Rodeo Festival 2016 Masbate, Philippines

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The 2016 Festival Logo

The 2016 Festival Logo

 

The most exciting National Rodeo Finals is ongoing at the Masbate Grand Arena, with Awards night on the 16th.

I have been attending the festival for three years in a row, and I have booked my flight and my hotel for this year, too. Some friends are saying they will be in Masbate for up to 3 weeks, finding the rodeo week a rather short period to truly enjoy Masbate. Yes, Masbate is the Rodeo Capital of the Philippines, and hosts the biggest rodeo event in the Philippines. maybe even the biggest in all of Asia.  And on top of the rodeo, visitors will find side-trips to be so rewarding, seeing waterfalls, white sand beaches, centuries-old lighthouses, and many more attractions.

First of all, the Rodeo.

Masbate has the only proper rodeo arena in the country. Whereas all the rodeos I have visited make do with bamboo to fence off the arena, and some with GI pipes temporarily welded, Masbate has sturdy fences, a proper stage, bleachers, and a stand for the rodeo officials. There is also a canteen, and a medical facility, plus a whole complement of Red Cross volunteers. There is also a proper stockyard where the cattle is kept, supervised by veterinarians to make sure the cattle are properly handled, properly fed.

Clearing the Arena

The event started with a parade around the city  to the arena. Participants from the competing teams from all over the country, professionals and students taking vet-med or other agri-animal related courses join officials and ranch owners as they walk or ride horses to the arena.  This year, there were Manila based personalities like Congressman Roman Romulo, Congressman Sherwin Gatchalian, Ms Risa Hontiveros, broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez-Roxas, and guests of honor Mr Andre Kahn, chairman and owner of ad agency J Romeo, and Monette Ituralde Hamlin of Team Asia. The city mayor, the Congressman from the third district of Masbate, town mayors from around Masbate City, and the provincial Governor Vince Revil plus his wife, Vice Governor Kaye Revil came in full force, in cowboy get up. Truly cowboy country.  Opening ceremonies were held, including a ceremonial cattle branding led by Rodeo Masbateno Inc. President Judge Manuel Sese and the guests. An exhibition bull riding and casting down events came thereafter. The real games begin in the afternoon. I have yet to take photos of the 2016 games – – – meanwhile I have posted photos I took from previous rodeos in Masbate to give you a glimpse of what to expect.

Parade

On Day 2, the traditional Cattle Drive begins. About 120 cattle from the city center are released and are herded by cowboys on the city streets towards the arena. I have called this in the past “Fun Run ng Mga Baka”. Some friends have likened it to the “Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Rodeo Masbateno, Inc also hosts the Rodeo Festival, scheduled April 12-17 this year (2016). In photo is the Cattle Drive which ushers the start of the rodeo season.

Rodeo Masbateno, Inc also hosts the Rodeo Festival, scheduled April 12-17 this year (2016). In photo is the Cattle Drive which ushers the start of the rodeo season.

 

The events will keep you riveted. Bring your cameras and click away. To some people, the most awaited event is Bull Riding. In here, cowboys mount the bull from inside a pen, and need to be on top and riding the bull as it is released. It takes 8 seconds to qualify, and yet majority actually fall on the first second or so.  Those who make it are scored based on how they rode the bull, how they held their hats on the other hand, and how they managed the bull. It is a show, a spectacle.

Bull Riding

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Another event some people find as their favorite is the carambola. It can be a 2-man carambola, a 4-man carambola. There is also a women’s division. Carambola is played with two teams of competing cowboys chasing 2 cows on the arena. The first team that grabs a cattle by the neck “owns” the cattle and they just need to bring the cattle down and tie the cattle’s feet. If the cattle is unable to rise after 10 seconds, it is ruled as a good play. Participants compete for the best time.

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Carambola

 

There is also casting down. Teams lasso the cattle and then throw a lasso around its torso so they can pull and cast the cattle down, and tie its feet.

Casting Down

 

There are also lassoing events. Either in foot, or on horseback.

Parade

 

The events are officiated by members of VROoM, the Volunteer Rodeo Officials of Masbate, and mounted by the Rodeo Masbateno, Inc., supported by the provincial and city governments of Masbate as well as the private sector.

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National Rodeo Director Leo Gozum, extreme right.

 

RMI Board of Trustees meeting on Rodeo 2016

RMI Board of Trustees meeting on Rodeo 2016

 

 

AFTER OR IN BETWEEN THE RODEO: Around Masbate

Buntod Reef. Within Masbate City.

Buntod Reef. Within Masbate City.

 

Mangroves at Buntod

Mangroves at Buntod

 

Mandaon

a beautiful Mandaon zigzag view

 

Bat-ongan Cave. Mandaon Town

Bat-ongan Cave. Mandaon Town

 

Catandayagan Falls. Approached from Buntod. Part of Ticao Island

Catandayagan Falls. Approached from Buntod. Part of Ticao Island

 

Punta Bugui Lighthouse. Aroroy

Punta Bugui Lighthouse. Aroroy

 

Balud Lighthouse. Jintotolo, Balud

Balud Lighthouse. Jintotolo, Balud

 

Famous Palani beach

Famous Palani beach

 

 

Learn how to make tapa

Learn how to make tapa

 

Get to visit a farm and watch how cattle is herded

Get to visit a farm and watch how cattle is herded

 

Fazenda, a beautiful rehab center operated by the religious

Fazenda, a beautiful rehab center operated by the religious

 

Have lunch or dinner at the city's most famous SuTuKil, extremely good food at very affordable prices

Have lunch or dinner at the city’s most famous SuTuKil, extremely good food at very affordable prices

 

Visit the Santo Entierro at the heritage house called Villa Bayot

Visit the Santo Entierro at the heritage house called Villa Bayot

 

If you have more time, island hop and you might just find this old man and the sea

If you have more time, island hop and you might just find this old man and the sea

 

Get your gears ready. Pack your summer shirts and shorts, swimwear, and cameras. Book early. And be at the most exciting festival there is in the Philippines. The Masbate Rodeo festival. April 12-17, 2016.

Please see the Rodeo Masbateno facebook for more details

https://www.facebook.com/Rodeo-Masbate%C3%B1o-325913524107222/

 

Rodeo Festival facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/rodeofestival/?fref=ts

Rodeo 2016 Logo final

 

 

 

Masbate. So Beautiful. So Underrated. Updated Version

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This edit includes my recent visits. Including a camping experience atop a hill at Sese Brahmans in Mandaon, a visit to an ancestral home within the city center, and a hilltop viewpoint in Mobo.

Mayong Payong is accessed via an unpaved uphill road. It is advised, until the roads are paved, to bring only 4X4 SUVs. A friend of mine managed to go up on his sturdy Toyota Grandia, but it had to take an excellent driver like him to manage the rough, slippery road. Locals without transportation go up via habal habal, or backriding on single motorbikes.

Overnight accommodations can be arranged in huts that cost only P200 per night, but you will need to bring all your provisions because the kubos are rented out bare. A couple sells coffee and light snacks.

Mayong Payong

Mayong Payong

 

Buntod is probably the most famous Masbate destination. But it is best viewed from Mayong Payong.

Buntod is probably the most famous Masbate destination. But it is best viewed from Mayong Payong.

 

VILLA BAYOT

Villa Bayot is the home of what locals call Santo Entierro, actually the image of Jesus Christ enclosed in a glass case. It is a destination among the religious. But those wanting to merely appreciate the grandeur of this old ancestral house can make arrangements, like we did when we did a photoshoot.

A beautiful lass in period costume. She is actually one of the descendants of the old family.

A beautiful lass in period costume. She is actually one of the descendants of the old family.

 

NEARBY ISLANDS

If you can, try to arrange for island hopping from the port at Mandaon. In fact, one can go to Sibuyan and on to Boracay from this port. As this was a side trip for one day, we visited two islands most Masbatenos have never even heard of, much less seen,

Majaba is home to probaly only 5 families. Beautiful beach all around.

Majaba is home to probaly only 5 families. Beautiful beach all around.

 

Nabuktut is a sandbar. Here I met an old man that reminded of the story of The Old Man and the Sea.

Nabuktut is a sandbar. Here I met an old man that reminded of the story of The Old Man and the Sea.

 

TICAO ISLAND

I made a separate visit to Ticao and one may refer to the sights within this island. I thought that to complete a Masbate feature, I needed to show at least the most popular destinations.

Matang Tubig is the most famous local destination. It is a bathing pool from a natural spring. Refreshing.

Matang Tubig is the most famous local destination. It is a bathing pool from a natural spring. Refreshing.

 

This beautiful house is where the Bishop stays when in Ticao

This beautiful house is where the Bishop stays when in Ticao

 

There are many old, weather-beaten homes in Ticao. This one is in Monreal.

There are many old, weather-beaten homes in Ticao. This one is in Monreal.

 

MASBATE RANCH LIFE

The Rodeo Masbateno, Inc. has recently opened to the public, locals and visitors alike, an opportunity to experience Ranch Life. Stay on a tent on the hilltop overnight and gaze at the stars. Ride a horse down the meadow. Make your coffee cowboy-style. But the difference from a rough camping experience is that the venue has hotel-standard toilets and baths.

Be a cowboy or a cowgirl at the Rodeo Masbateno, Inc Ranch Life offer

Be a cowboy or a cowgirl at the Rodeo Masbateno, Inc Ranch Life offer

 

Our ranch life experience was highlighted by a bonfire on the hilltop with only the stars above us.

Our ranch life experience was highlighted by a bonfire on the hilltop with only the stars above us.

 

Rodeo Masbateno, Inc also hosts the Rodeo Festival, scheduled April 12-17 this year (2016). In photo is the Cattle Drive which ushers the start of the rodeo season.

Rodeo Masbateno, Inc also hosts the Rodeo Festival, scheduled April 12-17 this year (2016). In photo is the Cattle Drive which ushers the start of the rodeo season.

Come to Masbate. I am probably the only non-Masbateno who has traveled the most number of times and covered most of the province. Only because #MasbateProvince is beautiful, and the people are nice.

LAKWATSA

I first went to Masbate in 1978. I remember Masbate to be a very poor province. I always tell my friends that I then checked in at Crown Hotel near the pier and, when it was time for shower, the hotel staff would fetch me a huge pail of water – – brought to my second floor room from a pulley at the end of the hall.

Fast forward to 2013. Friends piqued my interest to watch the Masbate Rodeo and I thought it was an excellent subject for photography.

Image Bull riding

Image Barn dance at the Rodeo opening ceremonies

In between the rodeo events, my friends and I would go to “tourist destinations” but I did not have enough material then to write about Masbate. This year, I attended Rodeo 2014 and booked myself a much longer stay. In the process, I was able to explore more of Masbate.

From…

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Beautiful Masbate. Beautiful Masbateñas

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The long Metro Manila holiday due to the APEC Summit found me, once again, in beautiful Masbate.

the second Masbate signature (the big one is at the Capitol Building). This one is at the Safe House at Himomoro Boulevard, Masbate City. Interestingly, the famous Buntod Reef is the backdrop of this I Love Masbate signage.

the second Masbate signature (the big one is at the Capitol Building). This one is at the Safe House at Himomoro Boulevard, Masbate City. Interestingly, the famous Buntod Reef (towards the left) is the backdrop of this I Love Masbate signage.

Seven (7) photographer-friends from FUNtastic Philippines Fun Group joined me on a roadtrip starting from Manila at 4am. Estimated departure of the roll-on-roll-off (roro) boat from the pio Duran port in Ligao, Albay was 1 am the next day.

We settled at the hilltop campsite of the cattle ranch of a friend, the president of Rodeo Masbateño, Inc. After pitching our tents, two beautiful Masbateñas arrived for our scheduled photo-shoot at the Sese Brahmans Ranch in Mandaon.

A cowgirl-model on horseback near one of the tents in our camp

A cowgirl-model on horseback beside one of the tents in our camp

 

 

 

 

 

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Our friends gamely posed as extras for our model whom we shot atop the wagon attached to the tractor used in the ranch

The next day, we drove up  Mayong Payong, a scenic mountaintop in the town of Mobo, in time for the sunrise. The scenery reminds one of Tagaytay. Another beautiful Masbateña was there, prearranged by a friend, for a photoshoot of this mountain park.

Mayong Payong has native huts that rent out for P200 per night.

Mayong Payong has native huts that rent out for P200 per night.

 

We got there to catch the sunrise. All we got was  a few seconds and fog enveloped the mountaintop,

We got there to catch the sunrise. All we got was a few seconds and fog enveloped the mountaintop,

 

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At Mayong Payong, one can see the view of the city center, the distant Mayon Volcano, and the famous Buntod Reef which looks like a really tiny speck of sand when viewed from Mayong Payong

From Mayong Payong, Buntod Reef looks like only 3 people can stand on the tiny island

From Mayong Payong, Buntod Reef looks like only 3 people can stand on the tiny island

From Mayong Payong, we rode a boat at a wharf at Rendezvous Hotel for Buntod Reef and Marine Sanctuary, probably the most beautiful and the most photographed spot in Masbate, Our featured model was Masbate’s Miss Tourism.

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On our third and last day shooting Masbate, we went to the Provincial Capitol Building as our location, On its grounds we also shot with the now-famous huge “Province of Masbate” sign.

Masbate is the Rodeo Capital of the Philippines

Masbate is the Rodeo Capital of the Philippines

 

Location: the stairs at the Capitol Building

Location: the stairs at the Capitol Building

 

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Cowboys and the cowgirl 

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After lunch, we trooped to Villa Bayot, the oldest, well-preserved mansion in Masbate City. For this location, our models wore period Filipiniana.

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I have been to Masbate many times and have featured other significant tourist spots: the beaches at Palani, the Bugui Point Lighthouse in Aroroy, the old lighthouse in the island of Jintotolo, the towns and churches in the second largest Masbate island of Ticao, and the games at the Masbate Rodeo – – – for the past 3 years.  But never have I thought of juxtaposing the beauty of Masbate Province with the beauty of the Masbate ladies.

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Masbate is beautiful. And so are the Masbateñas. And, in fact, my friends and I are one in saying that we return to Masbate because of its wonderful people.

Masbate, Once Again

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My third Rodeo trip to Masbate. This is addicting. Masbate, I mean – – – not just the rodeo.

Event: Carambola

Event: Carambola

For starters, I have become a member of VROoM, the Volunteer Rodeo Officers of Masbate, the implementing arm of Rodeo Masbateno, Inc. VROoM men and women are on the ground, at the arena, running the events as jusges, timers, stockyard managers, tabulators, etc. I have been designated as timer for Rodeo 2015, a duty I failed to perform due to a doctor’s order for me to stay out of the sun for hours.

A cowboy must stay on top of the bull for 8 seconds to qualify. Very vew do. And all of them eventually fall off the bull.

A cowboy must stay on top of the bull for 8 seconds to qualify. Very vew do. And all of them eventually fall off the bull.

 

And sometimes the bull gets to ride the cowboy

And sometimes the bull gets to ride the cowboy

 

action can start right on the streets, when  a cow decides to be "pasawy" on the cattle drive

action can start right on the streets, when a cow decides to be “pasawy” on the cattle drive

Secondly, every trip to Masbate is a discovery of some new place. And a return to familiar places that one would not want to miss when in town. Like the Buntod Marine Sanctuary and SUTUKIL, that restaurant I blogged about for having delicious food at unbelievably low prices.

the reef staff

the reef staff house

 

the reef is also a mangrove preserve

the reef is also a mangrove preserve

 

We also visited majaba, an island southwest of Masbate City, and never been visited by probably 99% of Masbatenos

We also visited majaba, an island southwest of Masbate City, and never been visited by probably 99% of Masbatenos

the Majaba island is sizeable, and boys use the paragos to transport stuff

the Majaba island is sizeable, and boys use the paragos to transport stuff

close to Majaba is Nabuktut, an island that is essentially a sandbar

close to Majaba is Nabuktut, an island that is essentially a sandbar

Bugui Point lighthouse revisited. In Aroroy, Masbate

Bugui Point lighthouse revisited. In Aroroy, Masbate

Bugui

Mandaon

The Masbatenos have become friends. I am invited to the brainstorm for Rodeo 2015. And as I write this, cowboys from Masbate are on the road, coming to my Tagaytay home to wish me happy birthday. And participate in a canao I planned for tomorrow.

Nabuktut

Masbate will make you want to visit, again and again.

Marcela Agoncillo Historical Landmark

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The house of Marcela Agoncillo is probably the oldest of the Taal heritage gouse, built in the 17oos by her grandfather. It is in this house where Marcela sewed the first Philippine flag, but not to be mistaken with the flag of the first philippine Republic which she sewed while in exile in Hongkong with her husband Felipe, the first Filipino diplomat and patriot.

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As one enters the house, tidbits on history can be read. At the bottom of the stairs is a diorama that shows Marcela sewing the flag. The Agoncillo family has kept their furniture and other memorabilia in this house, including laminated certificates of commendation for the illustrious members of the family, mostly in the library at the entresuleo.

The entresuleo. During those days, the farmhands and commoners were limited to the entresuelo.

The entresuleo. During those days, the farmhands and commoners were limited to the entresuelo.

the living room

the living room

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The house is being maintained by the Department of Tourism – – no entrance fee is stipulated but donations are welcome.

Masbate. So Beautiful. So Underrated.

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I first went to Masbate in 1978. I remember Masbate to be a very poor province. I always tell my friends that I then checked in at Crown Hotel near the pier and, when it was time for shower, the hotel staff would fetch me a huge pail of water – – brought to my second floor room from a pulley at the end of the hall.

Fast forward to 2013. Friends piqued my interest to watch the Masbate Rodeo and I thought it was an excellent subject for photography.

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Bull riding

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Barn dance at the Rodeo opening ceremonies

In between the rodeo events, my friends and I would go to “tourist destinations” but I did not have enough material then to write about Masbate. This year, I attended Rodeo 2014 and booked myself a much longer stay. In the process, I was able to explore more of Masbate.

From wikipedia:

“Masbate lies roughly at the center of the Philippine archipelago … bounded on the north by Burias and Ticao Pass, east by San Bernardino Strait, south by the Visayan Sea, and west by the Sibuyan Sea. Relative to mainland Bicol, the province faces the southwestern coasts of Camarines Sur, Albay, and Sorsogon areas.

The general surface configuration of the province ranges from slightly undulating to rolling and from hilly to mountainous. In each island, the rugged topography is concentrated in the northeastern portion and gradually recedes to blunt hills and rolling areas in the south, southeast, and southwest.”

Above description of Masbate’s topography reminds me of it’s similarities to the hills of Batanes. In fact, I tell my friends while we were on the road that, if they haven’t been to Batanes, they could shoot some hills and pass them off as Batanes shots. Of course I could be exaggerating.

 

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Yet, Masbate is beautiful in its own right. And depending on how deeply you explore its nooks and crannies and the islands that form part of the province, you might even say it is more beautiful. Minus the stone houses that make Batanes unique.

All promotions of Masbate that I have seen in recent years say Masbate is the Rodeo Capital of the Philippines. I can only agree that the rodeo is the one big draw. Otherwise, I would not have made visits to watch the rodeo for two consecutive years.

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Rodeo is big in Masbate, complete with the only proper rodeo arena in the country, and in Asia

But I submit that Masbate is much more than rodeo. It’s natural beauty is more than enough to lure visitors. The centuries-old lighthouses are another major reason and, for some, could be sufficient enough reason to go. And I am not even talking about the wonderful people of this province that made my visits both comfortable and memorable.

I shall show Masbate in photos on this blog. On some, I will share anecdotes. But for most, I the photos should speak for themselves. As it is sad, a picture paints a thousand words.

 

BUNTOD REEF
Buntod is a marine sanctuary that is most likely the most popular destination. It is accessed from right at the city, at the wharf of Rendezvous Hotel. On our frist trip to Buntod, we went to still another destination, a cove about 30 minutes away.

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mangroves were planted and maintained/preserved in this marine sanctuary

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CATANDAYAGAN FALLS

The only waterfalls I have seen that empties its waters straight into the sea. Accessible by boat, the falls is actually part of the nearby Ticao Island, in the town of San Jacinto.

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PALANI BEACH

Palani is a rather new development. When I visied in 2013, resorts were just being set up. Excellent swimming on crystal clear waters on powdery sand. In the town of Balud.

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AROROY LIGHTHOUSE

Took a 1 1/2 hour ride on a van from the Masbate Transport Terminal. Van fare was P80. From Aroroy, took a boat to Punta Bugui, at P50 per person. This centuries-old lighthouse is a short walk up the hill.

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BALUD LIGHTHOUSE

P150 fare on a van to Calumpang in the town of Balud. Approximately 2 hours, with the last 45 minutes on bumpy, rather dusty road. Good thing the van is air-conditioned. Transfered to a boat to the island of Jintotolo, landing on the Barabgay Cantil shores. A short hike up, or an easy “habal-habal” (back-ride on a motorbike) to this other centuries-old lighthouse.

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SUTUKIL RESTAURANT

I rate this restaurant as another tourist destination. Our group of 25 persons ordered food more than enough for us. Malasuge fish cooked three ways – – – – grilled, broth, and sashimi-style. Plus scallops and seafood kare-kare. And generous servings of rice, plus softdrinks. In the end, we split the bill and each one of us had to fork out only P200 each as our share.

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LASALA BEACH
Lasala Beach was used as “command post” when Secretary Robredo’s plane crashed and President Noy Aquino took cahrge of the failed rescue operations. A small picnic hut has been called “Little Malacanang” by the locals since it is from this small hut where the President met with his cabinet who were with him.

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Little Malacanang

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view from Little Malacanang – – an ocean going vessel

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RANCH LIFE
I had the privilege of a preview of a tourism package that is to be a major draw of Masbate, RANCH LIFE. We were guests in the ranch of the president od Rodeo Masbateno, Inc, an amiable gentleman everyone calls Judge Sese.

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FAZENDA DE ESPERANCA

Fazenda is a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol dependents in the town of Milagros, run by the religious.. The community of Fazenda Masbate has established different working sectors: Dairy, Rice, Bakery, Vegetable Garden, T-Shirt Printing etc. Through this, the community is earning the money for the daily operations.

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SIGSAG

Locals call the zigzag road SIGSAG. It is a beautiful winding road with a view of the hills and plains.

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BAT-ONGAN CAVE

Located 1.5 kilometers inland in the town of Mandaon, near Masbate City. It is said that the caves were used as burial grounds in the old days. Within the area, a hike will lead visitors to an underground waterfalls. We were so tired we skipped the waterfalls and just saw another falls from up the hill. Our knees were trembling after traversing two hills we couldn’t muster the strength to go down the falls.

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Bat-ongan Cave from a distance. The cave is what looks like a mound

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THE STREETS OF MASBATE

Stroll around and discover some old houses, see the Masbate Church, and soak in the feel of a provincial city unknown to most travelers

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a view while going around the coastal city of Masbate

 

WHERE TO STAY IN MASBATE CITY

I have stayed at both Greenview Hotel and MG Hotel. Both are comfortable, but nothing de luxe. I have also visited popular hotels Rendezvous, 7 AR, and GV.

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my room at MG Hotel, at P2,400 per night

 

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a small pool at MG Hotel

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the coffee shop at MG Hotel

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Greenview Hotel, where I stayed in 2013, at I think P1,500 per room per night

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the outdoor section of the coffee shop at Greenview

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Rendezvous Hotel, where the wharf to Buntod is

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I snapped this photo of the room rates at Rendezvous in April 2013

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I almost wanted to stay at 7 AR because it looks most beautiful. But I am told the rooms are rather small

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7 AR looks more like a resort

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and because I did not stay here, I thought I’d just have lunch. Not bad, but not memorable either. I just liked the ambience

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GV is at the heart of downtown Masbate, near the Masbate Cathedral. It is part of a local hotel chain. I understand the rates are very reasonable

 

Another accommodations worth mentioning is Balai Valencia, also in downtown Masbate. I don’t have photos but suffice it to say that some of our friends who attended the 2014 Rodeo stayed in this budget hotel, and did not complain. Rates are very inexpensive:

Airconditioned rooms:

Single 650 1room

Double 800 2rooms

Triple 950 2rooms

 

Fan rooms:

Single 450 1room

Double 550 1room

Triple 650 1room

Extra person per rm 150

 

 

HOW TO GO TO MASBATE

1.  By Land:    RORO bus at Araneta Center

The roro bus (roro bus of Montenegro and Isarog bus line) in Araneta terminal (the old Rustan’s) leaves for Masbate between 1 pm to 6 pm. The bus fare is P1,200.00. Travel time is approximately 11 hours.

2.  By Air:  PAL/PAL Express direct flight to Masbate. My return ticket cost me P7,000.00. Fares vary depending on the season, and depending on how early or late you book your flight.

3.  By Air, Land and Ferry:  Any flight to Legazpi.  Land travel to Pilar, Sorsogon.  Ferry at Pilar, Sorsogon.

You can supplement whatever I have shared about Masbate by visiting the Masbate City’s website: http://www.masbatecity.gov.ph/

You may also want to visit the facebook community page I created and called MAS-BEYT, a play on the province’s name:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/masbate.is.fun/

SEE YOU IN MASBATE !

Buntod Reef

Buntod Reef is a few minutes boat ride. White sands.

 

 

BUNTOD REEF

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Buntod Reef is easily the top destination in all of Masbate. And why not? It is so beautiful and is so accessible. The reef is perfect for swimming and snorkeling, or to just hear the sound of the waves if one doesn’t want to be under the sun. It is reached via a short boat ride from Rendezvous Hotel right in the city.

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Take off point is a wharf from this hotel

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the crystal clear waters on white sands will call you to take a dip

 

The Reef is a marine sanctuary, run by volunteers in coordination with the Department of the Environment & Natural Resources. It used to be that local fishermen engage in dynamite fishing and other destructive methods until the DENR deputized some of them to be the protectors of the reef. Thus they had to stop the destructive methods, and also knew who to watch out for – –  their colleagues in the destructive fishing trade.

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The strategy proved successful. Local fishermen now have bountiful harvests from the sea. And us visitors get to appreciate a well-preserved marine sanctuary.

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