The first month of the year has past without me setting foot on a new travel destination. My itinerary included home – office and vice versa. I turned down a co-worker’s invitation to visit Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna last January to save funds for my future travels. However, my blogger buddy Marx keeps me updated on his adventures and was not hesitant (thanks Marx) in inviting me for an overnight stay to this tadpole-shaped island. I discovered it was actually very geographically desirable and budget-friendly too.
Tingloy Island is actually a municipality in Batanggas. It used to be part of several older Batanggas municipalities including San Luis, Bauan and Mabini. Prior to its independence on June 17, 1955, Tingloy island was under the jurisdiction of the latter.
|Passenger boat going to Tingloy. This one departs from Anilao port|
I actually have not heard about it until I joined this trip. She lies in between mainland Batanggas and Mindoro Oriental. At night, you can actually see the lights from nearby Puero Galera. The ride to Tingloy island takes about 45-minutes from Talaga or Anilao Port in Mabini. Passenger boat fare costs at Php 70.00 per head. Depending on the weather, boats may come from either of these ports.
Taking a dip here is very enjoyable. The waters are very cool.
Upon our arrival at Talaga port, we met our boat man. We hired a private banca at Php 2,500.00. Prior to this, Marx and friends went off to Talaga market for our supplies for an overnight stay. Chie and I, followed by Maricar later, decided to stay on the boat to guard our bags. Soon after Marx and company arrived and a few minutes later, our boat faced the calm waters of Verde Island Passage.
The sun sometimes thought of playing hide and seek. Not far from our boat I saw dark clouds hovering over the coastline of Batanggas. I silently prayed that rain will not pass our way because I really missed the beach and I just wanted to lie down on the shore. I couldn’t exactly recall but it was actually more than half a year since I last traveled with friends beach-bound. I was excited as anyone could be.
|Early morning on our way to the island. We were greeted by gray clouds. Good thing it didn’t rain.|
Our boat docked at Tingloy island almost an-hour later. We paid half of the price at Php 1250. There were eight of us sharing the expenses for this trip. From the locals, I learned that the passenger boat fare is only at Php 70 per head. However, passenger boats have fixed schedules.
|Tingloy Municipality Marker|
This billboard will greet visitors on the trike terminal. It humbly boasts that the waters surrounding Tingloy is a protected-area.
|No wonder the island is still in an almost-pristine state|
We hired two tricycles going to the breath-taking Masasa beach, fare at 30 Php per head per way. One of our companions, Vanessa, has a cousin living not far from here. A quick visit to her relative’s place and off we were on our way to this beach complete with the white-sand and all!
|Aren’t you tempted yet?|
While we were inside the trike going to Masasa beach, we caught a glimpse of it from above. Marx and I couldn’t help shouting giddily with excitement as the view from the top was really beautiful. Who would’ve thought there is a beach like that here in Tingloy?
|Masasa Bech view from top|
About ten am, we set-up camp and prepared for lunch. I took out my portable stove and hoped that it will stand still given the weight of the caldero, hehehe. Our lunch consisted of rice, fresh fruits, several viands like grilled pork and tilapia and canned tuna. We have cold water and softdrinks as our panulaks.
|Marx and the gang setting up camp|
The sun was high and mighty but it was a blessing my prayers were heard. Though it was scorching hot, I took the opportunity to take several shots of the area. Marx and company definitely didn’t waste time. As soon they had their bellies full, they hit the cool, blue waters. It was pretty enjoyable watching them playing like little kids from afar. Me and Chie couldn’t help but smile at them because they can still find time to bond despite their busy schedules.
Chie and I found ourselves bonding the most with one of Marx’s friend, Kim. We spent the entire afternoon talking non-stop about our travels.I listened attentively as his travel tales from Europe unfold and even invited us to come visit him in Canada. Well, if that is really cheap, we wouldn’t mind in a heartbeat!
|This reminds me of Baler, Aurora|
About five in the afternoon, when the sun was no longer as unforgiving, I changed to my swim clothes and hit the waters. The waters were clear and cool on the skin. The seabed near the shore was rocky and I found myself plunging butt-first backwards several times.
|Nothing to do here but relax|
Lying down and staring at the sun sink beneath the horizon, I thought I was caught in a time warp. The beach is definitely a secret haven for the locals. I envy them for having such a beautiful beach right on their shore. I just hope that the local government will not waste this God-given wonder and take good care of their surroundings.
As the warm evening greeted us, I found myself once again staring at the deep blue sky. Thousands and thousands of stars blinked down upon us and I remember my Firefly-watching trip in Sorsogon last year. We spent the night chatting, dancing and kidding around. We had the perfect getting-to-know-each-other time.
Masasa Beach was almost empty when we stayed. Another group camped at the other end of the beach, though earlier that afternoon, locals arrived and set-up camp as well. I quietly observed as several groups of friends and families sat along the shore. Perhaps also wondering what the next day will bring forth.
|Locals enjoying their family time|
The following morning, we were woken up by the shouting of local fishermen. Me and company thought there was a fight. But I think that is really their way of talking. Unable to go back to sleep, I invited Chie to take a stroll and I was glad I did. A lover of nature and anything Filipino, I found myself strolling in the middle of a little farm complete with a bahay kubo on the side. We approached the nipa hut and much to my delight, a cat and her kitties were residing there and greeted me. 😀
We packed up at around 11 AM. We gladly thanked Gemma, Vanessa’s cousin, for being so hospitable, welcomed us all in their home, allowing us to even use their washroom to have a quick shower and change. Filipino hospitality was evident in their household and it was really hard to leave the place.
|Mindoro Oriental can be seen from the island.|
My stay in Tingloy Island, though short, was relaxing and fun. We only stayed overnight but it felt like several days. My take is that this beach, and the island as a whole could still be salvaged from further destruction. I am hoping that the local government will realize that what they have is a rare gift and must be strictly taken care of.
The island reminds me of the kind of life I miss. Laid-back, solemn and oh-so-slow. Will I come back in Tingloy? A resounding yes is my answer.
How to get here:
From Manila, take a bus bound for Calabarzon (exiting STAR tollway), bus terminals are abound from Cubao and Buendia Taft. If you are coming from Buendia, Taft Ave, fare is at Php 134 per head. Ask the conductor to drop-you off at the intersection under the overpass along Diversion road (Bolbok, Batanggas City). Please note that buses are not allowed to pass under starting 6 AM. If your bus arrives past this time, you may ask them to drop you off at the foot of the overpass and just walk back. You will see Alps bus terminal on the other side which can serve as your landmark.
At the junction, ride a public jeepney bound for Mabini, fare at Php 30 per head. Remind the driver if you are going to Talaga or to Anilao port.
Passenger Boat Schedules and Fare
Tingloy Island to Talaga/Anilao port: 6 am, 7 am, 8 am and 9 am Fare: Php 70
Talaga/Anilao port to Tingloy Island: 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm Fare: Php 70