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.
Published November 2015