This time, everything did not proceed as planned.. Erick de Leon couldn't make it... Atty Kristoffer de Jesus woke up late... and my neighbor's SUV was parked in front of my pedestrian gate making it impossible for me to get the speedboat out of the garage early that morning. To add to this, I was not that ready yet.. so when Jonard Santos reached my place around 5AM, who came straight from a shoot in Zambales, I asked him to stay first at our guest room to get some more sleep as we waited for Kris. This gave me time to prep the stuffs we needed to bring and have the neighbor’s SUV moved by their driver who usually arrives around 6AM. We met up with Kris at Shell Station Magallanes around 6:30AM and off we went Mabini bound...
Our first technical stop is at a Petron Fuel Station in STAR (Southern Tagalog Arterial Road) Tollway where I had my SUV and Speedboat fueled up. Found out that our Nasugbu Fishing trip consumed 36 liters which is about average fuel for a day out boating /fishing. So it confirmed that my speedboat’s fuel gauge is working, and two trips to Pico de Loro area from Tali Beach is feasible/ doable. We bought breakfast at McDonald’s and some extras (which I highly recommend that you also do if you’re going out fishing) so we can extend our morning fishing session and have late lunch at Masasa Beach, Municipality of Tingloy, Maricaban Island. In my last fishing trip, we only had two hours of fishing before we got so hungry which made us hurry back to Tali Beach.
Around Bauan, prior to reaching a crossing where there’s a Caltex Gas Station and 711, thats where we found a meat shop on the left side of the road. This is where Kris and Jonard bought 3/4 pork belly which only amounted to just about Php250. Imagine that, if we buy it cooked, thats Php190 already for a single cut.. Php250 worth of uncooked pork belly is around 8 cuts already!
Upon arrival at Saltitude Resort in Anilao (www.saltitude-anilao.com), I was so delighted to see how easy the access was to the beach. Rochelle, who is the Officer in Charge of the resort whom I spoke with over the phone a week ago, guaranteed that I’ll have an easy time launching the boat and will have the runway to the beach cleared. And to my surprise, as an extra bonus, as we hopped out of the SUV, she brought us a free pitcher of pineapple juice as our welcome drink plus fresh towels!!! Thanks so much Rochelle and Saltitude!!!
So, that was around 10AM and after half an hour of prepping the boat for launch, we were speeding off towards Sumbrero Island. I have some tips on how to maintain your boat trailer and trailer tail lights. I will blog about that next week.
First fishing spot we went to was around Layaglayag shoal. I forgot to bring my ROV so I was unable to check for any presence of fish and if we’re anywhere near a drop off (bahura)... I think this is where a depth finder / fish finder will come in handy. But luckily, Kris was with us and he is a swimmer... so with a mask and snorkel, he started swimming looking for fish around the area where we parked and attached the speedboat to a buoy. What he found at that area are mostly small coral fishes (Parot fish) and a school of short bodied mackerel (hasa hasa). We tried to fish for those hasa hasa but had no luck so we moved to another location and tried to do some trolling this time. As we reached Sepoc area, it seemed that my reel got stuck to something, so Jonard grabbed it and then felt something suddenly tugging it. So, thinking we caught a big fish, he handed the reel to me as I tried to figure out what was going on. It felt stuck at first, then the line suddenly got dragged even though the boat wasn't moving much... so I had no choice but to release a bit of line out of fear that my pole will snap or the line will finally break, just like in Wicked Tuna series... then when I tried to retrieve the line again, no more tension. The leader line broke-off. I was just using a 45 lbs braided line with a 15 lbs leader line. It wasn't designed for catching big fish.
Lesson learned: Move the boat closer where the line got stuck. It could have been a big fish that took the bait and brought the line into a coral making us think it just got stuck to a rock.
After that excitement, we then decided that it's finally time to head out to Masasa Beach to find a spot with shade, grill the pork belly we bought and have our lunch. The wind at that side of Tingloy Island was blowing hard in a westerly direction and it took us about 10 minutes to reach Masasa Beach from Sepoc. Masasa beach was so empty! No people around, unlike during weekends, this beach is usually jam packed with people and tents, buzzing with activities such as small pump boats speeding in and out of the cove (bringing beach goers to and from Sepoc Beach Caves and Sumbrero Island), anglers could be seen at the outer rocky area of the cove casting, and banana boats full of screaming girls and gays wearing orange life vests. Since we are here on a Tuesday, it was so peaceful!
We finally found a spot and headed towards the right side of Masasa Beach where there are rock formations and small caves. There's a tree that provided ample shade and it was perfect for our picnic. It was so easy for us to unload stuffs from the boat. Since the beach wasn't that rocky, we were able to bring the speedboat much closer to the shoreline! I trimmed up the outboard engine upon reaching shallow waters, switched it off and tied the line of my main anchor at the bow. I then threw the anchor onto the water and it quickly sank and sat on some rocks. I intentionally aimed on the rocky part of the seabed to prevent the anchor from slipping. Kris and Jonard then jumped into the crystal clear water and guided the boat closer to the shoreline, tied another line at the stern and had the smaller anchor placed on some rocks at the beach. Perfect! Just perfect! So as my advice to speedboat owners who would like to do the same thing, make sure you have two sets of anchors with you and enough line to enable you to do what we did. Go on a weekday so you can have the beach all to yourselves.
Here is the list of stuffs we unloaded from the boat for our picnic at the beach:
1. portable grill
2. rinse kit -- for washing the meat and cooking utensils
3. a bag of charcoal
4. long kitchen thong (not panties 🤪) -- for redistributing charcoal around the grill
5. short kitchen thong -- for handing the meat on the grill
8. Mang Thomas /barbeque sauce
10. Soy Sauce
11. Cooler full of beer and other drinks
12. Butane canister
13. Torch attachment -- modern way of getting the charcoal started
14. electronic blower -- modern way to keep the charcoal lit
15. Paper plates
16. Kitchen Scissors -- for cutting the cooked pork bellies into smaller pieces
17. Cutting board
18. Fillet knife
19. Salted Eggs
21. Onions -- together with the salted eggs and tomatoes you can make a ensalada
22. Mesh Scrubber -- for cleaning the grill after use
23. A can of spam — our backup since we were not able to catch any fish 😆
24. Container of rice
25. One big trash bag
26. One small plastic bag -- place all used cooking utensils in this bag in case you are unable to wash it.
And thats about it! All the items I listed above are the essentials we used at the beach which can fit in a 15L plastic box container for easy storage and transporting.
After having a very hearty meal of grilled pork belly and spam, we cleaned up the area really good and as Kris would say "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but foot prints.".. Snorkeled a bit and lazied around before heading out to resume our fishing session until sunset.
"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but foot prints."
By 5:30PM, we decided to pack up our reels and headed back to Saltitude. It was beginning to get dark already and we were still at Sepoc area, Maricaban Island. But even at 6PM, as we were cruising at around 50KPH, finding our way back to civilization, crossing back to the mainland, with the sunset behind us, it was still providing ample illumination for us to safely reach the resort. I switched on the speedboat's nav lights and stern pole light as we coasted along Mabini and reached Saltitude just in time before total darkness.. And again, another surprise for us was Saltitude, Rochelle had these string of bulb LED lights switched on upon our arrival at the beach which provided enough illumination for us to land safely and get the speedboat back onto the trailer. So awesome Saltitude! So perfect for boating peeps!!! :D
We took turns taking a shower, ordered dinner, prepped the boat trailer and headed back home around 8PM. We reached Magallanes around 10:45PM where I dropped off Kris and Jonard, and I got home safe and sound around 10PM. What a day!
OUR KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS TRIP?
1. 4 days before new moon did not work out for us.. maybe 3 days or 2 days before new moon is better? Basing it on this website, it seems like it: https://tides4fishing.com/as/philippines/anilao-balayan-bay
Also, the 90 minute window during dusk, dawn and tidal movement is said to be ideal.
2. Saltitude Dive and Beach Resort (www.saltitude-anilao.com) is the best resort in Anilao, Batangas to launch and retrieve your boat, very clean, very accommodating, awesome staff, great food, budget friendly and perfect for overnights and day tours.
3. Masasa Beach in Tingloy, Maricaban Island is ideal for parking your boat and grilling /having a picnic at the beach. In case you would like to stay overnight, transient huts are available for just Php300 per pax. There are no entrance fees to pay to park your boat and have picnics at the beach, unless you plan to rent a cottage, a hut or picnic tables. Just don't forget to clean as you go. There a trash bin at the beach conveniently located near where we had our picnic.
4. Discovered a perfect meat shop to purchase raw pork belly for Anilao bound boating /fishing trips where parking at the roadside with boat trailer in tow is possible. This is located before the crossing where a marker indicating Municipality of San Pascual is located before a Caltex fuel station with a 711 branch on the left side. The meat shop is across Cebuana Lhuillier. Copy paste this on Waze or Google Maps "Palico - Balayan - Batangas Rd
San Pascual, Calabarzon".
5. Only bring what you need for grilling and picnic. I brought too much stuffs that were not used like butane burner, a big pan, various ingredients and kitchen utensils.
6. Buying extras at McDonald's STAR tollway Petron Fuel Station branch, like for me and Jonard another Sausage McMuffin with egg and a Chicken meal for Kris helped us extend our fishing session and have late lunch.
7. Pork belly will not taste good if without marinade. Once you get the pork belly from the meat shop, wash it immediately (use a RinseKit) and put in a container with marinade, place it in the cooler and let it soak until you get to grill it that day. Then paint over some more of the special sauce when the meat is almost cooked.
8. Tingloy is not the name of the island where Masasa Beach is. Tingloy is the name of the Municipality that is comprised of Caban Island, Maricaban Island and other smaller islets. Masasa Beach is located in Maricaban Island.
So what's next? I will be back in Nasugbu this weekend to take some photos of Atty. Johnny de Castro's beach house and after that I might stay in Tagaytay for a few days to try to lose some more weight and then check out the boat ramp at Taal Lake. Kris might join me in my Taal exploratory speedboat trip and take with us on the speedboat two folding bikes. We are planning to attempt to bike up to the Taal crater. Then comes December 27-28 overnight at Tali Beach with my drone buddies again.