From afar, it looks like a miniature version of the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Ilocos Norte with its shoe-like formation on top, and the island itself resembles the formations from the famous Biri Islands like a slightly squashed cake with lines and layers running along the sides. Animasola Island was a surprise in terms of natural wonders, much like the municipality it belongs to which is San Pascual in Burias Island, Masbate. It was just the start of our three-island and didn’t expect this first island to be a favorite among the three.
Sculpted by Nature
I was dozing off at the front platform of the boat only to be awakened by scurrying boatmen preparing to dock and set anchor at our first stop, Animasola Island. Not knowing anything about the islands we’ll visit, I just kept open to what we’ll be seeing. Alas, I quickly got back to my senses when I saw the scene in front of me – a white beach, clear aquamarine waters with pristine corals teasing from down under and otherworldly rock formations yearning to be explored. Immediately I reached for my camera and snapped away.
My feet hurriedly landed on the crushed coral beach and didn’t mind the transparent waters wetting my feet. As much as inviting the sea was, we had limited time to explore so I hurried to the other end of the island after having a cursory look at the inhabitants. A few huts probably from fishermen staying there. Most of them find comfort under the shade of the humungous rock of an island. What fascinated me as I got closer was the natural parallel lines of the rock strata. Layers of sedimentary rocks formed thousands of years beautifully sculpted by erosion caused by the surrounding elements.
On another end of the island is a smaller detached formation that looks like a small tamed dragon on one angle but can also simply be a shoe neatly placed on top of a column. Its minuteness was simply stunning in the sense that I could simply climb the rocks and curiously inspect the lines and layers of this grand sculpture. It’s just sad I didn’t get to explore further. There’s a path to climb the island rock and explore its grassy fields on top. Even to snorkel and see the marine life around the island. I heard San Pascual is eyeing the island to be an eco-adventure destination adding rappelling and rock climbing activities. Surely I will be back for you Animasola Island, one way or another.
Animasola Island is part of Island Hopping Tour from San Pascual, Burias Island. The island is located 2.1 nautical miles from San Pascual town proper and can be reached in an estimated time of 35 minutes. A 1-day/2-night package of P1,800 per person or a 3-day/2-night package of P2,800 per person is available which includes:
- Meals (lunch and dinner)
- Aircon Room accommodations
- Transport service for Island Hopping
- Entrance Fees
- Tour Guide Services
For booking and details do contact Cecile of San Pascual Tourism Office at 09199112270
Alternatively, boats can be hired per day basis from the port for Php 1,500.
How to go to San Pascual, Burias Island, Masbate
The advantage of San Pascual, Burias Island from the rest of Masbate is its close proximity to Naga City, Camarines Sur.
- Manila to Naga City by Bus: Ride any Naga City-bound bus at Cubao Terminal. Plenty of choices from Philtranco, DLTB, Isarog Lines, etc). In Pasay, there’s Philtranco and DLTB. Travel time is 8–9 hours with fares starting from Php 700 to 1100.
- Manila to Naga City by Plane: There are daily flights to Naga City via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. Travel time is 45 minutes from Manila. Naga City Airport is near the town of Pili.
- Naga City to Pasacao Port: Make your way to North Bound Terminal and take a jeep or VAN heading to Pasacao. Travel time is 45 minutes to an hour. From Pasacao, hire a tryke to take you to the port.
- From Pasacao Port to San Pascual: There are several boats that leave Pasacao Port for San Pascual daily usually from 7:00 am, 10:00 am, and 2:00 pm. Travel time is 2 hours and a fare of Php 150. From San Pascual to Pasacao Port, there are boats that leave at 5:30 am, 8:00 am, and 9:20 am.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.