A Path Less Traveled: Masbate (Part 1 - Rendezvous Hotel)
A ticket bought out of impulse, scarce online information, and tons of courage led our kaladkarin group to Masbate City. Our friends' unanimous reaction when we proudly announced that we got seven Manila-Masbate-Manila tickets at Php 467 per pax was - Anong meron dun? - a reaction that almost burst ourbubble. But with a year to plan the trip, we did not lose hope.
While researching about Masbate, I came across some tourist spots like Ticao Island, Catandayagan Falls, Buntod Reef, Aroroy Beach and San Miguel Group of Islands. I got excited. The itinerary was getting full and busy! Apparently, it was not as easy as it seemed to be. The places above are either too expensive or too far from Masbate City. The resorts in Ticao Island, for instance, have rates averaging Php 2,500 per pax per night. This does not include the boat transfers ranging from Php 7,000 to Php 10,000 for a group of 6 to 8 pax. Aside from it is expensive, Ticao Island resorts are more accessible from the Legazpi-Sorsogon route. On the other hand, the beaches in Aroroy can be reached through a 3 hour land trip and a bumpy chartered boat ride.
A few weeks before the trip, some of our friends backed out due to some work-related concerns, leaving the total number to only four pax. I decided to stop making the itinerary. I did not even book a hotel. It's going to be our first unplanned trip to a place less explored. No tour guides, no ferry schedule to catch, no restaurant- or food-to-try in mind. It's going to be fun, I know.
So, we left Manila at a little passed the hour of 7am. Our original flight is at 5:50 am, but some "technical problems" occur, so we had to disembark and finally board again before 7am. We arrived at the Masbate Airport at around 8 am. From the airport, we took a tricycle to our hotel of choice, Rendezvous Hotel, along Punta Nursery, Masbate City. It is the only hotel visible on GoogleMaps, aside from MG Hotel, which we find more expensive. The regular tricycle fare is Php 8 per pax, but they charge Php 20 if coming from the airport.
|...or Low Tide?|
When we arrived at Rendezvous Resort, we were greeted by the owner, Mr. Cokie Medina, and instructed his staff to show us the rooms on the second floor (Php 1,000 per night) and the ground floor (Php 800 per night). The rooms they showed are so similar, so we chose the less expensive one on the first floor. After putting our stuff inside the room, we started roaming around the resort.
Rendezvous Hotel is a beachfront, or should I say a bayfront, rustic resort tucked 10 minutes away from Masbate Airport. Alongside Rendezvous Hotel are other newer accommodations like 7AR Golden Beach Resort, MG Hotel and Greenview Hotel. The resort has access to the beach, but the sand there is not white and is similar to the ones in Batangas or Bataan.
Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary is visible from the huts near the restaurant at Rendezvous Hotel.
And yes, they accept walk-ins and day trippers.
At the lobby is a small gallery of framed notes from previous guests like government officials Bayani Fernando and Jovencito Zuno, and some people from the media.
I even saw this on their wall - an article about CGMA's visit to Rendezvous Hotel in 2007.
Room #5 became our home for our 3 nights stay in Masbate City.
The rooms in Rendezvous Hotel are kinda rustic and old already. We even saw some cracks on the wall, perhaps due to the recent 5.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the city two days before we arrived. But it's the cheapest accommodation you can find in Punta Nursery, the gateway to Buntod Reef.
The room is supposed to have a cable TV, but unfortunately, the signal that time was really bad. No hot shower in the bathroom. No free breakfast. Just a place for you to sleep the night away.
The good thing we like about Rendezvous Hotel is their food. The offer viands at around Php 180-350/serving good for 4 pax. Rice is Php 45/serving, to share. We ordered Shrimp Sinigang and Sizzling Squid for lunch.
For our breakfast, we got dried dilis from the market and requested their staff to cook it for us, along with scrambled eggs. Eggs are priced at Php 20/each. No cooking/corkage charge for the dried dilis.
|Dried Dilis at Php 55 for 2 packs|
At night, we chilled out at one of their huts along the bay and had some beer and chips while listening to the waves and watching the full moon. We're ready for our next day's adventure - Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary.