We’ve been asked a few times how to get to Subic Beach in Matnog, Sorsogon so we decided to be magnanimous (!) and write this travel guide.
Or you could look at it this way: we just have so much time on our hands to spoil.
Subic Beach is found at Calintaan Island in the town of Matnog in Sorsogon province, which is in the Bicol region. If you can’t picture it yet, we’re providing a map here too.
HOW TO GET TO MATNOG, SORSOGON
- If you’re coming from Legazpi City, you have to get to a Daraga-Matnog bus, which will take 4 hours and cost P170 each (non-AC). The bus will drop you off right at the public market of Matnog.We took this route on the way back (Matnog to Legazpi), so if you’re coming from the Legazpi airport, you can hire a tricycle to take you to the terminal of Daraga-Matnog buses.
- If you take the opposite route (Matnog-Legazpi), you will alight at a gas station in Daraga where you can catch a jeep (Daraga-Legazpi, P8 each) to the city proper. Once you’re back in Legazpi, it should be easy to find your way to the airport (terminal fee is P30 each).
- Matnog also happens to be the southeasternmost tip of Luzon, where you can catch a RORO to Allen, Northern Samar.
HOW TO GET TO SUBIC BEACH, CALINTAAN ISLAND
From Matnog’s port, Calintaan Island is just 30-40 minutes away. To get here, you can charter a small outrigger boat to take you straight to the island. Rates will vary depending on your route (i.e., if you want to go island hopping, and if you’re going on a daytrip or staying overnight).
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- We stayed overnight and went island hopping the next day for P2,000, which brought the cost to P400 each for our group of five. Our boatman is Nong, whom you can contact through his father Eddie at +63 926 140 4577.
- Before going to the island, you are also required to register at the Municipal Tourism Office and pay a P50-entrance fee each + P20 environmental fee per group. If you need assistance, you may contact Mrs. Olive Gumba/Romida Naag/Mr. Arnel Gallenito of the tourism office at 0998 273 1005.
We went to two spots for the island hopping trip: Calintaan Cave
, which is on the other side of Calintaan and is only reachable by boat (more on this on the next post), and to the Juag Fish Sanctuary
, a private fish breeding area with 10-year-old mighty aggressive bangus (milkfish) and a big-ass lapu-lapu (grouper).
There are huts (warning: no mattresses) in the island for rent for P500 per night. The one we rented was good for three to five people BUT prepare to rough it up even with a roof over your head for the night. Alternatively, you may bring your tents and pitch on the beach at no charge. Our boatman also had tents for rent at P200 per tent (each fits 2 to 3 people).
The island has electricity (woohoo) and mobile signal. You may be asked to give a donation for use of the electricity as well as for the cooking, and use of the toilet. If I remember right, we gave P300 on top of the P500 cottage rental, so P800 in all for an overnight stay.
There is no food in the island, so source your food beforehand at the Matnog Public Market. All jeeps and buses alight right next to the market so you won’t have a hard time looking for it. Also, the port is right behind the market. Talk about convenient!
What we did:
we bought some supplies at Irosin public market but it turns out Matnog’s market had everything we needed. Our boatman lent us their cooking utensils (EVERYTHING!) and the caretakers in the island cooked the food we bought for dinner and breakfast the following day. Everyone had been so kind and accommodating! May taga-luto pa kami!
No, this is not food.
If you’re spending overnight here and you plan on cooking your own meals, buy the following essentials at the market: charcoal + matches; cooking oil; dishwashing liquid, and extra plastic bags for your trash since you can’t expect the caretakers to use their own supplies for you.
Swim on the beach, what else? It’s like Calaguas
all over again, this time with mobile signal and electricity.
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You can also opt to have it as a daytrip only—Subic Beach, Calintaan Cave, and Juag Fish Sanctuary—since these are very near one another anyway.Subic Beach
is an affordable place to beach out. There’s clean, white sand; an awesome sunrise and a probability of an eerie moonrise (why not!).
The limited supplies however make this an ideal place only for an overnight stay (but that’s just us). Most visitors are daytrippers so those who decide to stay overnight can have the island for themselves. Can’t rave too much about Calintaan Cave yet as I’m reserving the superlatives for a separate post. Tune in!
Subic Beach, Calintaan Island on the map. Map URL here.View Larger Map