Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human

Masasa Beach in Tingloy, Batangas

June 23-24, 2012

Tingloy is one of the islands I found using wikimapia.  It is an island-town in Batangas, formerly called Maricaban Island.  After finding Tingloy, I searched online for a place to visit and camp in the island and read about Masasa Beach, a public beach.  People who’ve been to Tingloy (through reading blogs) were fascinated by its beauty so I resolved to go there.

It was more than a month since I found the island online before we were finally able to go there.

For this trip, there only four of us (Oyet, Jason, Felix and myself) and we dubbed ourselves the “Fantastic Four”.

Going to Tingloy

Going to Tingloy involves riding a bus from Manila (in our case, Buendia) to the terminal in Balagtas.  From there, a long jeepney ride to either Anilao Port or Talaga Port (Php35).  We initially wanted to ride a boat from Anilao Port but the locals said that the waves maybe too strong so the boats docked in Talaga Port.  Fortunately for us, the jeepney is going to Talaga Port so we did not have to ride another vehicle.

The last boat trip to Tingloy leaves the port at 1030am and we arrived there around 930am so that gave us enough time to buy food from the nearby market.

The boat trip from Talaga Port to the port in Tingloy (Php70 each) takes about 45 minutes (in good sunny weather).  We arrived in Tingloy and rode a tricycle from the port to Masasa Beach (which is on the other side of the island, Php60).  From the point where we had to alight the tricycle it is around 10 minutes walk down to the beach through a ricefield.

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Through the Ricefields

There are several plots of ricefield between the road the beach itself.  When we visited Tingloy, it was planting season and the rice seedlings are either ready for replanting or being replanted.

The different plots of land are in various states, some already have seedlings planted, others being replanted, others ready for planting and still others for irrigation and sowing.

There were some birds on the area (I think mostly crows) and one would have been a perfect picture -a blackbird carrying food (I think a frog) in its mouth while flying low.  Unfortunately, both of my hands were occupied by water containers – a missed opportunity.

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The Beach

If I am to summarize what I think of Masasa Beach, it would be “very nice water, not-so-good beach.”

The water on the beach is very very clear (like the one in Calaguas).  The sand on the sea is white and fine.  In fact, it is a very good beach for swimming.

But for me, being a photography enthusiast, the beach is as or more important than the sea (for swimming).  Eversince I’ve gotten a DSLR and looked at various landscape photos and studied composition techniques and obtained an ultrawide lens, I’m always looking for a good foreground.  Alas, the beach offers none (or very limited).

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On the waters of Masasa Beach:  The camera pointed upwards (left) and downwards (right).

Masasa Beach is a public beach.  There are no entrance fees, no caretakers.  A large part of the beach is taken over (probably had the land titled) by a family who erected and semi-abandoned a resort (thus, ruining the view).  Beside this wall is where we erected our tents (four of us, four tents).

Our campsite with our tents.

The whitish sand beach is littered with corals, small rocks and shells but these are overwhelmed by the large quantity of garbage and coconut shells and husks.  There are some nipa huts near the beach, houses of fishermen and their boats are docked on the beach.  Three boats (ferrying passengers from Tingloy to mainland Luzon) also docks near Masasa Beach as the waves here are not as strong as on the other side of the island where the port is located.

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Despite this, we’ve had a nice time swimming in the beach (the weather was nice and hot and the water temperature, even at night, is just right).  However, I spent most of my time sleeping (having had no sleep the previous night).

Felix (top left), Oyet (above) and me (left) enjoying swimming in the water.

Lunch was the caldereta cooked and brought by Oyet (delicious by the way).  It was really nice sleeping there because of the wind coming in from the sea (though the weather was really hot).

A fishing boat docked near one of the houses (shot late afternoon).

As I said, I slept most of the time, due to lack of sleep and probably due to frustration at the lack of good foreground element (my ultrawide lens was not used for the whole trip).  However, I did manage to get some relatively ok landscape pictures, mostly around sunset and sunrise.

I took a few shots at sunset and used a tripod, mirror lockup, low ISO (200 I think) and shutter delay, all to ensure good and sharp pictures (not satisfied much with the outcome though.

Dinner was the leftover caldereta and Bagnet (which I bought from Vigan the previous week), and pinakbet.  Of course, liquor will always be present (Emperador Light this time).  It was also nice swimming at night though it is dark since the moon is not bright.

In the morning, I opened the door of my tent and looked out to see the sunrise.  Since I didn’t find the sunrise spectacular, I just shot some pictures while lying on my belly inside the tent.

See also Random Photo:  Three Boats of Tingloy.

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The boats leave Masasa Beach early in the morning (taking some passengers), go to the main port (where most of the passengers board) and then off to Batangas.  We decided not to go back on these trips (last regular trip to Batangas leaves at 9am) and instead hire a small boat for Php700 and will leave at 3pm.

Passengers boarding the ferries from Masasa Beach.

We spent most of Sunday swimming, sleeping (me), taking pictures (the three of them) and preparing to go back.  We cleaned ourselves in the irrigation well in the ricefield and then it was time to leave Tingloy.

Leaving Tingloy

We asked the tricycle driver (the one that brought us from the port to Masasa) to fetch us in the waiting but he forgot.  We waited for more than 30 minutes before deciding to hire another tricycle.  The tricycle driver brought us to the person we talked with the previous day regarding the boat.  He brought us to the house near the sea of the boat owner but the boat owner told us to go to the port because he’s buying gasoline.  Hence, exercise walking under the intense heat of the sun.

We waited on the port for our boat and when it arrived, we got anxious, it’s a small boat with no cover for a roof.

Clothes drying * Our ride back to mainland Batangas.

It docked (or rather was held by someone) near the port and we had to go down a slippery stone stair.  Oyet broke the board on the front of the boat and my bag almost fell to the sea while boarding it.

On the way back:  Me (left), Oyet (Jason behind her) (center) and Felix (right).

The waves were not that strong but since the boat was small, we could not go fast.  A relatively big wave came, drenched Oyet, made it inside the boat (the boatman had to scoop water out).  The ride back was ok though it was very hot and I had no covering.

We reached Talaga Port safely, rode a jeepney to Balagtas (diversion road), a jeepney to the bus station and finally a bus home.

It was quite an adventure.  When we returned to Manila (and until Monday), my face was very red; Tuesday, my face began exfoliating and now, the skin on my left forearm (the one facing the sun on our way back) is flaking.  A nice adventure but until such time that the beach is cleaned, I probably won’t go back to Tingloy yet.

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4 responses

  1. Tak Vergara

    You should’ve tried snorkeling. There you’ll find the true beauty of the island. :)

    November 11, 2012 at 9:33 am

    • Thanks for the advise but I can’t swim so my beach activities are limited to those at the shore. :)

      November 11, 2012 at 11:32 pm

  2. do you have any boat contacts?

    March 12, 2014 at 6:52 am

    • Mang Eddie +63 929 782 4731 (our boat before)
      Jessie +63 999 787 2200
      Jhamil +63 916 478 5241

      However, I would suggest you take the public boat as it is much much cheaper.

      The only reasons I could think of where you’d want a private boat is if you want to leave Tingloy later than the public boat (which I think is around 9am), if you have lots of heavy stuff that you don’t want to lug on the 15min walk to the beach or if you’re camping in an out of the way beach (beach other than Masasa Beach).

      March 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm

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