Take me to...Buntod Reef Sandbar

Off the tourist radar, this sandbar in Masbate in the Bicol region offers the perfect beach bath water —hot on one side and cold on the other

Photo by Diwa Diaz

Pretty much off the tourist radar, Buntod Reef Sandbar in Masbate in the Bicol region, South Luzon, is a perfect beach hideaway. Just 15 minutes by boat from the Masbate town proper, the sandbar has fine white sand and clear blue waters. On a sunny day, the waters on one side of the sandbar is hot, and cold on the other. There is a thatched nipa hut in the middle of Buntod, with a dining table and basic cooking and grilling area, so you can pack a picnic and have lunch over the waters.

More than that, the sandbar is home to rows upon rows of lush mangroves that allow for all sorts of life to thrive - from birds that nest in the branches to a diverse marine life, including rarities such as giant clams in water that is just shoulder-deep. Quite a turnaround for an area that was once notorious for being an illegal fishing site. 

Philippine Airlines flies to Masbate daily. In Masbate, Rendezvous Hotel and Resort can help arrange boat trips to Puntod. Fare costs about P500 (US$10) per person for five people. 

Published November 2015