It was year 2016 when we first heard of Alibijaban from a local islander of Sombrero Island in Burias, Masbate. The way he described the island is something we couldn’t forget – white sand beach and clear water. Saturday, June 15, we finally set foot on the island of Alibijaban and the description made by that man before is nothing compared to what we witnessed in the island. It is way beautiful than his words!
Alibijaban Island is located in the southernmost part of Quezon province under the municipality of San Andres. Average travel time from Manila to San Andres is 7 – 8 hours.
How To Get There
- Ride a bus bound to Lucena from Cubao-EDSA, Alabang or Buendia-Taft bus terminals.
- From Lucena, ride a van or bus heading to San Andres, Quezon.
- From San Andres bus terminal, you may walk or ride a pedicab to San Andres Port.
- Arrange your boat inside the port in their tourism office.
- Boat ride from San Andres Port to Alibijaban Island will take 30 minutes or less.
If you are going as a group, you may rent a van to take you to San Andres or as joiners, avail a package tour from different travel agency. If you have your own vehicle, just use the WAZE app and search for San Andres Port. There are enough parking spaces in the port, so your car is safe.
The Beauty of Alibijaban Island
There is no doubt that Alibijaban Island is beautiful. Its simplicity and raw beauty makes it even more appealing. You can spend a day tour, overnight camp or stay in the island’s resorts and kubos. You can get as cheap as Php500 per kubo or higher for a larger accommodation.
You may contact Kuya Stephen Arsenio at 0948-400-5392, a local boatman for your Aibijaban Island tour. He and his crew is also offering Burias Island tour, just let him know of your planned visit. Should you wish for a hassle-free Alibijaban tour, package rate is Php1,300 that includes the boat ride, island tour, free 1 hour floating cottage, kubo accommodation, water, food (4 meals – lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch the following day). Food may include vegetable, fish, meat or as per client’s request (customize).
The water is a mix of mint green and aqua blue and is amusingly clear. In the middle of the sea, the floating cottages are your best resort. It has slide and perfectly patched pool within the cottage. It has a built-in dining table and side chairs so you can enjoy your lunch or breakfast. Worry not, every boat has their life vest provided to each tourist so you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling.
Another must-see spot is the sign “I ❤️ Alibijaban”. It is usually just a few walks away from your resort. Your boat captain may also bring you there during the tour.
Getting around the island you will see the normal island life like the kids enjoying the water under the beautiful bright sky and the fishermen assembling their fishnets.
The common livelihood in Alibijaban is fishing. Expect the normal scene of boats lining on the stretch of white sand and cream sand beach. The island is brimmed with seagrass and coral reefs. Sometimes, the shoreline is covered with washed seagrass making it not advisable for swimming.
The best part to stay is somewhere in the rightmost tip of the island. It has a wide front beach area and generous white sand.
What’s more interesting in Alibijaban Island is its extensive mangrove forest that expands in up to 140 hectares. Felt grateful to witness this and to know that this mangrove sanctuary is being preserved and protected. Mangrove forest is vital to the community as it serves as natural buffer against storm surges and helps absorb and store carbon making them a critical solution in the fight against climate change. Aside from these, mangroves serve as shelter for sea creatures and other animals like different type of birds, lizards, snakes, monkeys and many others.
Even with the drone flying above, the immensity of this mangrove forest is incredible. It is even more attractive during low tide where the sand bar comes into place. You can go for a walk and meander around these vast collections of mangrove all over the place.
Alibijaban Island is still on its raw beauty far from commercialized destinations. The local residents here are kind and friendly. Visiting this island can help them boost their tourism potentials and help create more jobs thru boat rentals, island tours, room accommodations for food preparation/cooking and as local guides. So remember that when you visit Alibijaban, be a responsible tourist and avoid making damages to its corals, water, sand, beach, mangrove forest and respect the people living within it. With our help, we can preserve this beautiful place so the other generation of tourists can still experience and enjoy it.