Masbate, Philippines · 19 hotels available
Going to Masbate City means more than just enjoying easy access to excellent beaches and places to dive in. You also get to see great festivals and parades, the most famous of which is the annual Rodeo Masbateño.
As an island province in the Philippines, Masbate is a natural sanctuary that plays host to beaches and diving spots. Travelers can enjoy swimming along its pristine beaches, boat rides, and even nature trips to underwater sites and caves. The island’s perfectly preserved coves and reefs are among the best places to relax in, while the seas around it offer a wealth of marine flora and fauna to amaze even the most seasoned nature enthusiast.
The city also features its own white sandy beaches, such as the Talisay Beach – which boasts various scenic underwater flora and fauna. Tourists can also enjoy nature tours and island hopping activities. Learn more about the city’s best places in this guide.
You can take one of two early morning flights from Manila to Masbate. This is one of the fastest ways to reach the area.
From Luzon, there are boat trips are available in Sorsogon. If you’re coming from Batangas, there are also ferries that leave for the city twice a week.
From Manila, there's a daily trip going from Cubao to Pilar via a Roll on-Roll off bus. Once in Pilar, the bus is then carried by a boat through the Nautical Highway to the Masbate City port.
Tricycles are the main mode of transportation in Masbate. You can also get jeepneys to see the major sights in the city and boats to visit its beaches and natural features.
The biggest event in Masbate is the Rodeo Masbateño, also known as the only rodeo show in Asia. Celebrated annually in April, it showcases 10 competitive rodeo events. Cattle parades and events like calf wrestling and lassoing are also part of its main highlights.
Another attraction is the Lapay Bantigue Dance Festival, the annual city anniversary celebrated every September. This event highlights the traditional folk dance inspired by the graceful movements of seagulls, which are locally known as "lapay." The dance is recognized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines as one of the official folk dances of the country.
Being an island province, diving is a main activity in Masbate City. One of the best places for this is the Manta Bowl in Ticao Pass, where you can swim with giant manta rays. You might even get to see rare whale sharks passing by if you're lucky. The island itself is also home to the Halea Natural Park, a tropical getaway that features a stunning coastline and diverse marine sceneries.
Another great place to dive in is the Bugsayon Marine Sanctuary, a 50-hectare marine preserve near the city where travelers can see colorful live corals. Marine wildlife enthusiasts can marvel at an even bigger variety of sea creatures and flora in this area.
Masbate also hosts natural sites for you to explore. One of them is the Buntod Sand Bar and Marine Sanctuary that features many exotic fish, a recommended stop for nature lovers.
Masbate City has hotels with various price ranges. One of them is the Legacy Suites Hotel, which features rooms with ocean views and free Wi-Fi. They can serve you breakfast as early as 5am, and have free flowing coffee.
Another option is the Baywalk Hotel, which has medium-sized rooms with good air conditioning, cable TV, and a hot shower. A free breakfast can also be served early to accommodate travelers with morning flights. It's also strategically located in the city, allowing you to reach destinations within a few minutes.
Among the many restaurants in Masbate, Eden's Fine Dining is a fine place for grilled seafood and steaks. The venue is a beachfront location that features local specialties including sinigang broth with pork and snake beans. At night, the resto also features live performances to cap off a day of exploring the city.
If you're looking for some familiar eats, Joe’s Pizza is the place for you. While it has the atmosphere of an authentic New York-style pizza house, you can also choose from a selection of exotic toppings including: spicy sate beef, catfish, eggplant, okra, and chicken lechon. You can also enjoy the usual favorites like simple Bolognese, four cheese, and Hawaiian thin crust pizzas.
Masbate has bars and restos where you can relax in at night. One of them is the Amperez Bar and Grill, which has the look of a rustic old English country pub and a Moroccan shisha lounge. Its menu is mainly Asia-Pacific, including: Thai noodles, satay, creamy coconut curries, oriental-style stir fried dishes, and traditional Filipino food.
Another is the Floating Restaurant, which offers a diverse menu of traditional and western favorites. What sets this apart is that it’s a bay cruise ship which sets sail each evening from Masbate City Harbour. Here, you can either enjoy an eat-all-you-can buffet or pick a choice from the a la carte menu. This selection features grilled steaks, pasta, and local Filipino delicacies.
Pack swimwear and your goggles. Since diving and swimming are major activities in this city, it’s advisable to pack as much spares as you can for the trip. Bringing your own towels is also recommended.
Bring underwater cameras if you can. The island’s diving sites feature a rich collection of underwater reefs and fish. These are great places to take breathtaking underwater photos of the local wildlife if you’re an avid nature enthusiast.
Buy souvenirs. Handicrafts are hot must-buys while in Masbate City. These are great mementos that can serve as great reminders of the island’s natural wonders.