11:45 AM ETA Anilao Port
12:50 PM ETA Tingloy Port ₱80/head (ferry fare)
1:45 PM ETA Tingloy port / ride tricycle to Masasa beach ₱30/head (tricycle)
1:55 PM Reach Kuya Berto’s Homestay / unpack / go to beach ₱300/head
3:00 PM Snorkeling ₱200/hour
4:30 PM Go to Lagoon
7:00 PM Back to homestay
7:15 PM Eat Dinner
8:00 PM Stargazing by Masasa Beach / Socials
10:30 PM Sleep
May 9, 2017 (Day 2) 7:45 AM Wake up / prep
8:10 AM Breakfast ₱ 300/group (tricycle service fee)
8:40 AM Swim / free time
12:00 PM Lunch
12:30 AM Back to homestay / wash / prep up
1:30 PM ETD Tingloy Port ₱30/head (tricycle)
2:50 PM ETD to Anilao Port ₱80/head (ferry fare)
3:30 PM ETA Anilao Port
3:40 PM ETD to Batangas Grand Terminal ₱40/head (jeepney fare)
4:30 PM ETA to Batangas Grand Terminal / Eat
5:00 PM Ride Van Bound to Pala-pala, Cavite
6:00 PM ETD to Pala-pala Van Terminal ₱150/head (van fare)
8:00 PM ETA Pala-pala, Cavite
ESTIMATED EXPENSES ₱ 1,110 / head (not including food)

 

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