Tingloy, also known as Maricaban island, part of Batangas province and one of the top places visited by travelers who are on a budget. It's less popular than Nasugbu, Anilao or Calatagan. There are no fancy hotels or any other things to do but to do on the island except for beach bumming, eating, play and drink with your barkada. Do not expect too much as the sand is not what you usually see in some high end beach resorts or the like. Still, the color is kind of an off-white but it's not fine. Water is not that clear and there are a lot of seaweed, some parts of the island are rocky and is not advisable for swimming so make sure you bring your aqua shoes with you.
Getting there on a Holy week requires extra effort and patience. My friend thought we are the only ones who would go there but lo and behold, we were outnumbered by families, big group of friends who are also on their way to Tingloy. That could only mean, you won't have the beach for yourself. I think it's still better to go on a weekday to fully enjoy what the island has to offer.
If you're a beach bum just like I am and my friend, then nothing can stop you from going to this place. As long as you enjoy the company of sea, sand and sun then definitely you'll still have a good time.
Jun came all the way to Laguna and I from Lipa so we rode a bus and jeep going to Balagtas terminal respectively. 30 pesos for a 30 mins ride in a jeep
if I could remember it.
You will then ride a jeep again that is bound to Anilao Port. Travel time is around 45 mins. Fare: 30-38 pesos
- Tip: First and last trip to Tingloy is from 9 or 10am so make sure to be at the port before 9. Fare 85 pesos per trip so times two that would be 170
Since it's Black Friday, ideally there are no scheduled trip on this day but the owner of the boat which coincidentally the owner of the house where we will be staying (yes, we're lucky!) scheduled a special trip to get us at the port.
- Tip: Coast guard on the Anilao port is uber strict so before riding the boat, ask for the manifesto and write your name/s on it as they will make sure your names are written on it before they clear the boat for sailing. Bring your own ballpen!
There has been a commotion that happened before we head to the island. The max capacity of the boat is 80 pax and since we are more than 80 passengers, everyone went ballistic trying to have their names on the manifesto. It's frustrating knowing that some decided not to go to anymore because the boat had reached the limit. Luckily, for me I was able to write our names on the 2 copies.
Boat travel time is 45mins to 1 hour
Where to stay:
As I've said earlier, there are no hotels or inns or even hostel on the island. Either you pitch your tent at Masasa beach or rent a room per night and stay with a family.
- Tip: There is no electricity from 12mn-12pm and if the house you're staying has a generator, the you are in luck just like we were. Bring a portable electric fan if you want.
We stayed on the 2nd floor room at the house we're staying and we slept soundly on the first night but then we were transferred to the room on the first floor were we have no e-fan. It's a pain in the arse, I know! But good thing the room has a window, so we opened it and it somehow helped for us to get at least a decent sleep.
If you're not up to this set up then, scratch Tingloy island on your summer getaway on a budget.
- Tip: The room were we spent 2 nights costs 2000 pesos.
Tip: Cooking fee is 200 pesos and that is unlimited already or during the course of your stay. Free and unli coffee too! We are so blessed to have stayed at this house as the family is really warm and welcoming. That's a plus!
We arrived on the island at past 12nn. We settled and rested for an hour and a half to prepare for our lunch as we were so hungry by the time we arrived. We decided to go to Masasa beach around late afternoon as we need to cook our dinner because we intend to eat ours by the beach.
There are also sari-sari stores on the beach but be ready to shell out money as of course it is pricier.
Going to Masasa, you have to hail a tricycle and pay 60 pesos.
Then you will have to trek for 10-15minutes to see the beach.
- Tip: It is best to leave at around 6-6:30pm because the trekking part is a bit scary, there are not enough lights to help you on your way up to the tricycle line. So we advise to bring your own flashlight or head lamp.
Jun and I were not in the mood to drink by the beach and we wanted to sleep early as we are too tired to function already.
Tip: There's an eatery somewhere in the island (forgot the name, but you can ask your host or the locals there or ask the tricycle drivers where it is). You can order Lomi and have your halo-halo fix to refresh.
Lomi is around 50-60 pesos and Halo-halo for 20-30 pesos (estimated prices)
Second day found us touring the whole Masasa beach from left to right. We woke up early to prep our breakfast as we plan to eat (again) by the beach. We found a quiet place to chill and catch up and also to swim and read a book (as for my case)
We explored other parts of the island and found this spot. Lovely isn't it? The area is great for photo op #InstagramWorthy
We went back to the house by lunch time and prepared for the next itinerary, to check out the beach on the other side of the island (I forgot what the name of the beach was). We spent the rest of the afternoon here til sunset.
You'll really experience how simple life is in other parts of the country and how people are just contented with what they have. It's amazing though I can't imagine myself living in such place for too long.
If you do check out this other beach, do not stay until sunset as the tricycle is scarce from 5pm onwards. We were a bit scared because we have no choice but to walk for like 10-15minutes before we finally saw the lights going the port (landmark which means we're near the house we're staying).
We cooked dinner and shared a meal with the our host and her family. We were treated not just as a guest but a member of the family which is why this trip was memorable for us. We then slept early for our last night because we are scheduled to leave at around 6am.
Thank you Tingloy island, til we meet again!
- Tip: We were saddened by how the travelers and possible some locals (not sure if this is so) treat the island. There are no environmental fee or any other fee to pay when you go here so there are no rest rooms or showers or whatever, we found an area where the "excretion" happens which is not a good sight. Also people left trashes and garbage on the beach like they do not care. My friend Jun and I bought with us black bags to put our wastes and we did a bit of a cleaning around the areas were we stayed. We hope the local government there would do their best to maintain the cleanliness of the beach as it is really disappointing