Chronicles Masbate Philippines

Masbate | 5 Things to do in San Pascual Burias Island

I was enjoying lying on the bow of the large outrigger boat coming from Pasacao Port in Camarines Sur to our destination of San Pascual in Burias Island, Masbate. I wanted to enjoy the fresh sea air and not be bounded inside the tarp-covered windows of the shaded boat seats behind me. The splash from the ride didn’t reach the bow that much so I enjoyed the sea view and conversation from the local guide in the area. Suddenly there was a rustle of activity that led me to see what was happening. We were approaching the Burias Island already and just in time when the afternoon light came in, spreading its golden hue over the high cliffs bounding the bay where the municipality of San Pascual is nestled in.

Eddie Espares and his 80,000 swiftlets
Eddie Espares and his 80,000 swiftlets

4 Visit the Home of 80,000 Swiftlets

An amusing oddity it may seem but couple Eddie and Dina Espares don’t seem to mind living in a house with more than 80,000 swiftlets living in their basement. Visit the Balinsasayaw house and hear their story on how a pair of swiftlets ballooned to thousands fluttering feathery friends.

Mapanique river cruise
Mapanique river cruise

5 Do a Mangrove River Cruise

San Pascual have a vast mangrove plantations and in Mapanique, cruise through the heart of nature at Mapanique River. Take the 22-winding turn leading to sea. Keep your eyes open for wild ducks, exotic birds and giant fruit bats hanging or flapping by giant calumpang trees. If you are adventurous enough, there’s also a trail leading to a bat sanctuary.

I’m sure there are more things to do in San Pascual. We were told there are a couple of caves to explore too like the Ki Romero Hidden Cave and the Iniwaran Cave. For delicacy, do try to find the Lechon Kalabaw.

A wild duck leads the way up the 22-winding turns of Mapanique River
A wild duck leads the way up the 22-winding turns of Mapanique River

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 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 45minutes 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 7:00am, 10:00am and 2:00pm. Travel time is 2 hours and a fare of Php 150. From San Pascual to Pasacao Port, there are boats that leave from 5:30am, 8:00am and 9:20am.

For more info and assistance on San Pascual, contact Cecile of San Pascual Tourism Office at 09199112270

There's a bat sanctuary at Mapanique
There’s a bat sanctuary at Mapanique
The Mapanique river leading to the beach and sea
The Mapanique river leading to the beach and sea

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