The day was quickly coming to a close. When I thought we were heading back to the mainland we were told that we’ll visit one last island on our way back to San Pascual proper. Tinalisayan islet is only 1.5 nautical miles from the mainland, roughly a 20-minute motorboat ride from town. After seeing the two islands Animasola and Sombrero Islands, I thought I wouldn’t be surprised anymore but Tinalisayan islet has a little bit of everything. A white sand beach, a scenic hill with nearby rock formations, a long sandbar off the coast, and a burst of sunrise and sunset colors.
Sunset at the Sandbar
As we approach the islet, I could see that this is another charming place easily accessible from the mainland. The white sand beach is really attractive and the waters surrounding it is also so clear. But I was excited to climb the small hill as it overlooks the long sandbar off the islet. The sunset colors were already painting the sky but I just couldn’t resist going to that sandbar. I thought I could just walk to it but it gets really deep. I decided to leave my stuff and just take my action camera with me. I’m not a strong swimmer and is heavily reliant on my fins. But I decided to brave the depths just to cross the waters to reach the sandbar. I don’t think it was that long (estimating above 10 meters) that good swimmers can probably have an easy time. It did tire me out but I was glad to finally reach the sandbar. I noticed the depths could reach from 7–10 feet and there were some corals surrounding the sandbar.
The tide was getting high but a good amount of sand was still on the surface. There were some fishing boats there I’m thinking they may have caught a bountiful in the area. The sun was quickly setting and there was a beautiful play of clouds in the sky. The sandbar was indeed long, probably longer on low tide. My rough estimate this sandbar alone is about 80 meters and the other one across would be about the same with a combined length of 180 meters.
Sunrise at Tinalisayan Islet
It was a mere 20 minutes ride so the thought of going back early morning played in our minds. And so it was set. By 4 am the next day we were already on a boat to Tinalisayan Islet. I could see the milky way and the rest of the stars but when we arrived, it was already too bright to shoot them. We were hoping to go to the sandbar too but there was no small boat in the area to take us. We settled on the hill waiting for the sunrise. It was cloudy but still, there was an interesting play of colors. We could see the fishermen on the sandbar from afar. When the islet had enough light, I could see the wonderful landscape unfolding. Rust-colored rock walls near the white beach. A couple of interesting rock formations I’m guessing would be a good area for snorkeling. We spent the morning enjoying taking some photos and we were off back to the mainland for our breakfast. I would definitely visit Tinalisayan islet again. Explore more of the sandbar and snorkel its surrounding waters. I’m sure I’ll see plenty.
Tinalisayan Island is part of the Island Hopping Tour from San Pascual, Burias Island along with Animasola Island and Sombrero Island. 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.
Tinalisayan Islet has tables and chairs for picnics as well as a restroom. There’s an entrance fee of P30/person upon entering the islet.
How to go to San Pascual, Burias Island, Masbate
The advantage of San Pascual, Burias Island from the rest of Masbate is its easy accessibility to Naga City, Camarines Sur.
- Manila to Naga City by Bus: Ride any Naga City bound bus in 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 trike 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.