Masbate City is a city of 95,000 (2015) and the capital of Masbate Province. The only city of the province, it is also a major transportation and commercial hub.
Masbate city was established as the capital of the Masbate islands, then a part of Ibalon (present Albay), but that designation was repeatedly moved to other towns in the island to protect the Spanish colonial administrators from pirate raids. The city dates back to 1569, the same year that Masbate province was colonized by the Spanish.
Masbate City became a city in 2000, but it is practically more of a large town. The city sits beside an inlet, and the downtown is within a peninsula facing the Burias Pass.
- 1 Moises R. Espinosa Airport (MBT IATA), Espinosa Rd, Ibingay. Cebgo flies to Masbate City from Manila daily every morning.
2Go Travel has luxury ferries from Manila to Masbate, which takes 16-18 hours. RORO ferries operate between Pilar and Masbate. Masbate City is part of the Central Nautical Highway route.
From Visayas, ferries call at Cataingan or Cawayan.
- Masbate City Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal, Diversion Rd, Magallanes.
Masbate's poblacion (downtown) is fairly small, and is walkable. Tricycles are available as well.
- Pawa Mangrove Nature Park, JM Robredo Blvd (Near the airport).
- Villa Bayot, Zurbito St. An old ancestral house made of iron and wood. Inside, there are antique religious articles, some believed to be miraculous
- Buntod Sandbar and Marine Sanctuary (10-minute boat ride from Masbate port).
- Tattoo Island (Minalayo Island). Has multiple openings leading to an underwater lagoon home to sea snakes and bats
- Lapay Bantigue Dance Festival 30 Sep. Also the celebration of Masbate's cityhood, its main highlight is the Lapay Bantigue folk dance, which derives from a precolonia folk tale of a "Lola Felise" who imitated the graceful movements of a seagull (lapay). The dance has been known to the Spaniards, and is recognized by the Philippine government.
- Pagdayao Festival 13 Jun. Honors the city's patron saint, St. Anthony of Padua.
- Rodeo Festival The festival is first held in 1993 to showcase Masbate's cattle industry and promote tourism, and features 10 events, the most notable being the challenging "figure of eight" where the cowboy crisscrosses around barrels. Unlike American rodeo, the events features ranch practice turned into games.
- Gaisano Capital Masbate, Cagba St.
24-hour ATMs are at BDO (Quezon St) BPI (Quezon St), Metrobank (Zurbito), and PNB (Quezon St).
- Port Zirteas, Mabini St. Small restaurant with a homey ambience.
- Balay Valencia, Ibañez St, ☏ . Fan/AC rooms with TV, free WiFi. Breakfast included, and meals available upon request. Rooms facing street may be quite noisy. Fan rooms: ₱500.; AC rooms: ₱850.
- GV Hotel, Danao St, ☏ . Fan/AC double rooms with own bathrooms and cable TV. ₱550-750.
- Novo Hotel, 44 Quezon St, ☏ . AC rooms, free parking and WiFi. Pets allowed. Rooms have bathroom and cable TV. From ₱1000.
- Ranchers Hotel, Tara St., ☏ . Check-out: noon. Fan double room. From ₱350.
- Sampaguita Tourist Inn, Quezon St, ☏ . AC rooms with own bathrooms and cable TV. Has free Wifi. Single fan room ₱300; single air-con room ₱500..
- St. Anthony Hotel, Quezon St, ☏ . Check-out: noon. Fan single room with own bathroom. From ₱300.
- Team Centrum Seamen's Hotel, 28 Danao St. AC rooms with TV. Bathrooms do not have hot water. From ₱1000.
- Victoria DuHotel, Tara St, ☏ . Check-out: noon. Fan rooms. From ₱350.
There are internet cafés, with rates starting from ₱15/hour; most are open 8AM-9PM daily.
- PHLPost, Quezon St. M-F 8AM-5PM; Sa-Su closed.