|On our way to Subic Beach - BIG|
|enjoying the island hopping and sun bathing!|
We went straight to our next target- Juag Sanctuary, where different kinds of fish freely swam around the area. There we saw almost all types of fish, we assumed. There is no required fees to be paid to visit the sanctuary, but they receive donations and sell food for the fish. When we were there, I remembered a blog that I was able to read that said "we swam with the fishes"; but unfortunately, we were not able to do it as swimming is presently prohibited.
|BP Marion wants to swim with the fishes|
|Feeding time with BP Marion|
While deciding on what we should have in our next itinerary (planning to swim with the Butandings at Donsol), we went to Matnog Tourism Office and we found out something interesting revelations on our trips! Here it goes:
First, all tourists are required to register and pay an Environmental Fee upon arrival at Matnog. The fees are as follows: Registration fee of PhP 300.00 (for foreign tourist) or PhP 50.00 (for local tourists). Remember that we did not pay anything upon arrival- it is because we were not able to catch the Tourism Office.
Second, according to the Tourism Officer, the normal boat rental ranges from PhP 1,500.00 to PhP 2,000.00, depending on the number of tourists. I thought that we paid fair but we were wrong. Upon showing the picture of the boat, we noticed that it was different from what we rode the whole time. The authorized boat should have a life vest and a roof. I was shocked when I knew that information. We were exposed to the sun on a very small boat during the whole island hopping experience.
Lastly, there are no regular trip back to Sorsogon City during that period (holy week). We were then forced to ride a tricycle bound for the Municipality of Irosin and hoped that a jeepney coming from the Municipality of Bulan would arrive to bring us to Sorsogon City.
But despite all the things the Tourism Office clarified with us, I was still thankful that no one was hurt and that we were all safe. Let those information be a warning to all future Matnog Tourists then:
1. Register and pay the necessary fees at the Tourism Office and ask questions. They are very helpful. Tourism Officer Weng Salvador number is 09206148466.
2. Ride only a boat with a lifevest and with a roof. Never ride a fisherman’s boat because it is not authorized and the Tourism Office strictly discourages it.
3. Better bring your tent.
4. Make sure to contact the Matnog Tourism Office if you are coming late at night in Matnog. The office will wait to gladly assist you.
Another experience that we gained from this trip was an adventure with fellow The BACKPACKERS. We did try to interact with the Butandings in the Municipality of Donsol, Province of Sorsogon.
(Van from Legazpi to Sorsogon City)
Arrival in Sorsogon City
(Jeep from Sorsogon City Grand Terminal to Matnog)
Arrival in Matnog proper
(Boat from Matnog proper to Subic beach
PhP1,600.00 boat rental
Arrival in Subic Beach
Breakfast, swimming, strolling, picture taking
7:00am to 11:am
· Juag Sanctuary
· Tikling Beach
12:00nn to 2:00pm
PhP50.00 donation at Juag Sanctuary
Arrival Matnog proper
(Tricycle Matnog to Irosin)
PhP200.00 tricycle ride
Arrival in Irosin and late lunch
(Jeep Irosin to Sorsogon City)
Arrival in Sorsogon City
(Van Sorsogon City to Legazpi)