Ticao and Masbate

Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
Trip End Sep 19, 2011

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Saturday, March 26, 2011

   After a leisurely breakfast we flagged a motorbike and sidecar taxi to take us to the jeepney terminal. From here we took a jeepney to a little town called Pilar. Pilar is a little one horse town with nothing much of interest to anyone. We were here because Pilar is the only town that has ferries headed to the islands of Ticao and Masbate. Because of our leisurely breakfast we had just missed the early ferry to Ticao. This meant we had a three hour wait at the jetty for the next boat. After a very boring, long and hot wait we were Ticao bound. The trip over on a Banka ( Philippino boat with outriggers ) took one and a half hours. It was on the trip over that the weather took a turn for the worse. It became very windy and overcast.

   We arrived in Ticao into to the usual throng of porters and and taxi touts. It was instantly obvious that there was no cars on the Island, nor was there any sidecars. Just motorbikes. We had estimated our resort was about 9 km away. The price the motorbike taxis were asking was 350 Pesos each. This seemed very expensive but we were told that the road was very poor. We told them we were not paying that kind of money and after a lot of arguing we got the price down to 200 Pesos each. We climbed onto the back of a motorbike each and set off. Don't forget Cathy and I both had our back packs on and a day pack strapped to our fronts. The road for the first half of the journey was fine, then we turned off this road onto what I can only describe as a trial bike course. The bike took a pounding as well as our spines. The skill in which these two riders showed in getting us to the resort was fantastic. When we finally arrived I paid them the 350 Pesos they had originally asked for, they had earned it!!

  Our resort was called the Ticao Island beach resort and it would have been a great place but alas the weather was not on our side. We stayed here two days and did nothing as there was nothing to do because of the wind and overcast skies. When I first began writing my blogs I decided that I would give an honest account of our travels. Unfortunately sometimes things don't work out how you hoped they would. Ticao and Masbate are such a case. We could not wait to get off this island. We had arranged transport on the morning after our second night to a little town at the south of the island and from here we would get a ferry across to Masbate. It rained during the night and we were told in the morning that it would be impossible to go that way. Having seen the road on the way here I could only agree. They quickly arranged for a little three man Banka to take us to the ferry jetty. Half an hour later Cathy and I were sat in this tiny boat both wearing sou'-westers against the pouring rain. Waves were splashing into the boat soaking our packs. We were totally miserable. We arrived at the jetty just in time to catch the ferry to Pilar. One and a half hours later we arrived in Pilar. We now needed to catch the ferry to Masbate, which by the way is only 12 miles away from Ticao!!! And yes we had a 4 hour wait for the ferry to leave!!! The ferry took two and a half hours to reach Masbate and it was 3:30 PM when we arrived, having set off at 7 AM. So, it took three boats and eight and a half hours to travel 12 miles just because it rained!!!!! And rain it did for our duration in Masbate. I hated every minute on Masbate, the town the people, everything. We stayed two days and we could not wait to get away. From here we were supposed to travel by ferry to Cebu but we had looked at a satellite picture of the Philippines and the weather in the south was not looking good. We decided there and then that we would travel back to Legaspi and get a flight up to Manila and work out a new plan from there.

  So on the morning of our third day on Masbate we headed to the jetty. After another 4 hour wait for the ferry and me having an altercation with a thieving porter which resulted in me screaming F*ck off several times across a busy ferry port, it was well and truly time to leave. Thank God. Our time on these two islands was not pleasant. We made it back to Legaspi that night and the next day we flew to Manila. Cathy and I like Manila.

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