Planning a vacation can sometimes get overwhelming, especially in this age of #travelgoals Insta-feeds where it seems the only way to land a drool-worthy escape is to book the first plane ticket out of bustlin’ Manila.
Whether it’s for that long overdue barkada getaway or a well-deserved break from work, we all know that what separates us from the perfect weekend is finding the time (and money!) to leave the city.
But this destination highlight will neither require you to shell out months’ worth of savings nor anticipate the next non-working holiday. Just be sure that your bags are packed and ready to explore what locals call the hidden gem of Batangas beaches: the undiscovered marine paradise of Masasa Beach in Tingloy Island.
The immaculate shores and pristine ocean that surround this island are home to diverse underwater life, and when the crystal-clear sparkling turquoise waters catch the sunlight, the effect is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Climb the intricate rock formations scattered across the island to get that perfect photo, or lay out a picnic on the soft, warm sands while working on your tan. If you fancy water activities like snorkeling and diving, you'll discover that Masasa Beach is definitely comparable to the beauty that farther destinations like Palawan and Siargao have to offer.
How to Get There
Tingloy Island’s splendor is—you heard it right—just three hours away from Manila! Whether by public or private transportation, it’s relatively easy and stress-free to get there. If you're traveling in smaller groups of 2-4, we recommend just hopping on a bus to Batangas so you can catch up on your zzz’s and save your energy for the weekend ahead.
Take a bus from Cubao (₱165) or (Alabang ₱127) toward Batangas Grand Terminal (BGT). The most common route is via JAM Liner whose first trip leaves at 12 AM. Earlier departure times ensure that you avoid traffic and the long lines. There are 30-minute intervals between each trip..
Travel time to BGT: approximately 2-3 hours, depending on traffic
Upon arriving in BGT, look for jeepneys (₱37) that will take you to Anilao. Note that jeepneys don’t leave until they are full, so if you’re on the earlier bus schedule, expect to wait around 30 minutes before your jeepney departs.
Travel time to Anilao: 50 minutes to 1 hour
Once in Anilao Port, search for boats headed towards Tingloy Port. The first trip* (₱80) leaves as early as 7 AM. Don’t forget to pay the environmental fee of ₱30 prior to departure. There are stalls around the area which you can visit for last-minute supplies and baon for your beach trip. The last boat leaves at 2:30 PM.
Travel time to Tingloy: 45 minutes
You’re almost there! Once in Tingloy, board a tricycle (₱60 good for 4 people) and instruct the driver to take you to Masasa Beach. Bahay kubos (transient houses) are available for rent for the duration of your stay and are a 10-minute walk away from the tricycle drop-off.
Travel time to Masasa Beach: 10 minutes
- From EDSA, take the Southbound route towards SLEX. Exit to Filinvest.
- From here, drive around 70km towards Batangas Diversion Road and in 3.5km, take the Bolboc Access Road going to Bauan.
- In 8.7km, make a right towards the Mabini Circumferential Road heading to Anilao Port.
- You may park in the port or your nearby hotel, and take a ferry to Tinglao Port which leads to Masasa Beach.
Where to Stay
Since Masasa Beach recently closed off the island to campers, homestays providing basic rooms have popped up in the area for simple, no-frills wanderers. But if you're willing to spend a bit more, we recommend looking into the various resorts in nearby Anilao instead. Whether you choose the full resort experience or opt for a cozy weekend room, comfortable accommodations will feel like a dream after a day out in the sun, sand, and surf.
If you're searching for lodging that gives you beachfront access, consider staying in one of Vivere Azure's premier suites, where no two rooms alike. The hotel also gives guests the option to book historical activities such as the Taal Heritage Tour.
KM 108 Barangay Aguada, San Teodoro,
(02) 771 7777 loc 7120 and 7119
For a more luxurious experience, check out one of the 13 rooms in La Chevrerié Resort and Spa, which offers a hip and modern aesthetic that is truly a feast for the eyes. While you’re resting up from your Masasa Beach adventure, La Cheverié provides a safe haven for rest, relaxation, and—you guessed it—a secret spot for great feed content. This 5-star property awaits your visit, ready to impress you with its amenities and world-class service.
052 Barangay Ligaya, Anilao
(0917) 703 3320
DG Traveler Tips
There is so much more to explore in Batangas, and if you can spare another day in the province, a beginner-friendly hike to Mt. Gulugod Baboy is definitely worth your time. For first-time hikers and pros alike, the terrain is an easy 2-hour climb to the summit which features breathtaking views of the coastal lines of Batangas. For the extra adventurous groups, side trips to nearby Sombrero Island or Sicilian Reef for scuba diving spots are highly recommended, especially if you’ve already explored what Anilao has to offer.
The next time you dream of paradise, you need not look anywhere else. Just set aside a weekend to transport yourself to this blissful pocket of sunshine: a fitting escape to a serene and majestic island worthy of a spot on every millennial explorer's travel bucket list.
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