Spending a day on a white sand beach with crystal clear waters, or a night of camping with friends under the stars? Or why not travel to Burias Island, and experience them both!
Here’s what you need:
Burias Island Starter Pack
- A plan
- Group of Friends
- Three Thousand pesos
- Plan B
- Eleven Hours for Travelling
- Outfit of the Day or Swimsuit
- Camera and an Instagram Boyfriend or Bestfriend
- Few bottles of Alcoholic beverage, Chips, and Marshmallows
The “Burias Island” Plan
Who would have thought that a conversation over the bottles of beer would become a concrete plan?
It all started July 2017, when me and my boyfriend, Jeff, went out with his friends, to hang out.
And it was just their usual conversation and jokes,
until an hour before midnight,
the conversation headed to where the group will travel next.
I forgot what the suggested places were, but I still remember that we all agreed that Burias Island will be the next destination.
You know what made us all want Burias?
It’s because of the sandbar, the white sand beach, and the mangroves.
We didn’t expect that there will be a lot more!
Group of Friends
Well, traveling with friends is a lot more enjoyable and it helps create lasting memories.
Sounds great, right?
But before we go creating lasting memories,
we have to make sure everyone agrees on a specific date,
on a certain budget,
and agree on the itinerary.
It was quite a challenge, to begin with.
Because the more friends are joining, the more complicated it gets since everyone has a work/job schedule to consider.
It took us almost two months to fit in the Burias Island Plan to everyone’s schedules.
October 20 -22, 2017 was the agreed date.
Our group has no idea on how to get there, and what are the things we need to bring.
So we opted for booking with a travel agency to arrange everything for us.
Three Thousand Pesos for 2D1N in Burias Island
We canvassed from different travel and tour agencies, comparing their offers and their itineraries.
our group decided to avail the services of Biyaheros Travel and Tours.
I was the one who introduced Biyaheros to the group because a friend referred it to me.
So what did we get by paying three thousand pesos?
It includes Day 1 Lunch and Dinner,
Day 2 Breakfast,
RT Van (from Manila to San Andres),
Boat (for island hopping),
some candies and snacks along the way,
and a very hospitable tour guide, who takes really good photos.
Burias Island Itinerary
1. Burias Group of Islands, Masbate: Snake island Tinalisayan Island and Sandbar Sombrero island
2. Animasola Island of Bicol
3. Alibijaban Island of San Andres, Quezon
Day 1 8 P.M.: Meet up, departure 8:30 P.M. at Mcdo Quezon Ave.
6 A.M.: ETA San Andres, Quezon Breakfast along the way
7 A.M.: Boat Transfers
9 A.M.: ETA, Animasola Island 45 minutes picture taking and beach frolick,
Proceed to Tinalisayan island
Lunch in the island
Beach frolick up to 1 P.M.
Sombrero island 1-hour activity
Transfer to Snake island 40-minute activity
Proceed to Alibijaban island
Pitch tent, assign cottages, rest, dinner
Day 2: Hosted breakfast countryside tour sandbar tour mangrove tour
9 A.M.: check out boat transfers to San Andres, Quezon Travel back to Manila Lunch along the way.
The group felt excited, given the activity-filled itinerary.
After all the struggles with the schedule and finalizing those who will join, here comes another challenge for the group, the storm hit Masbate, just a few days ago.
And unfortunately, the weather hasn’t improved yet until October 19.
October 19, a day before we head to Masbate, Ms. Shane, owner of Biyaheros Travel and Tours, informed me that cancellation was possible if the weather got worse.
She even advised us to consider a plan B.
I informed Jeff of our situation, and he informed the group of the possibilities, too.
Some of the choices were Five Fingers in Mariveles, Bataan and Fortune Island in Batangas.
Though some of us still wanted the Burias Island plan to push through.
Morning of October 20 came, and the weather condition somehow improved.
This got us all hoping that the original plan will happen.
And thankfully, the original Burias island plan pushed through.
8:30 PM on October 20, we all meet up at Mcdo Quezon Ave. We left by 9:00 PM.
The van was comfortable, and the nine-hour land travel went well.
Until we rode the boat.
Just when we thought that challenges were over, it was just about to start.
Everyone’s excited to ride the boat,
taking selfies and group pictures to document the memories.
After thirty minutes,
we started to feel that the waves were going against us.
But we just ignored it, and we just shout every time a wave hits our boat.
Change of Plans
After an hour, the waves tripled its size.
It looked big enough to sink our boat.
The huge waves came from left and right, front and back of the boat.
And when I looked at the surroundings, we cannot see any signs of a nearby island.
For a moment, a thought came to my mind, a scary thought.
What if our boat sink?
Where will I swim, if there’s no island in sight?
If I stay still,
when will the next boat come,
who will rescue us?
There’s no signal there.
Can the life vest keep me alive?
Are there sharks down there?
Our joyful smiles became fear, our shouts became prayers.
Sometimes, I think that mothers really know best. If she warns you not to go, maybe, just maybe, you try to listen.
The gigantic waves, which went against us, kept on hitting our boat.
And all we just had to endure it until we reach Animasola island.
Yes, that’s the original itinerary.
But along the way, I mean waves, we now considered Plan B.
Since Animasola Island is the farthest, though famous for its awesome rock formations, we had to rearrange the itinerary.
We all wanted to stop at any island available.
So, our destination changed Animasola to Tinalisayan Island.
Instead of braving the gigantic waves for three more hours, we chose our lives and opted for just an hour more.
Upon seeing the white sands of Tinalisayan Island, we felt so relieved.
We all just wanted to stay, eat our lunch and feel the ground under our feet.
The nearest island to dock our boat is Tinalisayan Island.
Crystal clear waters, white sand, palm trees and stacks of stones welcomed us.
A paradise, indeed.
Some decided to rest first, while some immediately grabbed their cameras, including me, and captured the beauty of the island.
It felt like braving the killer waves were worth it, after all.
We had our lunch at Tinalisayan Island.
Sinigang na Baboy saved our stomachs from hunger.
We also had sliced apples for dessert.
After lunch, we’re now headed to the next island, Sombrero island.
Some of us felt afraid of riding the boat again, while others felt numb after the scary boat-ride earlier.
As expected, the waves started small, until we got farther from the island, the waves became merciless again.
This time, it almost turned our boat upside down.
Thanks to Fidel, the captain of our boat, who gave us all hope that we’re not going to sink.
Our boat was like surfing on the gigantic waves, then falling down hard after.
But never sinking.
After an hour of boat-ride, we reached Sombrero island.
You know what’s the sweetest reward for our group? No other group dared to ride their boat again, which leaves Sombrero island all for ourselves until tomorrow morning.
Bittersweet, wasn’t it?
We still can’t decide on whether we’re fortunate or unfortunate, given the series of events.
But, we all decided to make the most out of it.
It’s like we’re SURVIVOR castaways.
We had to survive the night with all that we have, food, water, phone battery, and clothes, since there were no available stores and charging station on the island.
There were comfort rooms built there, you can use for free, but a pail of water will cost you 50php.
If you want to pitch a tent by the beach or inside their huge cottage, the price range is 1,000php to 2,000php, with 1 free light bulb to light up the cottage.
You can also rent the videoke for 1,500php for the whole night.
Our group decided to tour the whole island and watch the sunset by the beach, all together.
After that, we took a shower to freshen up.
Then, we all gathered up for dinner, Adobong Pusit and Liempo.
Sombrero Island by Night
And to cap the long day we had, we drank a few alcoholic drinks that we brought.
Right when the sun completely disappeared, and there’s no Wi-Fi to entertain us, we resorted to horror storytelling.
The waves of laughter and screams filled the night, but who cares, we own the island for a night.
The charcoal used to cook our dinner was still hot, so we roasted marshmallows, and had the mouth-watering s’mores.
We all got tired around 11:00 PM, and we went to our assigned tents.
I easily fell asleep because of the unforgettable day we had.
It’s like I badly needed a rest.
We got up around 6:00 AM, and we wanted to start the day right, by eating breakfast.
We had a banana, sunny side up eggs, tocino, fried rice, and coffee. The perfect way to start the day!
After the breakfast, we packed our things and we had a group picture-taking by the beach.
We rode the boat for the third time.
But this time, we’re going with the waves, which made it easier for us to reach Alibijaban island.
We originally planned to dock at Snake Island, but the waves made it impossible for our boat to dock.
So, we went to Alibijaban Island instead.
The waves were calm at Alibijaban island, we got a chance to swim for about an hour.
When I got a chance to talk to a local, I asked how much are we going to spend if we will DIY.
She told us that every morning, there’s a boat from the port going to Alibijaban and it costs 20php per head.
A cottage in Alibijaban costs 500php.
And you just have to wait for the next day, for a boat to bring you back to the port.
Back to the mainland
To make up for the two unexplored islands (Animasola and Snake island), our coordinator prepared a sumptuous lunch for us.
Sinigang na hipon and grilled fish! Day 2 lunch was not part of the inclusions.
The whole tour left us speechless,
first, because of the gigantic waves, we endured for a couple of hours,
and second, with how amazingly beautiful Burias island is.
I would love to visit it again during low tide, so I can see the sandbar. And I hope that there’ll be a better weather when I come back.
Must read: 16 Beautiful Things About Philippines
If you happen to visit Burias island in a fine weather, I would love to see your photos and hear your stories. Feel free to comment down your stories 🙂