Down in the South tip of Luzon lies an adventure that awaits. Matnog Island still undeciphered for at least in most Tourist maps. Matnog is a 4 hours drive from city of Legazpi, you can ride a public bus or a van going to Bulan, Sorsogon. Tell the driver to drop you off at the Matnog and Bulan Intersection (landmark is the Lion Clubs moument, this is the intersection between Bulan and Matnog). There are 3 options to drop you off at the port,you can ride a bus or jeepney going to Matnog or take a tricycle. We choose the latter and most expensive due to our limited time (Php200).
Near Matnog port, there are 3 unspoiled islands which will part of your island hopping activity: Calintaan Island (Subic Daco, Subic Liit and Calintaan Cave), Juag Island and Tikling Island. Travel time is about 30minutes to 1 hour.
Before you start your island hopping you have to visit Matnog Tourism Office all visitors to the islands must register with them, and pay the corresponding fee, plus an environmental fee. They will be arranging the banca to take you island hopping at a fixed price.
Boat (good for 10 persons) – Php 1,600 (day tour) and Php 2,000 (overnight)
Registration Fee – Php 70
Environmental Fee – Php 20
Juag Lagoon Fish Sanctuary
Unfortunately during our visit the docking area of this fish sanctuary is under renovation. The island is privately owned and maintained by the Geneblazo family, Juag is a wide expanse of shallow seawater that is home to diverse species of fish, sea cucumbers and crustaceans.
The area is reserved for the reproduction of fish population which are collected for studies and breeding and released in the wild once they reached their full egg spawning potential.
For more information, you may visit the company’s website or facebook page:
Contact number: +63 (907) 9577748 or +63 (918) 3045437
Calintaan sea caves, a cluster of small caverns carved by the sea on rock faces surrounded by clusters of corals. This is a small cave wherein you have to swim inside to find another lagoon.
Once the boat stopped, we went down and jumped into the water and the water was really cold! We had to follow our boats-man/guide through some sort of dark “tunnel”. I was a little bit scared because I don’t like not being able to see where I’m going or where I might be stepping at. Getting closer, we were slowly able to see the beauty inside the cave. It was amazing.
Subic Beach with its quite long stretch of shore will amaze you if its pink glittery sand specially when under a sunny weather. The beach is actually divided into two portion the Subic Daco which was the main attraction in the island and to its left is the Subic Liit which was a bit smaller. Subic Liit is accessible by foot from Subic Daco and vice versa whenever it is low tide. The Subic Liit was just separated from the bigger part by the big limestone.
If you are planning for an overnight stay the island provides several resorts in which you can choose from. If you are on a budget you can also bring your own tent and camp at the shore.
Named after a type of native bird, the island of Tikling is 10 minutes away from Subic but is in a more pristine state as it draws fewer visitors to its shores. The sand is finer and pinker than that of Subic as it was relatively undisturbed until Matnog opened the area to tourists recently.
For me this is the best part of our island hopping, the island is privately owned and you cannot find any resort here. I had fun playing with bulldog the boar, according to the caretaker there are 30 wild boars in this island and only one has been tame and thought that he is one of the dogs.
Tikling Island has a long stretch of white beach which is perfect for camping but you need to ask permission from the caretaker first before pitching your tents.
We were told by the caretaker that there is a rock formation just a quick walk passing through the forest at the other end of the island. We opt not to go there due to the harsh sun, we didn’t put any sun block. But we walk around the shorelines and spoted some fish and a lot of interesting things in the ocean.