Finally Arrived in Masbate - My 67th Province in the Philippines

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THROWBACK POST MARCH 2018

There were so many firsts during my trip to Masbate a few weeks ago. For one, it's indeed my first time setting foot in this lovely island province. A year ago, i tried my first time via Burias Island from Paracale, Camarines Sur. It didn't go out as planned due to unforeseen circumstances. It seems luck wasn't really on my side. For two straight days, i was waiting at the ferry terminal so i could catch the three hour boat ride to Burias Island. Months before, i was already reading a couple of travel guides, and i was confident i will be able to get there as planned. And for two straight days, i just couldn't. On my last try, the kind gentleman at the counter sensed how desperate i was and said i could finally ride the passenger boat but i won't be included in the sail's manifesto. WTF. The adventurer that i am, i still walked going towards the warf where the ferry was, and was about to board when the loud thug from the overcast sky started vibrating. I told myself i really needed to take a hint. I walked away from the ferry terminal obviously disappointed, and helpless, and drenched from the awful rain. I left Paracale bound for Naga and then another van going to Legazpi to rebook my ticket, and cut short my trip because i had nothing else to do.

It seems i always have very interesting stories surrounding Bicol Region. Little did i know, i was in for some experience during this trip. 

I have always been fascinated with island provinces, and in my top three provinces in the Philippines - Kalinga, Marinduque and Siquijor, the last two are island provinces. 

Masbate is no exception.

It's what you expect to be the real and non-commercialized Philippines. Everything about it is so charming, from the lush green paddies after a quick rain, carabaos and horses roaming around vast rice fields, clear blue skies, and of course a stretch of white sandy beach without a soul in sight. 

Traveling alone can be a bummer sometimes, but because the people of Masbate are very warm and accommodating, it seems it doesn't get lonely too often. Picking Legacy Suites was also a good choice. Never mind that breakfast was forgettable but since i arrived in Masbate City i had developed the habit of waking up too early, like 4AM early. So the few hours before twilight, i would often use the time to research where i would be going. And during sunrise, i would often open the curtains and head out to the balcony and watch as the sun rises. 

Nobody also informed me, and i didn't know that Globe Telecom's signal was almost non-existent for the better half of Masbate City. But all of that aside, and if my circumstances were a bit different, i would be able to survive here for a pretty long time.

Of course, Buntod Marine Reef Sanctuary was simply amazing and the ride going there was smooth sailing. I also enjoyed drinking a bottle of cheap rhum together with my boatman on the other side of the island which was sort of my welcoming committee in Masbate City. I arrived back in the city and explored some more beaches across town. The next day, i rode a van for almost 50 kilometers away to Palani Beach where a long stretch of white sand was waiting for me. Spending a couple of hours there was more than enough relaxing time for me. Problem was going back home to Masbate City. On a Sunday, trips going back and forth to the city is hard to come by. With no choice, i hired a motorcycle driver to take me back in the city. Ripping the highways at almost 90 kilometers per hour, and wind, dust and stones throwing at me, plus multiple change of weather in the three hour ride, i arrived back in Masbate City with a sore butt, and an amazing story to tell. 

What' even more unforgettable is the fact that for two straight days, ATR Turbo Pop planes couldn't land at the airport. I witness how one flight had to circle around twice before pilot finally called it quits and returned back to Manila. After which, i had to think quick and think of a back up plan. I requested that my flight get rerouted to the nearest and visibly larger airplane, and that is in Legazpi. 

I stayed for another day more in Masbate City before i boarded a fast craft to Pilar Sorsogon, then a van to Legazpi City. And just like that, i am back in beautiful Bicol and this time around, Mt. Mayon showed off it's real beauty. 

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