Recently marred by a sea tragedy (A Roll-Off-Roll-On Liner sank off Burias Island last June 2013), Masbate is once again in the headlines but not for all the good reasons. Such tragedies affect not only the island's economy but also its potential as a tourism hotspot. It paints a frightening picture of turbulent waters, strong winds, mountain-high waves...not a very inviting idea for a relaxing vacation where the options you have are these ROROS or the thrice-a-week plane ride. Its sad because the three islands that make up Masbate still have that rustic charm, raw natural landscape and the slow, easy-going equanimity of provincial life.
I packed my bags for Masbate, not to gratify my sense of adventure or wanderlust....but out of duty for family and loved ones. Masbate hasn't figured in my bucket list yet (partially because traveling by sea is really not a dream vacation for me!) so I just went sans my adventurous spirit and even dread the two-hour fast craft ride from Sorosogon's Pilar Port to the City of Masbate.
Maybe it's that time of the year....but a week after a storm just checked in the bicol area.....or maybe it's geography, that shields the main island of Masbate from strong winds and heavy rain....but lo! and behold! my sea trip is as smooth as silk. Crossing Ticao Pass and Masbate Pass was as effortless as riding a banca on a lake. Even riding a tricycle along a bumpy road is more dangerous compared to cruising these waters. Ha! first time without the tears...
|The glass-like stillness of the waters of Aroroy, Masbate|
The mirror-like waters of Aroroy, Masbate at the northern tip of Masbate Island echoes my surprise to find a patch of very very calm seas in the midst of typhoon-magnet bicol region. I will definitely be back to discover Masbate more and try its foremost attraction...swimming with the manta rays...oh well, that's one for the bucktlist! and hope to find more....
|Passing Ticao Pass, Masbate|
|The two-hour sea trip on a fast craft from Pilar Port to Masbate Port|
|The 60-seater bancas that travels from Pilar Port in Sorsogon straight to Aroroy, Masbate|
|Early morning at Aroroy Port|
|Preparing the banca for the two-hour trip to Sorsogon|
|These passenger boats carry everything, from beds, to produce to refrigerators...everyday scene at Aroroy, Masbate using my android phone|
|Fishing at Dawn, the view of Mt. Mayon from Aroroy, Masbate|
|Heading out to sea at sunrise at Aroroy Port, Masbate|
|Kids at sea, who's afraid to row? at Aroroy, Masbate|
|On the edge...of a boat, sunset at Aroroy, Masbate|
|Life at the Port, Aroroy, Masbate|
|This is the class of ROROs plying the route of Pilar to Masbate. Still waters give you beautiful reflections....see? no waves at all!|
|A view of Mt. Bulusan as we near Pilar Port|
I'll see you again Masbate....I'll see you on your Rodeo Festival and your Manta rays and your un-spoilt beaches...
|That's me...enjoying my fast craft ride....and the sight of a dolphin frolickin' in the open sea....I will see you again Masbate!|