Local tourist spot in Batangas, Philippines
Masasa Beach in Batangas, Philippines is one of the newest summer getaways in the South. People from the city crave for a place to refresh their minds from deadlines and cutoffs. It is almost a must to visit at least one beach during summer. And most of the beaches that are near the city of Manila are in Batangas, so we decided to check out Masasa Beach last weekend to experience its beauty.
How to go to Batangas from Manila?
There are two terminals for the JAM Liner where you can ride a bus from Manila to Batangas. One is in Kamuning, Cubao and the other is in Taft-Buendia. If you’re around EDSA, you can ride a bus going to Cubao to get to Kamuning terminal or a bus going to Taft-Buendia for the Taft Terminal.
The bus ride from EDSA to either of the terminals depends on where from EDSA you’re riding from. The minimum bus fare in Metro Manila is Php.12.00 or $0.24. Then the bus fare from Manila to Batangas costs Php165.00 ($3.30). The journey will take you 3-4 hours and the bus will drop you off in Batangas Grand Terminal where you will then ride a jeepney going to the port in Mabini, where the boats that will take you to the island are waiting. The jeepney ride will cost you Php37.00 ($0.74) for a 45 minutes travel time to get you to the port.
Masasa Beach became famous to beach-goers just a couple of years ago, so a lot of people are excited to check out the island. We arrived at the port with a lot of people already queuing for the boat ride. It took us around 45 minutes to 1 hour to ride a boat. We paid Php80.00 ($1.60) for the boat ride and Php30.00 ($0.60) for the environmental fee. Payment is collected before riding and they will list your names for spot reservation. They will call out your name once it’s your turn to ride.
You have an option to ride a private boat so you don’t have to wait and queue for hours. But if you’re alone or maybe with a few friends, you have to pay the whole amount of Php3,500.00 – Php4,500.00 ($90.00) for the private boat ride, which has a capacity of 15 persons. Maybe you can ask fellow travelers to join you so you can split the payment.
It took us about an hour or less to get to the island. The ride was quite bouncy because of the waves and slightly strong winds. But the sun was shining brightly so no worries.
Upon arriving on the island, in Tingloy we still have to ride a tricycle for one last time to get us to the house we rented near the beach. The tricycle ride costs Php30.00 ($0.60) per head and it took us 20-30 minutes to get to the house. The road was slightly steep and narrow but it was quite an experience seeing Batangas neighborhood and the overlooking view of the beach.
Types of Accommodations
For the accommodation, you can rent a room in the local’s houses around and near the beach. Locals in Batangas are kind enough to accommodate travelers and beach-goers in their homes. We only paid Php250.00 ($5.00) per head and you can use all the facilities; bathroom, kitchen, living room and bedrooms for your convenience and comfort.
You can also bring your own tent or blankets and set it up near the beach. Some locals also sell or you can rent tents and blankets for about Php300-Php400 ($8.00) per piece.
Exploring Masasa Beach
Masasa Beach is well known because of the rock formation and it’s almost white sand with super clear blue ocean water. They also offer activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. We only tried the snorkeling because I’m not yet trained for the scuba diving. The snorkeling costs us Php100.00 ($2.00) only. It was so worth the money because we saw a lot of beautiful corals, fishes, and sea turtles.
You can enjoy and relax by the beach with the stunning blue color of the ocean. You can also ask the locals there about the Blue Lagoon so you can check it out. Boats can be rented to visit the lagoon or include it in your island hopping.
Food, Beverages and other things in Batangas
We bought and cook our own food but there are small canteens near the beach where you can buy food, beers and other beverages. Also, you can buy food from the port before riding the boat going to the island. One of the must try food from Batangas is the Lomi, so if you can, you must stop and try before going to the island or you can do a side trip before going home. Batangas is also famous for the making of “Balisong” or Butterfly knife. It is hand crafted by the locals and it’s a nice souvenir for you to take home. Balisong can be bought in Taal, which is still part of Batangas. You can do a separate trip for Taal if you still have time, so you can visit and see the smallest volcano in the Philippines.
Going back to Manila
When going back to the port in Mabini, a boat is available near the beach so you will no longer need to ride the tricycle back to the port in Tingloy. The boat ride back to Mabini port costs Php100.00. Then from Mabini port, you just go back the way you came, ride the jeepney back to Batangas Grand Terminal then ride a bus from Batangas to Manila.
The experience in Masasa was so much fun and affordable, I spent around Php1500.00 – Php2,000.00 ($40) only.
Summer is in the corner!
You don’t need a lot of money to try to enjoy and relax on the beach, all you need to know is you have to research and look for a good summer vacation place that is not too far and expensive. Plan and organize the things to be done then pack your bags and enjoy the beach! Summer is already in the corner!