A Quiet Afternoon at Tikling Island

After a full morning of swimming with the colorful fishes at the Juag Lagoon marine sanctuary and enjoying the scenic view of Calintaan Island’s twin Subic Beaches, we were getting hungry and looking forward to lunch back in town. There was one remaining destination on this (half) day of island-hopping, however. After no more than 30 minutes of leaving Subic Beach, our final destination came into view, its verdant palms and lush shrubs gently swaying in the wind, wonderfully framed by white, talcum powder-like sand and remarkably clear cyan waters.

Tikling Island viewed from our approaching boat
Stunning Tikling Island viewed from our approaching boat
outrigger boat at Tikling Island
Arriving at Tikling Island

Tikling Island is one of the two “pink sand” beach destinations in the port town of Matnog, Sorsogon. Unlike the other “pink sand” destination of Subic Beach, this island is privately owned although the owner accepts visitors for free. Unlike Subic Beach, too, there is no resort or visitor accommodation on the small island. The only hut in the island houses the caretaker and his family. We cannot even remember seeing tables or benches for visitors; we had simply left our things back at the boat.

swimming at Tikling Island’s crystal-clear waters
Tikling’s crystal-clear waters

Among the three destinations on our island-hopping trip that day, Tikling Island is the closest to the mainland of Matnog. The first thing we noticed as our boat slowly glided into a stop at Tikling’s beach was the crystalline quality of the cyan and aquamarine waters.

Tikling Island with the Sorsogon mainland in the background
Tikling Island with the Sorsogon mainland in the background

As with nearby Subic Beach on Calintaan Island, the beach on Tikling Island boasts of creamy white sand peppered with crushed red coral particles, giving a pinkish hue when viewed from a distance. After briefly exploring the beach front we were soon frolicking in Tickling’s very clear cyan and aquamarine waters. The strong waves on this particular day made snorkeling a challenge here. The beautiful sights around the island, however, more than made up for the disappointment of not being able to explore its underwater treasures.

pinkish-white sand on Tikling Beach
Tikling’s beach has pinkish-white sand

The island is small enough to explore on foot. At the opposite end of the main beach and facing the island of Samar are several rock formations along the shore. This may be reached via a short walk inland. But because we were trying to cover many destinations in one trip, we had to leave early to be able to make it back to the port of Matnog and catch the jeepney for Irosin that afternoon.

cyan waters off Tikling Island
Crystal-clear cyan waters off Tikling Island

An unexpected attraction was the presence of several “domesticated” wild boars on the island. We learned from the caretakers that someone gave them a few of the wild animals some time ago and they ended up domesticating and multiplying them. The male boars we saw did not have the distinctive tusks we usually associate with wild boars; most of the males here are young and have yet to grow their tusks.

domesticated wild boars at Tikling Island
Tikling Island’s “domesticated” wild boars

Tikling Island has no accommodations. It may be possible to pitch a tent here to spend the night but you need to ask permission from the caretakers first. However, since it is just 20-30 minutes away from Matnog by boat it is better to get your accommodations at that town or to arrange for an overnight stay at one of the huts or cottages at Subic Beach and then drop by Tikling Island on the way back to Matnog town proper.

outrigger boat on Tikling Island with Matnog, Sorsogon in the background

For tips on how to get to Matnog and Tikling Island, click here.

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