Saturday, January 21, 2012

Travel: Masbate, Philippines

     Masbate is an island province of the Philippines that is located in the Bicol Region. It is composed  of three major islands: Masbate, Ticao and Burias. The lone city, Masbate City is located in the Masbate Island. The island of Masbate lies at the center of the Philippine archipelago between latitudes 11°43’ north and 123°09’ east and 124°5’ east. The boundaries are Ticao Pass on the north, San Bernardino Strait on the east, Visayan Sea on the south, and the Sibuyan Sea on the west.
     The general topographic feature of the province ranges from slightly undulating to rolling and from hilly to mountainous. With each island, the rugged topography is concentrated in the northeastern portion and gradually recedes to blunt hills and rolling areas in the southeast, southwest, and south.

     There are so many options on how to reach masbate. You can travel by land, by sea or by air from different points of the country.

By Land
      There's a daily trip going to masbate via RORO bus which is a part of the nautical highway program of the government. The terminal of this bus is located at cubao in metro manila. The bus will  travel to Pilar, Sorsogon via national highway and then will be carried by the RORO boat from Pilar port to Masbate city port.  At the time of this writing, the fare is is just 1,050 pesos one way for aircon buses and  800pesos for one way for ordinary buses with the RORO boat fare inclusive. These RORO buses also travel out from Masbate City to other towns such as Aroroy and Mobo.

By Sea
     Just in case you don't prefer the RORO bus, you still have other option. You can also ride another bus that travels daily from Manila to Pilar, the board the RORO boat going to Masbate or better yet take the fastcraft operated by Montenegro Lines. The fastcraft is convenient and faster than the RORO boat but of course the fare is higher. Montenegro lines fastcraft schedules from Pilar to Masbate City are 8:00am, 11:30am and 3:30pm. Montenegro lines fastcraft schedules from Masbate to Pilar  are 5:00am, 8:00am and 12:00 noon. These schedules may change, please verify with Montenegro lines. Ferries also travels from Cebu City going to Masbate City port or Cataingan Port.

By Air
     This is by far the most convenient means of going to Masbate. The airport is now operational again after being closed for some time due to renovation and facility improvement. ZestAir and Air Philippines has daily flights going to Masbate City airport from Manila and vice versa. Flights schedule to Masbate and vice versa are shown below.

Rodeo MasbateƱo Festival
     This is an annual event which takes place in Masbate City which showcases the peoples natural skills in livestock handling, such as lassoing, wrestling, and riding cattle. Also included in the event are a fair featuring local products and exhibitions, livestock shows, animal health seminars and trade of cattle and horses. The event has taken place every summer since 1993 which usually opens with a lively parade of horseback riders.
     The highlight of the event is the rodeo competition itself. Both men and women dress up in cowboy outfits to perform stunts like lassoing on foot and on horseback, bull riding and whipping, the two-person carambola, livestock wrestling, casting down, load carrying, and other activities that is related to the handling of livestock. These events draw tourists from the rest of the Philippines and also from around the world as well as local expectators. Cowboys and bull riders of other nationalities also participate in the competitions.

Natural Sceneries
     Masbate is rich in natural wonders and breathtaking views of its coastline. Picture speaks a thousand words so just click view full post to take a look at the following pictures of lovely Masbate.