Burias Group of Islands: The Gems of Masbate

By Anne Elizabeth Apolona Gumiran - 6:41 AM

I have been in Burias last December 2016 for a tour and never did I expect that I will be back at it again. I was so craving for adventure most especially this summer 2017 because we don't have much trainings and seminars. Fortunately, a friend of mine who also loves to travel as well invited me to Burias. I was available that time so I had myself counted into that tour.



The tour was scheduled May 13-14, 2017 and we had to meet at the night of May 12 in MRT Buendia Station. Again, I have found myself in the middle of strangers in a van. But then, my friend who invited me was there, too, thankfully, so talked and talked about traveling. When all of the participants were settled in the van, at 10pm, we took off. We headed to Pugawan, Quezon this time instead of San Andres Port. We arrived in there at around 6am and waited for the boats. We were brought into a remote and small beach resort where we waited and had the first meal of the day. At 730am, the boats arrived and we hopped in. The itinerary was different this time. Our first stop was Dapa or Snake Island. It took us an hour from Pugawan to arrive at the place. When we got there, the sun was up and shining through the waters revealing its crystal clear beauty. Again, rocks are sharp and piercing so we were very careful in every step that we took. Last time that we got there, we saw snakes, the usual ones (sawa?), I guess. But this time, we saw a walo-walo. They are thin, long, with black and white horizontal stripes skin. We left them undisturbed. But then, it made us a little scared enough to be in the waters because they are known to be venomous. After a while, when our fears of walo-walo have subsided and was overtaken by the beauty of the turquoise sea bed, we did some cliff jumping at the edge.






We left Dapa Island at around 9:30am and headed to Animasola Island, my most favorite of all! I was thinking I'd finally have a chance to take a picture at 'that' rock formation but I was wrong. It took us more than an hour to get there. What made me extremely sad was the island was crowded. Anywhere you go, anywhere you lay your eyes upon in that island, there were people. The waters were high as well so the 'jacuzsea' as I call it was hidden. I didn't take much photos in there because I've got a lot in my previous visit plus there were too many people. I was a little frustrated. By the way, the locals ask for environmental fee for Animasola island now which wasn't the case before. Maybe a lot of people have been going there and it really has to be maintained. Anyways, my friend and I had dome shots instead nearby our boat.








At 10:30am, our organizer decided that we head to Sombrero Island for an early lunch. We arrived in there at 1130am. Earlier than the scheduled lunch in our itinerary. While waiting, we did some beach bumming and had some photo ops.

What's cool about Sombrero Island is that, the shore changed a little. You might be wandering how was that even  possible. Maybe due to the waves? I think. Last December 2016, we could walk from our campsite to the sombrero formation itself. Presently, you have to ride a boat going there because it became a little secluded.






The campsite seemed a little crowded maybe because it's a weekend and it's summer. There were people everywhere. Anyway, it was noontime when we arrived and we could not take the heat so we stayed in the nipa huts while waiting for the food. Despite the heat and out of boredom, I walked around the island. I noticed that there were more shower and comfort rooms and stores this time. There were also videoke around!

 At 12:30pm, we were  summoned for lunch. What the participants in our tour liked was that the food kept coming. When the platters come clean, the locals would fill it in with food again. So it was something like a buffet. The food was great! We enjoyed it. Right after we had our meal, we secured our stuff in a kubo and left it there so we could head to our next destination, Tinalisayan sandbar.

On my previous visit, we had our lunch in Tinalisayan island and we stayed in there. However, we didn't have a chance to go to the sandbar because it has vanished. This time, our boat stopped at the sandbar itself and not at the island so I was in the sandbar, finally! We would like to go to the island per se but 1) it's too far and 2) there were many people again. So we decided to stay on where we were. We didn't spend much time in there so we hopped into the boat at around 4pm and headed back to Sombrero Island to camp.








We arrived at Sombrero Island with the sun almost setting. It was a perfect spot for sunset and sunrise, really! When we returned, we pitched our tents and some decided to shower. However, again, there were too many people and we had to fall in line just to wash up so we stayed instead in our Nipa hut/ open cottage. While waiting, we tried to get to know each other. That's when I realized that those people that I have been talking to were older than I thought! It was fun knowing and being with these people actually. Some of them were couples, some were friends some were gym buddies, some were alone (ehem). We didn't notice that it was getting late until we were called for dinner.

We were supposed to have socials but the people were tired and some were in line at the showers. Those who were tired have slept while some stayed up to bond with other participants. Aaaaand, then and there, we all called it a tiring yet beautiful day. A beautiful day, it is....

At 6am, some of us got up already for some photo ops while waiting for the breakfast. I managed to pull four persons, the power couple ate Tin and Kuya Flavy, ate Angel and Dae, together with me lol we had a team! I walked with these four and we took photos around. At 730am, we were called for breakfast so we could pack our stuff, break the camp and head to our last island destination.





At 8:30 AM, we hopped into the boat and sailed to Inirawan island. It was just a 30-minute ride from Sombrero. Inirawan has Sur and Norte. We headed to Sur first. If I was not mistaken, the rock formations on that side of the island were something like those in Palawan which I found very cool. It was just a small place to walk around and take pictures so we only stayed in there for half an hour. It was not crowded, in fact it was only just us. Maybe because the other groups had a different destination and itinerary. After Inirawan Sur, we headed to Norte where there's cliff diving.






Again, the spot for the cliff diving isn't that wide but I found it really nice. There are two diving spots in there, one was just like 10 ft and the other is like 20-25 ft approximately. Again, we had the place to ourselves! Some were up in line for the cliff diving. While some watched. I was in between. The rocks in there were the same as that of Dapa Island's, sharp and piercing. So, the others decided to stay either at the waters or the boat. After almost everyone did the diving, we returned to the boats and headed back to Sombrero Island for lunch.

While some were having lunch, half of the group decided to shower already and packed their stuff. The others decided to wash up instead at Pugawan, Quezon because they might get wet again due to the splashing waves. For an hour or two, we sailed again and bid goodbye to the paradise.

We arrived at Pugawan at 1pm, some washed up then got into our vans. We left the place at exactly 2pm and departed for Manila. We arrived at Shaw around 1130 PM and bid our goodbyes, gave our thanks to one another.

The tour was organized by GalaPH tied up with Wander Twins, twins who are social media influencers. Paulo Aguirre, one of the twins, was with us in the tour as the organizer. You'll never feel being left out with him as he talk and take pictures as well of everybody. Very accommodating and approachable, indeed. No one from Gala PH team was with us because they also had a simultaneous tour with that of Burias.

For more tours organized by Gala PH and travel guides from Wander Twins, check on the links below:

WANDERTWINS 👦👦
https://www.facebook.com/wandertwinsofficial/
https://www.facebook.com/wandertwinsofficial/
https://www.facebook.com/wandertwinsofficial/

GALAPH ⚓
https://www.facebook.com/officialGala.PH/
https://www.facebook.com/officialGala.PH/
https://www.facebook.com/officialGala.PH/

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