Masasa Beach for Under P800

Two weeks ago

My friends had polarizing opinions about Masasa Beach. One said it was better than Boracay, the other said it was ugly and dirty. The heck? So what was I supposed to think? (Spoiler alert: Just go if you want to despite what other people say.) The former then organized a trip to Masasa Beach. I hurriedly confirmed because it was the annual trip of our college batch.

June 4

Today is the day! A lot of people showed interest, but only five of us pushed through, along with five “outsiders.” 10 was our lucky number, but little did we know just how much fun and happiness Masasa had in store for us.

8:00 a.m.

Eight of us rode a van going to Bauan, Batangas, while two of my friends met up in Cubao at an earlier time and would meet as at the port.

10:20 a.m.

We arrived in Bauan. My friends who came from Cubao rode a jeepney before we did. They found out that the boat going to Tingloy was not in Anilao Port but in Talaga Port. Good thing they did because we would’ve went to Anilao! So take note of this: Talaga Port!

11:00 a.m.

We finally arrived at Talaga Port. We contributed P100 each for the adobo Marjorie’s mom cooked for us, some snacks, and a bottle of booze. Cheap, right? We had more than P200 left, but we spent it on the island for ice (P50 for cube ice, P30 for a block of ice).

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12:30 p.m.

We missed the 11:00 a.m. boat ride, so we hopped on the 12:30 p.m. one instead. The fee was only P65! In less than an hour, we were finally in Tingloy!

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1:15 p.m.

We rode two tricycles to Masasa Beach, five persons each. One driver said the fare was P75 (P15 per head), but our driver made us pay P20 each (total of P100). Oh well. After about 10 minutes of walk (where we passed by the mesmerizing rice fields), we were ready to take our late lunch!

1:45 p.m.

Our lunch were rice by Miena, tocino by Rona, and carbonara and menudo courtesy of my mom! That went by fast because we were all starving! Haha. Afterwards, we set up our tents, rested for a while, changed to our swimwear, and off we went to the beach! A day before the trip, I asked my friends if they had balloons. Gladly, Rona had some leftovers from a party a few days ago. We (truth be told, mostly me) used the balloons as props to make our photos look livelier. I saw another group using their airbed as a floater. It made me think I should’ve brought my airbed and it would’ve been a more epic shot! Next time, I suppose.

The beach was not nice to look at. There was a combination of rocks, pebbles, corals, and garbage. It was not the most photogenic view, but somehow, I didn’t mind. There was an overflow of blue—that was all I need. I’m just happy I am back at the beach. It was also nice that the sun was not as glaring as it was when I visited Fortune Island. I was truly enjoying Masasa at this point. I already read in blogs that it was rocky, so I brought my aqua shoes and had no struggles at all.

4:00 p.m.

At around 4 in the afternoon, I told my friends we should go to the far right side of the beach where there are big rock formations. It was a 15-minute walk, which was so worth it. There, we stayed for more than an hour, taking pictures of each other and having the time of our lives. Everything was beautiful. I loved every minute of it. Just look at the shots below and you’ll be mesmerized, too!

6:00 p.m.

Before 6, I started floating in the ocean again because the sun was almost gone and I could look at the sky without squinting. The waves were stronger than earlier, but I just let them take me. This is one of my simple joys when at the beach, being alone in the ocean, looking directly at the blue sky, and letting the waves lead me where they may.

After a while, I took a break to drink some water, eat Hello Panda and Lay’s, and accompany my other friends who already took their showers. At around 6, my friends started swimming again. I went back as well when I saw the sky changing colors. Blues turned to oranges, pinks, and violets. At this point, my friends and I were just laughing so hard while being taken aback by the majestic beauty of the sky as the sun was about to set. We took advantage of this hour by taking pictures of each other and using the gorgeous sky as our backdrop. We did this until it was almost completely dark.

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7:30 p.m.

We had adobo for dinner and finished a bottle of gin afterwards. Night time really is for connecting with old friends. We talked about everything that popped in each other’s minds. The most memorable one to me was when I was talking about this Thai song called “Return” which played on my phone while we were drinking. It had a line that goes “No matter how hard I try to be someone in this world, I’ll always be the same me when I come home.” The song talks about how there’s no place like home. It talks about the singer’s childhood, when his mom will ask him to hang their wet clothes outside and how heartbroken he was when the dog he used to play with died. I’m sure most of us can relate to this song. Proof of that is when my friends said a resounding “awww” as I was talking about it.

After I told this story, we kind of went into a deeper conversation. Hannah said that sometimes, she can’t help but compare herself to other people. She told us how she regrets the opportunities and events she let pass her by when we were in college. How it dawned on her that she’s only going overseas for the first time next month when so many people her age have already been to many countries. I told her you should never compare yourself to other people; it isn’t healthy. Marjorie said it’s hard not to do it. With all the pressure the world, not to mention ourselves, impose upon us, I understand why she said that. I used to do that, too. At the end of the day, you just have to be at peace with where you are, because that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be. I think we all have the capacity to change where we are if we don’t like where we are. We just have to act on it, thrive in patience, and let life unfold.

11:00 p.m.

Around this time, the tonic gin had already made my eyes droop and my mind fuzzy. To wake myself up, I stood up, took a few steps forward, and set my eyes on the twinkling stars. It was majestic. I ended up laying down to have a better look. Twice, I raised my left hand and pointed at the stars, one at a time. I always do this for my own fascination. I was filled with awe, as I always am, when too many stars are right in front of my eyes. It was the new moon, so the stars completely enveloped the sky with the clouds only blocking the view from the sides. The center was all stars. It was like I was in a real-life planetarium. I could almost feel my body rising up and getting closer to the stars. Maybe it was just the gin tonic. I don’t know.

Hannah shouted at me, “Patay na yang mga yan eh.” I replied, “Oo nga eh.” That’s what makes them all the more interesting and magical to me. How can something dead shine so bright? I know there are scientific explanations to this question, but you get the point. Haha.

3:00 a.m.

I’ve read somewhere that the Milky Way is visible at 3 in the morning, so I left the tent and headed outside to see it. The last time I saw the Milky Way was way back in October 2014 in Palawan, so I just had to. Voila, it was there! I stared at it for about 20 minutes. I wished I had a good camera to capture the Milky Way, but I don’t so I just stared at it like how I’d stare into the eyes of someone I love. This doesn’t happen every night!

5:30 a.m.

Surprisingly, half of my friends were already up by this time. We said our good mornings and had bread for breakfast. Some took a morning dip in the ocean, while most already went ahead to take a shower. We left the beach at 8:00 a.m.

The group beside us left earlier, also leaving their waste behind. Guys, no matter what island or beach or mountain you visit, please be responsible enough to clean as you go. The locals hurriedly picked up their waste, but that isn’t something we should be happy about. Don’t abuse the place and the kindness of the locals. You’re a visitor, but that doesn’t earn you the right to be so insensitive and irresponsible. Let’s appreciate the beauty of this country by keeping it clean.

 

Beauty In Everything

Masasa Beach is not the cleanest and most stunning beach you could visit in the Philippines, but I still found beauty in it. Beauty in how angry the waves were yet it gave us calm, beauty in how the colors of the sky changed when the sun was about to set, beauty in how the stars took over the sky in the absence of the moon, beauty in how the Milky Way was there to welcome me and make me feel like I belong in that moment, beauty in how the locals welcome you, greet you, and graciously ask you what you need, beauty in everyone and everything that surrounds you, beauty in how much I smiled and laughed with some of my most treasured friends.

 

Budget:

From Cavite

P140 – Pala-Pala to Bauan (Van)

P21 – Bauan to Talaga Port (Jeepney)

P65 – Talaga Port to Tinglao (Boat)

P15 – Tinglao to Masasa Beach (Tricycle)

P100 – Food Contribution

P25 – Shower

P15 – Masasa Beach to Tinglao (Tricycle)

P65 – Tinglao to Talaga Port (Boat)

P20 – Talaga Port to Bauan (Jeepney)

P145 – Bauan to Pala-Pala (Van)

P100 – Contingency

P711 – Total

 

From Cubao

P165 – Cubao to Batangas Grand Terminal (Bus)

P37 – Batangas Grand Terminal to Talaga Port (Jeepney)

P65 – Talaga Port to Tinglao (Boat)

P15 – Tinglao to Masasa Beach (Tricycle)

P100 – Food Contribution

P25 – Shower

P15 – Masasa Beach to Tinglao (Tricycle)

P65 – Tinglao to Talaga Port (Boat)

P37 – Talaga Port to Batangas Grand Terminal (Jeepney)

P165 – Batangas Grand Terminal to Cubao (Bus)

P100 – Contingency

P789 – Total

 

  • Contingency fund is for the snacks available on the island. (e.g. hotdog P10, C2 solo P15, Mountain Dew P25, siomai P20, etc.)
  • Total budget can be higher or lower than P700 depending on your spending habits.
  • No entrance fees. The best way to give back is to simply be kind to the locals. Interact with them. They’re one of the nicest and most welcoming people I’ve met so far. And of course, leave no trace.
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