I know of an island girl who lives in Tingloy, an island-town in Batangas. She swims like a mermaid. Her stories of how it was like growing up in this place piqued my curiosity so much that when she and my other friend planned a trip to this island, I never gave it a second thought. Ay, let’s go na!
Tingloy is a mere 45 minute boat ride from Anilao/Mabini port. But unlike Anilao, it exudes more of an off the beaten track vibe.
Take the bus that goes to Batangas Grand Terminal. This can be Jac, Jam, Alps, or Dela Rosa bus among others. Travel time is more or less 1.5 hour.
Fare: less than PHP 200, depending on your take-off point.
From Batangas Grand Terminal, take the jeepney that goes to Anilao/Mabini Port. Inform the driver that you’re going to the port because most skip this route if nobody is getting off.
Fare: PHP 35.
At present, there’s no such thing as a bridge that connects Anilao to Tingloy. So the only choice is to take one of the four (4) boats that cross to Tingloy. The boat leaves at 10AM, 12NN, 2PM, and 4PM. Coast guards monitor the number of people who can get on the boat. Have your name listed in the passengers’ manifest for security and assurance that you get a seat. A boat staff takes care of the registration at the shed by the edge of the port (right side).
There’s a small market at the Anilao Port where you can buy food. We bought vegetables, cooking condiments, and mineral water there.
We stayed at Raming’s. It is a tiny, modest yet well-kept resort managed by a simple island guy named Tim. It is a beachfront resort facing Anilao and the lone accommodation is a little shabby bahay kubo (nipa hut) that can shelter a maximum of four (4) adults.
The amenities are basic, outdoor toilet and the water source is still poso (artesian well). The outdoor toilet is clean and only a few steps away from the hut. As much as possible, Raming’s accommodates only one group of people at a time. I was with my two other women friends, so sharing of toilet was never a problem. However, it is also possible that another group who’s willing to pitch a tent comes into the picture. I guess this is where real toilet-sharing concerns arise. We have no qualms about using the poso. This actually relived so many memories back in the days when there was poso in every Filipino home or one big communal poso in a village. Hot water for coffee or tea is provided upon request. Raming’s also provides mats, pillows, and sheets to make sleeping comfy enough. Electric power is only from 6PM to 12 MN, so it’s total darkness until sunrise.
Tim, as well as his family, was very accommodating. The family house is right by the entrance of the resort. Raming is actually the name of Tim’s father. We had our rice cooked by them and they also allowed us to use their kitchen to cook our sinigang. We grilled fish on charcoal and prepared our ensalasadas outdoors.
We asked Tim to buy us fresh fish and meat in the morning. We got charged for the transportation cost, of course. Tim has a tricycle, so you can arrange pick-up and drop-off at the dock and other errands at PHP 60 per trip.
We enjoyed the hammock under the coco trees, the freshly-caught fish in every meal, the beachfront view, pebbles beneath our feet, salt in the air and our hair, as well as the long hours of snorkeling and swimming in the sea. Sea water is clear, but since there are houses nearby, there are some trash washed ashore like plastic bags and disposable diapers.
The weather was mostly cloudy with some rain shower when we were there, so we never had a glimpse of the beautiful sunrise.
Bahay Kubo – PHP 500/night
Daily Charge – PHP 150/pax per day
Tim Marasigan: +63 909 903 2947
About 15 minute tricycle ride away from Raming’s is Masasa, a pristine white sand beach facing the other side of the island. The beach is still quite untouched and its frequent visitors are the mountain climbers who scale Mag-asawang Bato, the nearby mountain. I totally enjoyed my time here. The water is shallow, clear, and the temperature is warm. We did mostly dipping and swimming and a bit of snorkeling. This beach is a respite from the rocky and coral-filled waters of Anilao. Stepping on the finest grains of sand is such a joy, it’s so relaxing. But not far from where we were swimming, a fisherman caught a small ray. So there’s a risk of stepping on a ray!
Two-way fare to Masasa Beach: PHP 240 for 3 pax
Going Back to Anilao/Mabini Port
There are also four (4) trips going back to Anilao/Mabini Port from Tingloy Port and the boat departs as early as 6AM, followed by 7AM and 8AM, and the last trip is 9AM. If you are unable to catch the last trip, you either rent a private smaller boat or wait for the next day.
Fare: PHP 65
I love Tingloy for its understated charm. More so, I love the thought of running away from the city once in awhile, hop on a nearby island, and go back to the basics!
Total expenses for 2 days and 2 nights island getaway: less than 2K.