The early morning fishermen were still at work pulling their nets in at the entrance to Tabaco Port when our pumpboat tried to leave the shallow waters of the harbour. So we had to sit back and wait for a few more minutes before we could get on our way for the short ride over to San Miguel Island.
San Miguel is one of four islands that lie in the Lagonoy Gulf and help shelter the Port of Tabaco.
San Miguel Island is just a 25 minute boat ride from Tabaco, Bicol in the Philippines. Wander down to Tabaco Port and jump in a pumpboat making the short crossing and you will arrive in another world where life moves at a much slower pace than the slow pace of Tabaco City.
Before leaving Tabaco remember to pack some food and enough water for the day as there are not many opportunities to stock up on the otherside. San Miguel is made up of 5 Barangays and we visited 4 of them on our walk through the island….. Angas, Hacienda, Rawis and Visitas. We didn’t have time to visit Brgy Sagurong which was on another road from the one we took along the island.
The pumpboat landed on the beach at Brgy Rawis and after taking a few moments to gather our bearings and ask directions from the locals we headed out to walk the length of the island. Brgy Rawis is crowded and very compact with very narrow alleys leading out to the narrow road, where an electrician was changing a lightbulb in a street lamp, which we were to take to the next Brgy of Visitas.
A young girl ran by rolling an old tyre with a stick, an old tin wedged in as a balancing weight ……. no computer games here for the kids !!!!
Here we stopped for some breakfast at the only eatery we saw all day. Rice, bicol express, lumpia and jackfruit in coconut milk made up our meal. After getting some more directions and tips from the owner we crossed the road to look at the church before continuing our walk.
The further east we walked the fewer houses there were and more land was being farmed. We saw rice, sweetcorn, pineapple, coconut, cattle as well as bamboo and Pandan leaves used for weaving. With fishing the island seemed to be pretty well self sufficient.
There were hundreds of these birds around the island. They were so quick to fly off but I managed to get a photo of one of them. Does anyone know their name??
Update :- Those birds are “pulang maya” or red maya aka chestnut munia. ( Thankyou to Mel for the information. See comments below )
As we passed through Brgys Angas and Hacienda people waved and shouted out “Hey Joe” which is a friendly common term left over from the American Occupation and now used for a foreigner in the Philippines. When asked where we were going everyone looked back in amazement when we replied “to Malictay ” and kept saying thats a long way.
Every Brgy was tidy, clean and seemed well organised. Flowers and plants lined the fences and roads, people were sitting around talking in groups, some men were attending to their cockerels getting them ready for the arena. My favourite Mayon Volcano on the other side of the sea refused to show herself and stayed hidden all day covered in cloud
The road did seem to keep winding through the islands countryside forever but eventually we arrived in Malictay, walked past the school and down to the seaweed covered beach, turned round and walked back up the hill, past a couple of boys playing volleyball outside their house, where we found a habal habal (motorbike) that took us back to the Port in Brgy Rawis.
A boat had just left heading back to Tabaco so we had an hour to wait for the next one, but as luck would have it, we noticed lots of schoolgirls on a days outing to the island boarding a privately hired pumpboat for their return trip back to Tabaco, so we asked the teacher in charge if there was room for two more to join them. There was and as it was just starting to rain we were very happy.
Once back in Tabaco we made our way to DJC Halo Halo in the Mall to have my favourite treat 🙂
Costs for the day for two people
Banca return to Rawis P80
Halo Halo Treat in Tabaco P140
Total cost for day P380 for 2 people