Luzon, Nature, Philippines

Juag Lagoon and Marine Sanctuary in Matnog, Sorsogon

 

“Did anyone put sunblock? “

Grace, our guide, asked us.

Again, I was like, ”What?” Hahaha!

Confused. We were about to speak, good thing Grace later on clarified, “our next destination is a fish sanctuary. Sunblock has chemicals that can harm the fishes.”

“Ahh. Okay” We said in chorus.

We were in Tikling Island. It was an awesome experience. But after witnessing the beauty of the pinkish white beach of Tikling, exhaustion and hunger crept in again. I knew we all wanted to go directly to Subic beach to spend the night, eat and rest.

But we still have to go to Juag Lagoon and Marine Sanctuary.

We traveled by boat from Tikling, endured the waves until we arrived in a calm lagoon with clear water. After a few minutes we arrived at the Fish Santuary.

Juag Lagoon Marine Sanstuary Matnog Sorsogon
On our way..

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Juag Lagoon Marine Sanstuary Matnog Sorsogon

Grace is actually the daughter of the owner of the sanctuary. It was built to propagate different marine species. The sanctuary is like a huge fish pen with two bamboo platforms.

At first, I thought it must be a profitable business, but looking at the simple house of the owner on the side of the shore, I realized that this is not mainly for money. Owners of this place must be genuinely concern for marine life that they made this tremendous effort.

Juag Lagoon Marine Sanstuary Matnog Sorsogon

So the first bamboo platform is used for briefing the visitors on what not to do while exploring the sanctuary. No diving since it might distract the fishes. Visitors are allowed to swim with the fishes as long as the influx of travelers are controlled. They allow tourists to go there by batch.

When it was our group’s turn we hop on this bamboo raft used to cross the sanctuary towards the second platform  in the middle where bigger fishes can be found.

Juag Lagoon Marine Sanstuary Matnog Sorsogon
That’s the one in the middle

Some of my friends in the group decided to swim. While Grace was holding a cup of little fishes and food pellets ready for feeding. Just a reminder, tourists are not allowed to feed the fish other than the one provided by the owners.

The moment Grace threw some pellets to the water, more and more fishes appeared. It was an eating frenzy!

Juag Lagoon Marine Sanstuary Matnog Sorsogon

Juag Lagoon Marine Sanstuary Matnog Sorsogon

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Juag Lagoon Marine Sanctuary Matnog Sorsogon
FISH! FISH! Photo Credit: Glen Eclarino
Juag Lagoon Marine Sanctuary Matnog Sorsogon
Obviously, that’s not me. LOL! That’s my buddy Glen. Photo Credit: Glen Erwin Pasagui

I was contemplating of swimming but I had my camera and my phone with me. So I decided to just go to the second bamboo platform to check out the fishes there. The platform was surrounded by an inner fish pen for bigger fishes.

And when I say big fishes. It’s really big! I saw tilapia, talakitok and others. Fishes were so huge that they looked really scary, that when join forces they can eat up one whole human being. Haha!

By the time another batch arrived at the platform, I decided to go swimming. Finally, I was able to experience to swim with fishes.

Aside from different fishes, the sanctuary also protects some species of giant clams, lobster and sea cucumbers. It’s definitely a rich marine biodiversity!

Juag Lagoon Marine Sanstuary Matnog Sorsogon

The sun was about to set when we’ve fully explored Juag Lagoon Fish Sanctuary. But before we headed to Subic Beach where we spent the night, we rested for while on some wooded chairs outside the small house on the side of the shore. We ate some bread, crackers and cup noodles. 🙂

We left the lagoon with a feeling of satisfaction. This marine sanctuary is a must when you travel to Matnog Sorsogon and explore Subic Beach and Tikling Island. For me, it was supposed to be just a side trip, but it was worthwhile and it exceeded by expectations.

……

Matnog, Sorsogon Island Hopping – Includes Tikling Island, Juag Marine Sanctuary and Subic Beach in Calintaan Island

Register at the Tourism Office. Registration fee is Php 50 for us Pinoys, and Php 300 for foreigners. Environment fee is fixed at Php 20. You can alse get assistance from the Tourism Officers to rent a boat for your Matnog Island hopping trip. It includes Tikling island, Juag Fish Sanctuary and Subic Beach!

 Check out my other posts about Sorsogon.

Travel Guide to Sorsogon? Please check this post ,  Sorsogon Tourist Spots in Two Days