Matnog Sorsogon Travel Guide
Matnog Sorsogon is located in the Southernmost part of the Bicol region. This town, at the tip of Luzon, is best known as a commercial and busy seaport where ferries bound for destinations in the Southern Philippines (i.e. Samar, Davao, and the rest of Visayas and Mindanao) can be found.
In this travel guide, we will be unveiling the stunning side of the rural community of Matnog, Sorsogon. A beauty that has yet to be explored, enjoyed, and appreciated.
Before we go into details, we find it necessary to let you know where the town’s name – Matnog – came from. It has been derived from the Tagalog word “Matunog/Matonog” which means audible, and the “audible” things that locals were referring to are the discordant and rambunctious splashes of the ocean waves.
The name of the town itself will give you pretty much an idea on what to expect in Matnog – waves!
You have to sail through the rough waters fronting the Philippine Sea to get to Matnog’s several islands of incredible splendor. You would be holding on for your dear life with the kind of boat ride that you have to experience, especially in the afternoon, but that will be worth it. Do not worry, it only takes 25 minutes of that awful sea journey to get to your paradise destinations, and if it would make you feel any better, the surrounding islands are within sight while you’re cruising through. We are not trying to scare you, we just want to set your expectations.
HOW TO GET TO MATNOG SORSOGON
From Metro Manila
Take a flight bound for Legazpi, Albay (MLA – LGP). Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, and Philippine Airlines fly to the said destination daily. (Once you’re in Legazpi you may follow the instructions below - “From Legazpi City/Airport)
From Manila, there are several bus companies that offer direct routes to Matnog such as PhilTranco, Raymond, and Isarog Lines. Fare is around 900 to 1,200 depending on the season, more expensive during peak season. Travel time is 14-15 hours.
Alternatively, you can take a bus that goes to Samar, Tacloban or Davao. These buses will stop at the Matnog Pier before boarding the ferry boat through their destinations. You can also take a bus going to Legazpi. (Once you’re in Legazpi you may follow the instructions below - “From Legazpi City/Airport)
From Legazpi City/Airport to Matnog, Sorsogon
- If you’re coming from the airport or from any of the Legazpi City hotels, ride a tricycle and tell the driver to bring you to the Legazpi Bus terminal. The fare for the special trip is Php30-50.
- From Legazpi Bus Terminal, ride a bus bound for Bulan and tell the driver to drop you off at Trece, the intersection between Bulan and Matnog which was marked by a monument of a lion’s head (representing Bulan Lions’ Club International). The fare rate is Php148 per person.
- From Trece, wait for a jeepney bound for Matnog. The rate is Php30 per person.
Note: There are persistent tricycle drivers in the area who will offer to take you to Matnog on a special trip amounting to PhP150-Php200, good for 5 persons. They are annoying but can help a lot if you have no patience in waiting for the jeepneys, or if you are in a hurry.
- From the airport, take a tricycle to the Daraga-Matnog Bus Terminal. Fare for the special trip is PhP50-Php80. If you cannot find a tricycle that will bring you to Daraga-Matnog Bus Terminal, you can ride the tricycle to the downtown and ride any jeepney that goes to Daraga, Albay.
- Tell the driver that you are heading to Matnog, Sorsogon and request to be dropped off at Daraga-Matnog Bus Terminal. Fare is Php15.
How to get back from Matnog, Sorsogon to Legazpi City, Albay
- There are jeepneys in Matnog, Municipality Hall bound for Sorsogon. Just tell the driver that you will be going to Legazpi and request to be dropped off at the Sorsogon Bus Terminal. Fare is Php90. The last trip is at 1600.
- From Sorsogon Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Legazpi. The last trip is at 1900.
- From Matnog, take a tricycle back to the Trece junction (Php150-Php200 for the whole trip)
- Ride a bus bound for Legazpi City from there.
You may also ride a jeep from Matnog going to Irosin (also in Sorsogon) and alight at the Trece junction. Last bus trip from Bulan will be at 1700, so you ought to be at the Trece Junction before 1730. Bus fare from Trece to Legazpi is around Php150.
Option 3 – Matnog Sorsogon to Legazpi or Manila
- You may wait for the buses from Visayas/Mindanao bound for Manila (Php980). No specific time for these buses but this one is a very convenient option.
- If you are going back to Legazpi City/Airport, just alight the bus when you reach Daraga, Albay (Php197-Php200 per person). From Daraga, Albay, you can ride a jeepney bound for Legazpi (Php8 per person)
ISLAND HOPPING IN MATNOG SORSOGON
Entrance Fee: Donation only
This island is roughly 25 minutes away from the mainland. It is a privately owned piece of land and hasn’t been commercialized yet, making it more alluring! No structure nor resorts are available in this beautiful piece of paradise -- less crowd and more privacy – just my perfect type of sanctuary. The sand appears pinkish under broad daylight when viewed from afar.
There are wild boars in the area, two of them are tamed. They were raised as dogs so they think they are dogs, lol! They love playing with the visitor. They even get so comfortable at times that they start sleeping beside their human friends!
JUAG MARINE SANCTUARY
Entrance Fee: FREE
Jauag Marine Sanctuary is in a lagoon with bamboo platforms and a hut on stilts on the side of the islet. There are other rundown shacks made of nipa and bamboo which you can see in the horizon, sitting above the crystal clear water with a teeming collection of marine life.
The place offers you the chance to swim with the fishes - not just ordinary fishes, but giant clams and humongous sea cucumber, too! No entrance fee. You just have to buy Php20-worth of fish food for the fancy collections.
We spent a great deal of time here because our boatman, Kuya Alex, actually owns the sanctuary! We had so much fun that we went back again the next day and whiled away our time getting cliquey with the fascinating assemblage of sea species.
Entrance Fee: FREE
Calintaan Island is famous for its pink-colored sand thus it is also known as the Pink Beach in Sorsogon. This island is more known as the Subic Beach in Matnog Sorsogon but I prefer calling it by its original name - Calintaan Island - just so not to confuse it with the Subic Bay beaches in Olongapo. Also, they are incomparable, the latter will pale in comparison.
Calintaan Island has two pink-sand beaches – Subic Laki (Big Subic Beach) and Subic Liit (Small Subic Beach). Subic Laki, being the most popular destination, is crowded and noisy, with people bleating songs in videokes. Cottages for rent, small sari-sari stores, grilling stations, restrooms, and other modern structures are available in the area. Overnight stay (fan and air-conditioned rooms are available) and camping (Php50 for tent pitching) are allowed in this part of the island.
There is said to be an underground sea cave on this island, we failed to check that out. Should you have time, please check the place and share to us your experience.
WHERE TO STAY IN MATNOG, SORSOGON
There are several resorts available in Matnog port. Rooms for rent are also available in Calintaan Island. If you cannot find any, you can ask our boatman Kuya Alex (+639183045437) if he can help you find accommodation. However, for more hotels and accommodation in Sorsogon, check this list.
LIST OF EXPENSES FOR MATNOG SORSOGON TRIP (from Manila – bus transportation)
|Manila – Matnog Sorsogon||Php980||Air-conditioned bus. 14-15 hours.|
|Boat rental for Island Hopping||Php1,600 I Php2,000||Day Tour I Overnight – good for 10 pax|
|Registration||Php50 l Php300||Filipino l Foreigners|
|Accommodation||Php400-Php600 / night||Rate of cottages in Calintaan Island|
|Food||n/a||Your budget depends on your apetite|
CONTACTS FOR MATNOG, SORSOGON TRIP
|Matnog Tourism Office|
|Boatman – Kuya Alex||+639183045437||Can you please tell him Skye (our daughter) says hi? 🙂|
MATNOG SORSOGON TRAVEL TIPS
- Bring floaters and life vests for the kids and non-swimmers. Remember, Matnog = waves.
The boat price is fixed at Php1,600 for day trips and Php2,000 for overnight trips; shoo away those boat operators that tell you otherwise. The boat is good for up to 10 passengers.
- Buy your supplies for your island hopping and overnight stay at the market (only 2 minutes of walk from the tourism office), prices of commodities are expected to be more expensive in the islands.
- You can request for locals on the island to cook your food for a fee (paluto system). There’s no cooking charge for the food, just donation.
- Always be 30 minutes ahead of the bus schedule. You would not enjoy staying another night in Matnog town without a room.
- For affordable Sorsogon-Albay tour packages, contact Sole Adventours. They sometimes organize group tours to the said destination/s. You can join shared tours to save more.
- Be part of Love Eat Wander Facebook community and be connected with thousands of like-minded individuals. Share your travel stories with through Tweets and Instagram photos. Please follow @loveeatwander.
Also in Sorsogon - Paguriran Island & Lagoon
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