Beaches, Luzon

Matnog, Sorsogon: Island Hopping at the Tip of Luzon

Matnog, Sorsogon has always been a part of my younger days.

When I was a kid, a time when we had all the resources to frequently go back to the province every year, I’ve always had an encounter with Matnog port. Since my parents’ hometown is Laoang, Northern Samar, we had to cross the sea that separates Bicol to Samar, Luzon to Visayas. I could almost remember the morning mist from the ocean. Over the years, I’ve seen how a usual, bare pier has become a port that it is today.

Onboard the ferry boat, I always wonder what must be the life on the tiny islands that we passed through. I was just a kid then. Never in my life did I imagine that one day I would set foot on those islands.

Matnog Sorsogon is at the tip of Luzon. The last frontier and the final point of people from Luzon traveling to Samar and the rest of the Visayas and Mindanao.

Most people would just hear Matnog from the news. Since the town is prone to typhoons, news about the port being closed, pasengers being stranded and all have been all over the media during rainy seasons. But more than that, this town in Sorsogon has a lot to offer.

A few months ago, I had the chance to finally travel to Matnog. The place that once tickled my imagination for island life has become a reality. It was probably one of the longest land travel that I’ve experienced so far. Got nothing to complain but it was tough. I remember we departed Manila at about 11PM and we arrived in Matnog at about 2 in the afternoon. How about that? 🙂

Once we got to Matnog, we spent about a few minutes at the house of our boatmen to prepare then off we go to our first island destination.

 

TIKLING ISLAND

Tikling Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol
Tikling Island

Just about 25 minutes of boat travel from mainland, we arrived at this familiar island. I remember that’s the same island that we usually pass through onboard the ferry boat while going to Samar. It was just recently that I learned that the island’s name is Tikling.

Tikling island is one of those island beaches that can be considered unspoiled and pristine. There’s no structure nor resorts there just the caretaker because the island is privately-owned.

Grace, our guide, said that the island was named after a kind of bird that is also called Tikling. These birds abound on the island many years back, that people started calling it Tikling.

The sand can be considered as pinkish white. But no debate when it comes to the water, it’s crystal clear. It’s just so relaxing dip into the water.

Tikling Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol
Welcome!

Since our group was quite adventurous, our guide led us to a trek on the other side of the island where we found these huge waves and stunning rock formations.

It could have been a perfect surfing spot, but the place is full of rocky parts, not good for that water activity. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the view and the nature tripping.

Tikling Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol
There’s a bit of a discussion here. haha!

Looking for hotels in Sorsogon? Check this out

Tikling Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol

When we went back to the beach. We just did some awesome photo ops and then we were off to our next destination.

Tikling Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol
Jump Shot with new friends!

READ: Tikling Island : The Pinkish White Beach of Matnog, Sorsogon

JUAG MARINE SANCTUARY

Juag Lagoon Marine Sanstuary Matnog Sorsogon
On our way..

We passed through some waves until we arrived at this calm inner parts of the group of islands. We then saw a lagoon with bamboo platforms and a small house on the side of the islet. We arrived at our next destination, the Juag Lagoon and Marine Sanctuary.

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

After some briefing with the owners of the place, we hopped on the bamboo raft to transfer to the second platform in the middle of the lagoon, where bigger fishes can be found.

Grace, our guide, brought some pellets and small fishes. When she dropped some of it, more colorful fishes appeared and it was an eating frenzy!

Juag Lagoon Marine Sanstuary Matnog Sorsogon

Juag Lagoon Marine Sanctuary Matnog Sorsogon
FISH! FISH! Photo Credit: Glen Eclarino

Upon arriving on the paltform, there we saw a lot of big fishes. When I say big, it’s really big to the point that it kinda’ looked scary. Hahaha!

After that I decided to finally take a swim and enjoy the wide lagoon. It was supposed to be a sidetrip but I truly enjoyed it. Exceeded my expectations. Sun was about to set when we left the Marine Sanctuary and go straight to the place where we were going to stay for the night, it’s the Subic Beach!

READ: Juag Lagoon and Marine Sanctuary in Matnog, Sorsogon

 

SUBIC BEACH 

Subic Beach Calintaan Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol
Wow!

Subic does not necessarily belong to the former American bases anymore. There is a beach named Subic in Sorsogon that is a gem for travelers and beach lovers. It was late afternoon when we arrived at Subic beach yet I could still see the beauty of the place though it was dark.

We set up our tents and rest for a while. Then the moment we’ve all been waiting for came, it was dinner time! We had some fried fish with toyo and calamansi and the main dish, the famous Bicol Express!

I can say that my Subic beach experience is truly awesome because I got to know some new friends who are travelers like me. People who share the same mindset as me. People who are like me, who believe that we have to take time to crush that routinary life and live life.

Subic Beach Calintaan Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol
Kwentong Barbero! HAhaha!
Subic Beach Calintaan Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol
Umaga na kwentuhan pa rin? hehe Photo Credit: Michelle Garcia Lomotan

Subic Beach Calintaan Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol

READ: Subic Beach: The Wonder of Matnog, Sorsogon

 Matnog Sorsogon is not just a port for me anymore. It is now a place where I could finally relax and calm my mind. Meet new friends, drink emperador and eat good food. Now, I’ve got a beautiful experience of Matnog that I will cherish and share.

……

How to get to Matnog, Sorsogon

Matnog is about 12 to 14 hours of land travel fro Manila. Buses like Philtranco and others have daily trips to Matnog. There are times that they allow passengers to ride buses bound to Northern Samar (Rawis), but of course your drop off point is the Matnog Port.

By Air – Take a flight going to Legazpi, Albay, then ride a tricycle going to the Central Terminal. There are buses there going to Sorsogon City. Once you get to Sorsogon City, just take another jeepney ride going to Matnog. In Matnog town proper, coordinate with the Matnog Tourism Office just across the Municipal Hall.

 

Matnog Trip – Other Details

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!

 

Matnog Sorsogon Island Hopping Contact Numbers:

Recommended Boatman : Kuya Alex –  09183045437 or his daughter Grace at 09276177346.

 

Where to stay in Matnog?

There are small resorts near Matnog port that you could ask around. Please get the service of our boatman Kuya Alex (09183045437) and he can also help you out woth the accommodation whether at Matnog proper or at Subic Beach. But for more hotels and accommodation in Sorsogon, check this list.

 

Matnog Sorsogon Map

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

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