A sweet “Buyayao” escape

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Buyayao in the Ilonggo dialect means to hurl expletives at or berate in the most colorful language imaginable. Buyayao is ugly, demeaning, hurtful. This “buyayao” in Oriental Mindoro, however, is nothing of that sort. The island is breathtaking, idyllic, pristine, serene.

Nestled in the quiet part of Brgy. San Roque in Bulalacao, Buyayao Island was once the property of the mighty Elizalde clan. When Marcosian era ended, the Elizaldes abandoned the island, leaving it to decay and disarray.

Seeing an opportunity to reclaim their stakes on the island, families who were displaced when the Elizaldes allegedly “took control” of Buyayao, began to slowly return and clean up most parts of the island barangay.*

What to see in Buyayao Island

Tubi Beach

Tubi beach is secluded and a good swimming area. Clumps of mangroves act as a “breakwater” to shield swimmers when strong waves come in. Huts and cottages are available for overnight stay.

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Silanga Beach

The area around Silanga Beach was the first settled barangay on the island. The community was abandoned in the 1970s.

Silanga is a good site for swimming, snorkeling, beach bumming and picture taking.

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Boho-boho cave

A good place to chill, relax and rest after an exhausting swim or snorkeling around nearby waters.

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… and more

Buyayao Island is blessed with many natural facets where you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, trekking or simply just do nothing but watch the waves, the birds, the coconut palms and wait for the sun to set.

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Sample itinerary**

1000PM   Depart Manila for Batangas pier via bus; fare is P167/pax

1200MN   Ride a RORO or FastCat for Calapan; fare is P240/pax; terminal fee is P30

0200AM   At the pier in Calapan, head for the rows of passenger vans and take the Calapan-Roxas route; instruct the driver to drop you off where Bulalacao-bound vans are; fare is P250/pax

0600AM   In Roxas, take the Bulalacao-bound van (fare is P70 to P100 per pax) and tell the driver to drop you off at Brgy. San Roque waiting shed

0800AM   In Brgy San Roque, habal-habal or single motorbikes are usually lined up there waiting for fares (@P50 per pax); ride one and ask the driver to take you to Pocanil Resort, where you then ride a banca to Buyayao Island (P1000 per trip or P100 per pax for 10 passengers)


*  According to some locals, most of Buyayao Island is now the property of Greenland Development Corporation.

** Time/schedule may vary.

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