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Ticao Island, Masbate

Although this new discovery is within the province of Masbate, its nearest tourist jump-off is Donsol, Sorsogon (where the Butandings are!).

Together with the guys from Donsol and volunteers of Bantay Kalikasan, we made a very good discovery in the almost unknown island of Ticao. We actually saw and bathed in a beautiful waterfall whose cascades flow down several cataracts and eventually to the sea. Yep, Its how beautiful that site is. Apparently, we were the first "tourists" to the site and we selfishly named it "Voltes V Waterfall." The Gen-X readers would have an idea about my age on this one, ha ha! Well, it seemed appropriate, there were five visible falls and basins, the last one being a pool that formed by the sea. It was really a great, great moment. We (there were almost 10 of us including the boatmen who also saw the waterfall for the first time) acted like kids. Some went on impromptu yoga under the water, some jumped to the lowest basin, the others trekked through the highly inclined walls to see the headwater. We also got another bonus when we visited a fishing community that never saw tourists in their midst. As usual, it was an absolute baby-making machine with laughing children dominating the scene. Really nice and happy community living in extreme hardship. We bought banig (sleeping mat made of leaves), a giant squid (not that giant, but a 4-kilo tinter minus the guts and the head/tentacles). Would have wanted to visit the spring source but night settled in. While some in our group drank rhum with the locals, we got another surprise just beside a house and saw one tree filled with fireflies! Some other highlights of that trip - some of my companions snorkled near the waterfall and saw night-time corals that are active in the middle of the day. Did some birdwatching and saw a nesting site of rufous night heron on a rocky pinnacle along the coast. Bought 2 small tunas from local fishermen and had a great lunch on an islet with white sand and interesting rock formations (almost similar to the one in Apo Island in Negros Or.) . This is just to show you that a few minutes beyond what must be your best destination, there could be a better one.

What made us go beyond the established tourist spot? We were trying to help make Donsol into a multi-day destination and for it to be able to offer more highly interesting attractions for the tourists to spend more time in the area and thus make tourism a real economic driver in that municipality. I guess, the people of Donsol are on their way there.

Below are photos of the first waterfall and our lunch on a small island.

Oh, a small caveat. Intense summer lessens the volume of water cascading down the two waterfalls. You may either have to live with this fact or drop it and snorkel instead and go island-hopping.
Another oh! Photos courtesy of Carina Escudero of Bantay Kalikasan.

For people who want to experience the whole thing in Donsol, here is one very good itinerary:

Day 1
AM (probably 7 AM) - Arrive in Legaspi City. Take a tricycle to the Satellite terminal for the van to Donsol.
- Arrive in Donsol (check-in the lodge in the town proper or tricycle to the Visitor Center for nearby resort accommodation)
- Go whale shark interaction

- Firefly Watching

Day 2
- Island Hopping, snorkeling, and visit the waterfalls in Ticao. If you're lucky, you might encounter dolphins along the way.

Day 3
- Depart Donsol
- Optional tour of Albay
- Back to Manila



  1. Pareng Caloy -- make this an online travel magazine with an ecology twist. Top it with hotel, mode of transportation, expected local dishes, cost and travel time details. Teka... kuha mo ba yung mga pics dito? Very Nice!... I feel like being there already! Ilinya mo din yung Luneta and Fort Santiago. Keep it up. --Roy B'85--

  2. Salamat pareng Roy! Will do your recommendations.

  3. Your pictures are inspiring! I will be traveling to Ticao this weekend for 5 days.
    I haven't yet invested in snorkeling equipment and was hoping to purchase gear here. Or, should I make the time here in Quezon City to do it?
    Any other suggestions from places you saw that you did make note of in your post would be appreciated!

  4. Beautiful waterfalls, I'm gonna find them this summer, I've never been to Masbate and it's my father's hometown, i think it's about time to see it, thank you for inspiring me :)

  5. My parent's home town is in Ticao Is. I've been there several times as I was growing up but I never really got the chance to explore it. I'm travelling there again this March 2012 after almost 10 years, maybe this time I can do some exploration.

  6. Hi! would just like to ask, where can we arrange island hopping with snorkle and falls in ticao? we will be in donsol:)

  7. Hello Mr. Caloy,

    A pleasant day to you.

    I will be launching s2kd by the end of April. Primarily it will be a collection of personal stories of travel in the Philippines. The basic idea is for people to share the excitement of going places and at the same time offer useful information to would-be wanderers.

    In connection with this I am requesting your permission to allow me to republish in full (text and images) your blog post at

    As usual, full credits along with a link back to your article will accompany the republished content.

    A preview of s2kd is available at

    Hoping for your approval.

    Ronald Alcazar