More than a decade ago, I traveled to Tingloy Island in Batangas with some college friends for our school project. We were about to produce a Travel Show, and since a friend knows someone from the island, we decided to shoot there.
I haven’t heard of Tingloy at that time. I was just a student then, and I didn’t have any idea that one day I would be a Travel blogger hahaha After further research, I learned that Tingloy is an island municipality of Batangas. The only town that is separated from the mainland.
I could still remember the exact feeling when I first set foot on the island. Tingloy has a unique charm, it has a vibe that is welcoming. Locals are very nice. We interviewed some students and took some videos of the beautiful spots on the island. Until one local told us, that we should go to the beach.
Well, after an entire day of working on the project, it would be nice to relax, and we could actually take some shots of the beach as an added videos for our supposed “Travel Show” Hahaha!
We hiked for about an hour, passing through some lush forest, hills and some rice fields until we reached the beach.
Imagine we were just students then we seldom see a shore or an ocean except for Manila Bay and then we were welcomed by this beautiful, unspoiled beach. I remember the sand was white and the water was crystal clear. It was so inviting, we literally ran towards the beach. Oh we were just kids then. Hahaha!
It was so beautiful, we got intrigued and asked if the beach has a name or what they call it, a local who became our guide said, It’s Masasa.
“Ah Masasa.” We replied.
After many years, Masasa has become a tourist destination. Many travelers and weekend warriors spend their weekend to this island beach to escape the stress of work and city life.I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts and social media posts about Masasa and every time I see one it seems like a lot of memories are coming back. I realized that Tingloy has become a part of my student life, that I would want to go back.
Until recently, Eloi (my girlfriend) and I, traveled back to the island. By the way, Eloi was my group mate for the project when we first traveled to Tingloy. Revisiting Masasa and the island is extremely special to both of us. Yihiii! Hahaha!
HOW TO GET TO MASASA BEACH
1. Ride a bus going to Grand Terminal, Batangas City
Early morning we went to Jam Transit bus terminal in Cubao for a 4AM trip to Grand Terminal, Batangas. Fare is Php 165.
If you’re coming from Buendia Terminal, it’s Php 157 each. While, if you decided to ride the bus from Alabang, the fare is Php 127.
Choose the bus with the sign CALABARZON on it, because the travel time will be faster because it will not pass through some towns like Tanauan, Lipa etc. Travel time can be as fast as 2 hours, especially if it’s an early morning trip.
2. From Batangas Grand Terminal, ride a jeepney going to Talaga Port in Mabini
It was about past 6AM when we arrived at the Grand Terminal, we just asked some people there for the jeepneys going to Talaga port. We were directed to some jeepneys parked at the back of the comfort room, passing through some carinderia and eateries.
We were the first passengers in an empty jeepney, we waited for a few minutes until we traveled bound to Talaga Port. Fare is Php 37 each. Travel time is about an hour.
3. From Talaga Port, ride the public boat going to Tingloy (Masasa).
Talaga Port in the town of Mabini is actually a market where you could buy some food and ingredients that you need to bring to the island. You have to pay Php 30 for the environmental fee going to Tingloy.
The boats there can either dock at the Tingloy main port or at Masasa. So if you already have a transient house to stay, just tell them the name of the transient house and they will tell you if your drop off point is in Tingloy main port or Masasa.
Fare is Php 80 for the Tingloy main port and Php 100 if you’re going directly to Masasa. Our transient house is just near the Masasa beach so we got off at Masasa. That’s 100 pesos for us each.
TRAVEL TIP 1: There are basic necessities available on the island. You can actually buy bottled water there, so you don’t need to bring gallons of drinking water from the mainland to Tingloy. That’s too much inconvenience for you. Just bring small bottles enough to quench your thirst during travel. After that, you can buy bottled water on the island. If you’re lucky your transient house can even provide you free drinking water.
We arrived at about 10 am at the Masasa port. It’s actually a small port near the Barangay hall of San Juan. Just a walking distance going to Masasa Beach.
WHERE DID WE STAY NEAR MASASA?
A few meters before arriving the port near Masasa, I already spotted our transient house. It’s the one I contacted a few days ago to book a room.
How did I immediately recognize the house?
Because it is located on top of a hill, with a spectacular view of the sea. This is RNV House Transient. Aside from the good location of the house which is about 10 minutes walk to the beach, the owner Ate Neneth and her kids were so nice, making us feel like we were staying with a relative.
We were the only guests at that time. Why? Because Ate Neneth had to decline other guests for that day because their entire clan was busy for their fiesta celebration! Oh yes, we were so lucky hahaha to visit Tingloy, and witness the town as they celebrate this festivity. Ate Neneth’s eldest daughter was the crowned queen of the barangay. And it’s so nice of them that they invited us to eat for dinner. Yes, nakikain kami sa handa nila. Hahaha!
Aside from exploring Masasa beach, our stay at RNV House was very memorable and special. We were able to witness how the entire family prepared for the gown and make up of their queen. As well as how they all helped one another to cook and prepare their delicious handa (food). If you’re looking for a place to stay, I highly recommend Ate Neneth’s RNV House Transient. They’re really nice and accommodating. 🙂 Contact them at 09957003071 and 09494656688.
It’s only Php 300 pesos per person for groups. If you want to go for separate room especially for couples, it’s Php 1000 per night for fan room. For aircon room, it’s Php 1,500.
TRAVEL TIP 2 : It is no longer allowed to spend overnight through tents at Masasa Beach. This is after a series of unfortunate events happened like robbery and some travelers caught doing some unlikeable things. Hahaha! The local government is imposing all travelers to stay at Transient Houses. It’s also for our security and protection. Travelers can pitch tent at the beach until 7PM only.
EXPLORING MASASA BEACH
It’s just a 10 minute walk from RNV House going to Masasa Beach. Actually, Ate Neneth is offering free boat ride to her guests going to Masasa beach for those who don’t want to be exposed under the heat of the sun. (Huh?) In short sa mga pabebe. Hahaha!
We opted to walk to feel the vibe and experience the town first hand. Just a few meters of walking on the road, we spotted a vendor of halo-halo. So we decided to rest first and chill while eating the dessert. We were refreshed before we take on the walk.
Before we reach the long main beach of Masasa, we were able to pass by some hidden small beaches tucked between rock formations. These are truly gems of Masasa that you need to explore. Masasa is more than the long main beach. It was also a chance for us to take some photos. We truly enjoyed it.
Before we reach the main beach, we saw this huge rock formation with cemented stairs going up. You know what happened next we climbed and reached the top. Then we rest for a while to enjoy the view. Please be careful while climbing, okay? The stairs are narrow and the wind can sometimes be strong enough for you to lose balance.
The main beach brought back a lot of memories of the my first travel. The cave on the side and the long stretch of sand. We were so lucky to visit Masasa on a Friday, very minimal tourists. It was like we owned the beach when we decided to swim.
The cool and clear water was just perfect to ease the heat of the sun. The place was so peaceful, the only thing we could hear was the sound of the crow (uwak).
TRAVEL TIP 3: Going to Masasa on a weekend is good. But if you can arrange it, please visit the place on a Friday or a weekday, for you to fully enjoy the beach. Less crowd.
OTHER ACTIVITIES ASIDE FROM BEACH BUMMING
- Go Island Hopping – There are boatmen who offer island hopping activities for tourists, you can avail it thru your transient house. Some of the islands to explore are Sepoc Island and Sombrero Island. Standard Rate is Php 1,500 for a group of four. Please coordinate with your transient house.
2. Snorkeling – The place surrounding Tingloy island is rich in marine biodiversity. It is a worthwhile activity to snorkel while you’re in Tingloy. Snorkeling is part of the island hopping tour.
3. Hiking – At the Masasa beach, you can see the hill there that is free for everyone to hike. This is good for beginners. One of the popular hiking spot there is a rock formation that they call Mag-asawang Bato.
This is our budget in our trip to Masasa per person.
|Bus Fare from Cubao to Batangas Grand Terminal||Php 165|
|Jeep to Talaga Port||Php 37|
|Environmental Fee||Php 30|
|Miscellaneous. Food. (canned goods, itlog na maalat, kamatis, bigas, chips) Total of php 300|
|Divided by 2 is 150 each||Php 150|
|Boat Fare to Masasa||Php 100|
|If your drop off point is Tingloy Main port, fare is only Php 80|
|Transient House. RNV (1 night for 1 room is Php 1000)|
|Divided by two is 500 each||Php 500|
|If you’re with a group, rate is just Php 300 per person. Much cheaper|
|Tricycle from Masasa to Tingloy main port||Php 30|
|Boat back to Talaga Port||Php 80|
|Jeep from Talaga Port to Grand Terminal||Php 40|
|Grand Terminal to Manila||Php 165|
This budget is for couples.
It is much cheaper when you’re with a group because the rate for transient house is just Php 300 per person for group. Since we’re a couple, we decided to have a separate room which is Php 1,000 per night (that’s 500 pesos each).
I admit that we overspent on food like buying halo-halo, kikiam, coke, water etc hahaha Considering we got free dinner from Ate Neneth because it was fiesta! But If you’re with a group or barkada and you’ll contribute everything especially for food, you can explore Masasa for only 1,000 pesos each ALL IN! Yes, that’s sulit weekend getaway for you! 🙂 Now who says traveling is expensive? Hahaha! Remember you can buy ingredients and rice beforehand and cook it at your transient house without additional fee.
MASASA BEACH ITINERARY 2D1N
4:00 AM – ETD at Jam Bus Terminal in Cubao
7:00 AM – ETA Batangas Grand Terminal
7:30 AM – ETD Going to Talaga Port in Mabini
8:30 AM – ETA in Talaga Port
9:00 AM – Breakfast and buy supplies
10:00AM – ETD Boat going to Tingloy
11:00AM – Check in to Transient House
11:30AM – Hit the beach. Swim at Masasa, Take Pictures
(you can opt to also do the island hopping during this time)
5:30 PM – Back to Transient House
7:30 PM – Dinner
8:00 PM – Drinks. Socials. Chill
8:00 AM – Wake up
9:00AM – Check out. Go to the port
10:00AM – ETD going to Talaga Port
(Note: According to locals, last trip is 1:30PM but better be early)
11:00AM – ETA at Talaga Port
12:00 N – ETA Grand Terminal
12:30 PM – Bus going back to Manila
- Please don’t leave trash on the beach and in any parts of Tingloy. We’ve seen some garbage in some parts of the beach, something that made us really sad. Most were bottles of brandy and beer! So meaning these are trash of tourists. We’ve talked about this with Ate Neneth and she said that they are doing their best to keep Masasa clean by doing coastal clean up twice a week in cooperation with boatmen and transient owners. They are aware that they should protect Masasa because it’s the main reason why they have tourists, so they are also appealing to travelers to be responsible.
- Electricity is only until 12 midnight. So be sure you have your powerbanks with you and your gadgets fully charged. If you’re staying with a Transient House that has generator, you can enjoy longer electricity.
It was a nice feeling to see Masasa once again after so many years. It felt that the place looks the same at first, but when I looked intently I realized that it’s not. It has changed in some ways. There are some garbage in some parts of the beach. There are also some annoying huge placards of an Attorney shouting to the world to back off it’s their property. Hahaha!
You can’t avoid changes but we can definitely do something about the garbage. Let’s all be responsible, and take the Leave No Trace principle seriously. With all the efforts of the locals, there is still hope and for us travelers, let’s all do our part.