Located in the Southernmost town of Oriental Mindoro lies an underrated beach destination and a gateway to Visayas. Explore the nooks and crannies of Oriental Mindoro’s gem Bulalacao. Learn about where to go, where to stay through this DIY Guide to Bulalacao.
Truth be told, whenever people would talk about Mindoro it would always be about Puerto Galera. And honestly, there is so much to see in Mindoro. For instance the (1) Infinity Farm in Baco, the (2) Bamboo Plantation in Gloria and Bulalacao. Not only that Bulalacao is best known as an island hopping destination with at least 11 scattered islands and islets, but Bulalacao is also known for its towering mountains, caves and astonishing rock formations.
RELATED ORIENTAL MINDORO LINKS:
- PUERTO GALERA DIY TRAVEL GUIDE: ITINERARY & EXPENSES
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Table of Contents
History of the Name “Bulalacao”
According to a legendary myth, the name “Bulalacao” came from a certain bird referred to by the natives as “bulalakaw” which appeared out of the wilderness near the springs of Talisi and Lumagsak. Unexplainably, whenever the said bird appeared, death would soon follow. As a result, the inhabitants changed the name from Kaburayan (a vine called Buray which was in abundance during that time) to Bulalacao. Thus, the birth of a municipality named Bulalacao. Afterwards, the bird did not bother the place and the inhabitants.
Another legendary myth is that the islands and islets in Bulalacao are believed to come from a meteor that landed in the area. Thus the name “Bulalakaw”.
How to go to Bulalacao: DIY Guide to Bulalacao
If you are coming from (a) Batangas Port or (b) Caticlan, there are daily trips available with Fastcat Ferry.
Option 1: Manila – Batangas Port – Calapan – Bulalacao
Step 1: There are lots of bus-lines that operates 24 hours from Manila to Batangas. These buses are stationed in Cubao or in Buendia (near Gil Puyat station). Some of the bus lines that offers this route are: DLTB, JAM liner and JAC line. Fare is Php210.00 and travel time is 2-3 hours.
Step 2: Subsequently from Batangas Port, catch a roro ferry to Calapan in Mindoro. The fare is approximately Php300-350.00 and travel time is 2.5 hours.
Step 3: From Calapan, transfer to bus/van to Bulalacao. The travel time is about 3 hours and fare is Php300.00.
Option 2: From San Jose Airport
Alternatively, you can skip the hassle and save time if you choose to travel by air. From Manila (MNL) book a flight to San Jose Airport in Occidental Mindoro. Then from the airport transfer to a bus/van going to Bulalacao. Travel time is about 1 hour.
Where to Stay in Bulalacao
We stayed at Southdrive Resort in Bulalacao which is a front beach resort. What’s good about Southdrive is they offer package tours for island hopping with meals included. This is also a good place for budget travelers. Budget room costs Php1,500.00 good for 2 people. For rates and updated room vacancies, check their website here.
Things to do in Bulalacao
Island trip isn’t the only thing to do when in Bulalacao. If you are staying there for more than 2 days, you might want to check the Abintang View Deck which features a panoramic view and Bagong Sikat Falls which requires a 45 minutes to an hour trek.
Bulalacao Islands & Islets
As mentioned earlier, Bulalacao has at least 11 scattered island /islets. Some of the islands to visit are: (1) Suguicay Island, (2) Pocanil Island, (3) Buyayao Island, (4) Aslom Island, (5) Silad Island and (6) Target Island.
The boat rental varies on the islands you will visit. For instance a boat rental going to Suguicay Island fron San Juan is Php1,200.00 roundtrip and good for 10 people. The boat ride is only 15-20 minutes.
If you are planning to spend an overnight in Bulalacao or for 2-3 days, there are fan rooms available in Suguicay which range from Php3,000-4,000.00 good for 10-20 people. Open cottage is Php500.00 and entrance fee for day tour is Php20.00 each.
POCANIL ROCK FORMATION
Location: POCANIL, SAN ROQUE, BULALACAO, ORIENTAL MINDORO
Directions: View on Google Map
Entrance fee: Php30.00/person
Cottage Overnight: Php1,500.00 – 2,500.00
Tent Pitching: Php200.00
Resembles so much with Palawan’s rock formations! Pocanil Rock Formation is located adjacent to Pocanil Beach Resort where we had our lunch. The rock formation is also ideal for adventure junkies since you can do rock climbing, rappelling and spelunking activities. Moreover, the beach resort is accessible by land transportation.
SILAD ISLAND, TARGET ISLAND, ASLOM ISLAND
For package tours to Silad Island, Target Island and Aslom Island, I highly recommend getting tours from Southdrive Beach Resort. Check them out on their Facebook Page for list of tours they offer. You can also contact Bulalacao Tourism for advance booking/reservation for island hopping trips:
Silad Island. A bone-like shape island welcomes you to an underwater adventure! If you are a fan of snorkeling and diving activities, the island has corals perfect for these activities.
Target Island. The 5-hectare island is surrounded by white sand beach and is known to locals as Alibatan Island. The name “Target” Island was coined way back the 2nd World War when this island was used to be a target site for bombing practices.
Aslom Island. Similar to Target Island, its name originated from the Cebuano word aslom meaning sour because of the abundance of tamarind trees. The island also has a very beautiful sandbar which stretches at 500 meters long during low tide season.
Visit the 300m Bangkal Mangrove Boardwalk
Another destination to see before doing an island hopping trip is the 300m long Mangrove Boardwalk in San Juan, Bulalacao. This is also a famous gateway to Suguicay Island which is about 20 minutes boat ride away.
Experience a long walk surrounded by mangroves, upon reaching the end point of the boardwalk there is a beautiful shoreline beach that is only visible during low tide in the morning. The water goes up in the afternoon where the beach disappears and salt water enters the mangrove forest.
Bagong Sikat Falls
Location: BAGONG SIKAT, BULALACAO, ORIENTAL MINDORO
Directions: View on Google Map
Entrance Fee: Php20.00
Looking for waterfalls trip and short trek to stretch those legs? Head to Bagong Sikat Falls for a good 45 minutes trekking! Bagong Sikat Falls is a one-storey high with deep and wide catch basin.
Abintang View Deck
From the hills of Bulalacao, you can experience a panoramic view of the seascapes of Buyayao and Suguicay Island as well as Semirara Island in Antiue.
Sample 2 Days 1 Night Itinerary & Expenses
Take note that expenses/fees stated below are subject to change. Estimated values are often exaggerated for emergency expenses.
DAY 0: MNL – Batangas Port – Calapan – Bulalacao
10:30pm Depart from Cubao/Buendia to Batangas Port (Php210.00)
DAY 1: Suguicay Island + Bagong Sikat Falls
1:30am Ferry from Batangas Port to Calapan (approximately Php300.00)
3am ETA Calapan, transfer to van/bus to Bulalacao (approximately Php300.00)
6am ETA Bulalacao, brakfast
7am Bag drop at Southdrive and check in later in the afternoon (Php1,500.00/2 people)
8am Proceed to San Jose 300m Bangkal Mangrove Boardwalk
8:30am Rent a bot to Suguicay Island (Php1,200.00 roundtrip good for 10 people)
12nn Back at Southdrive to check in, lunch, freshen up, rest
2pm Explore and trek Bagong Sikat Falls (Php10.00 entrance fee, Php10.00 parking fee, Php100.00 cottage)
5pm Back at Southdrive, early dinner, free time
8pm Lights out
DAY 2: SILAD, ASLOM, TARGET ISLAND HOPPING
6am Early breakfast
7am Start of whole day island hopping trip (Avail Tour Package from Southdrive Resort, rate depends on number of people)
3pm Check out at Southdrive, bus to Calapan (Php300.00)
7:30pm Ferry from Calapan to Batangas Port (Php300.00)
10:30pm Bus from Batangas Port to Manila (Php210.00)
12:30am ETA Manila
Insider Tip: for ferry schedules, contact Fastcat directly to be sure of current schedule to avoid inconvenience.
|Help me improve my DIY Guide to Bulalacao! By commenting suggestions in the comment section below, I am very open to new ideas. |
Huge thanks to DOT MIMAROPA for this trip!
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