Monday, May 21, 2012

Tikling Island, Juag Fish Sanctuary and Subic Beach at Calintaan Island, Matnog, Sorsogon.

Matnog is a town located at the southern part of the Bicol Region. This town is part of the Sorsogon Province. Matnog is also the jump-off point to the Visayas area from the mainland Luzon. If you are travelling by land and on your way to Samar or the Visayas or even to Mindanao, you’ll be passing by the Matnog port. There are RORO or ferries plying the Matnog-Allen route. The RORO or ferries operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The port of Matnog is a busy port. Several ferry companies operate the Matnog-Allen ferry route. Most of the ferry leaves the port every 2 hours.

Matnog Port, Sorsogon Province

Subic Beach at Calintaan Island, Matnog, Sorsogon

Aside from being known as the jump-off point to the Visayas area, Matnog is also beginning to gain popularity in the tourism industry. Many tourists are now visiting this town because of its beautiful islands. One of them is Calintaan Island, which is just a 30-minute boat ride from the town’s public market. The island has a barangay or a community and they also have 24 hours electricity coming from the mainland. Calintaan Island is just near the mainland that a long electrical wire connects the island’s electric supply from the mainland. This island also has a beach that has fine white sand with crushed red corals, therefore giving its sand a different hue. The beach is famously called as the Subic Beach. Yes, you read it right, the town of Matnog also has its own Subic, and it is much better compared to the other famous Subic Beach in Zambales province.  The Subic Beach is not that commercialized compared to other beaches in the Philippines. There is a resort in Subic Beach but they don’t have big facilities or accommodation. They only have open cottages for rent and these are nipa huts. If you are planning for an overnight stay and you want a more comfortable accommodation, better bring a tent and a sleeping bag.  Also, you need to bring an insect repellent.

The sand at Subic Beach is a mixture of white sand and crushed red corals

Subic Beach, Calintaan Island, Matnog

The other attraction near the Subic Beach and near the port of Matnog is the Juag Fish Sanctuary. There are lots of fish in this sanctuary. Just pay the entrance fee and then you can now swim and snorkel with the fish. This sanctuary is on a lagoon so it’s just on the shallow part of the sea near Calintaan Island. You can also visit the Parola. This is the old lighthouse in Calintaan and it is located in the middle of the sea.

The Parola or the old lighthouse near the Calintaan Island

The other island near the Matnog port is the Tikling Island. This is just a 20 to 30-minute boat ride from the Matnog’s public market and also it is just a mere 30-minute boat ride from Subic Beach, Calintaan Island. This island is just a small island. There is no resort in the area but there are some open cottages in the island. The small island is a private island and you need to ask permission from the caretaker. The island boasts a fine white sand beach but the beach is not that kid-friendly because there’s a sudden drop in depth by the shore. From the island, you can visibly see the passing ferries from the Matnog port.

Tikling Island, Matnog, Sorsogon

If you want to visit these destinations, you can rent a boat from the port near the public market. Don’t go to Matnog port because that port only serves the ferries that ply the Matnog to Allen, Samar route. The smaller port near the public market is where you can rent a boat for island hopping. The price for the boat depends on the capacity of the boat. The usual price for the boat rental ranges from 1500 to 3000 pesos. The small port near the town’s public market is also where most of the small and large pumpboats and fishing boats are docked. There are also several large boats that ply the Matnog-Capul route. Capul is an island municipality of Northern Samar. There are also passenger boats that ply the route Matnog-San Vicente. The town of San Vicente is also an island municipality of Northern Samar.

entrance gate of Matnog Port
the location of Tikling Island and Calintaan Island, Matnog town, Sorsogon

Location of Matnog, Sorsogon

How to get to Matnog:

By plane:

Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Philippine Airlines and Zest Airways have several daily flights to Legazpi Airport. From Legazpi Airport, you can ride a taxi or a tricycle to the central terminal. From the central terminal, you can ride a bus bound for Sorsogon City. The travel time from Legazpi City to Sorsogon City is about an hour. And then from Sorsogon City, ride a jeepney going to Matnog. There are also passenger vans in Legazpi City that are bound for Matnog, Sorsogon. The travel time is about 1 to 2 hours.

By Bus:

From Manila, there are several buses bound for Bicol region. Ride a bus that is bound directly for Matnog or you can ride a bus that is bound for Samar. There are a number of bus terminals in Cubao, Quezon City, that have buses bound for Matnog and Samar. There are also bus terminals in Pasay City, near Pasay Rotonda. The usual travel time from Metro Manila to Matnog is 11 to 13 hours. Most of the buses that are bound for Matnog are ordinary buses or non-airconditioned buses. If you want a more comfortable bus ride, then you can ride an airconditioned bus bound for Legazpi City and then from Legazpi City central terminal, transfer to a bus bound for Matnog or bound for Sorsogon City and then from Sorsogon City, ride a jeepney bound for Matnog. You can also ride a passenger van from Legazpi City to Matnog, Sorsogon. I already forgot how much the fare was for the jeepneys and buses. But the fare for the airconditioned buses from Manila to Legazpi City ranges from 600 to 1000 pesos.

By Train:

The PNR has a regular train schedule for the Manila-Ligao City route. The train departs at Tutuban Station in Manila every 6pm and arrives at Ligao City at around 6am the next day. The usual travel time is 10 to 12 hours. And then from Ligao City, you can ride a bus bound for Matnog, Sorsogon. Usually these buses are coming from Manila and most of these buses pass by the town of Ligao mostly in the morning. From Ligao City, you can also ride a jeepney to Legazpi City and then at Legazpi City central terminal, ride a bus bound for Matnog or you can ride a bus bound for Sorsogon City and then ride another jeepney bound for Matnog. You can also ride a van from Legazpi City to Matnog. 


  1. Subic beach is indeed stunning!Can't wait for December!Do you happen to know the overnight rates?thank you


    1. it's 2thou for overnight sa boat rental. accommodation rates ranges from 500 to 1500

  2. Hi Kristanne, I forgot about the rates in Subic. The last time that I was there was more than 2 years ago and the resort owner didn't charge me for staying at the resort. I think the resort rate was from 500 to 800 for an overnight cottage.

  3. cant wait to be there!!!

  4. if i will be in Matnog How much do i need to pay in Bangka? or do i need to travel with trysekel going to calintaan ?

    1. The price range for boat rental in matnog is from 1500 to 2500 pesos. Calintaan is an island so you can only go there by renting a boat. There are boatmen near the Matnog public market so you can just haggle for boat rental.

  5. Wow. I am getting excited. Will drop by Northern Samar by June the cheapest way possible! Meaning no A/C buses! :-)

    Ganda nung islands!

  6. The cheapest way to get to Calintaans Subic Beach. Take the public boat from Matnog market at around 10am to the barangay of Calintaan. Costs 20 PHP. From there you can walk to the beach in about 30 mins. Children will guide you. To get back to Matnog walk back to Calintaan and hire a boat to Matnog for 500 PHP. Or spend the night at the beach (tent) and then walk back to Calintaan and go with the public boat to Matnog at around 7am.

  7. There is a possibility to stay overnite in a homestay in Calintaan at Atay Francisco for 400 PHP.

  8. For your convenience, DOnt transact with boatmen who does not coordinate with tourism office or resort owner. It still better to be guided accordingly. Ms. Rowena Salvador of tourism office was really nice and very accommodating.


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