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Chronicles Masbate Philippines

Masbate | 5 Things to do in San Pascual Burias Island

I was enjoying lying on the bow of the large outrigger boat coming from Pasacao Port in Camarines Sur to our destination of San Pascual in Burias Island, Masbate. I wanted to enjoy the fresh sea air and not be bounded inside the tarp-covered windows of the shaded boat seats behind me. The splash from the ride didn’t reach the bow that much so I enjoyed the sea view and conversation from the local guide in the area. Suddenly there was a rustle of activity that led me to see what was happening. We were approaching the Burias Island already and just in time when the afternoon light came in, spreading its golden hue over the high cliffs bounding the bay where the municipality of San Pascual is nestled in.

Tagging of cows in a ranch
Tagging of cows in a ranch

2 Visit the Ranches

Burias Island didn’t get the title “Isla Rancho (Island of Ranches)” for nothing. San Pascual alone has 15 ranches and three of the most expansive are accessible by tryke or motorbike from town. Watch the lasso work and how the put down cattles for tagging. Yes, this is how they work.

Warm locals and an ancestral house
Warm locals and an ancestral house

3 Appreciate the Town Heritage and Local Life

Did you know that Masbate was the seat of Christianity in the Bicol region which began in 1569? That is why there’s a strong presence of Spanish influence in the region including San Pascual. The road network in San Pascual is simple and straightforward – one leading to the pier and the other national highway within the island. Along the road are a number of Ancestral Houses and heritage structures.

Start at the Municipal Building and admire the vintage edifice built-in 1911. The San Pascual Old Church nearby also has one of the oldest church edifice in the country built in veneration to St Pascal Baylon. The road towards the school has a line of ancestral houses built from 1930s. Aside from the hardwood materials like hamorawon, dungon and kansayud trees, some keep their capiz shells. Knock and kindly ask if you can see the houses and find a few antique items inside. People of San Pascual are accommodating I was amused with a talk with a certain Narciso who does part-time tailoring work inside is general merchandise store. Now that’s what I call a sari-sari store.

The Municipal Building of San Pascual
The Municipal Building of San Pascual
San Pascual Old Church with its original edifice
San Pascual Old Church with its original edifice
One of the old houses in good condition
One of the old houses in good condition
Inside one of the ancestral houses
Inside one of the ancestral houses
Lady of the house by the window
Lady of the house by the window
Old turntable
Old turntable
A sari-sari store and tailor shop in one
A sari-sari store and tailor shop in one

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