It’s almost summer, so where to go? Here’s a list of near and “not-so-near” beaches that you might want to visit for the coming season. They say traveling is for the affluent only, but I say otherwise. Traveling for me is an investment. It’s the only thing than can make you rich… not by money, but by lessons through experience. Besides, you can always practice traveling-by-the-budget. (More of budget traveling tips in another post. I PROMISE!)
As the days welcome summer, the next thing on my mind is to book flights for my next destinations or to reserve seats for a land travel. The weather, inconsistent as it may seem, can never stop me from planning. Ladies and gentlemen, behold, SOME of the most gorgeous beaches in my country, the Philippines. (I shall write an entry for each place the soonest, just because I am so excited for summer and I just can’t help but look back.) I already posted this on my previous blog for 2014 (www.wanderbitesbybobbie.tumblr.com), but here’s the updated version for 2016.
1. Munting Buhangin Resort, Nasugbu, Batangas
Nasugbu will always be close to my heart. Not just because it is literally close to Manila, but also because I have spent most of my summers there. It is a three-hour drive south from Manila by car and the best thing about Nasugbu is that it is an easy escape from the toxicity of the city. Airfares and accommodation bookings could be really taxing at times, but at Munting Buhangin, you could just drive by, stay all you want, and book a room or a tree house if you feel like staying overnight. No pre-arrangements necessary. (EXCEPT FOR HOLY WEEK in which the beach is crowded with backpackers from Manila and nearby towns of Cavite and Laguna.)
How to get there: Ride a bus going direct to Nasugbu from Pasay Terminal in Manila. Then hire a tricycle to bring you to Munting Buhangin.
2. Potipot Island, Candelaria, Zambales
I fell in love with Potipot Island the moment I set foot on the pristine waters and white sands for the first time. It is almost a 6 hr. drive North of Manila. Potipot Island is merely a 15 minute boat ride from the beach fronts of Candelaria. I have been here several times with the same company and each time, Potipot Island never fails to amuse me with its cool waters and fine sands.
How to get there: Ride a bus going to Candelaria, Zambales from Cubao Terminal or SM North. Then ask the driver to drop you off at Sinabacan. From there, you may walk towards the sea side and hire a boat to bring you to Potipot Island. (You may also ask your accommodation for a boat-for-hire)
3. Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte
The farthest I’ve gone North, as Ilocos Norte is factually situated at the top most of the country together with Batanes Group of Islands and Cagayan. However the long drive (almost 12 hours by car), Pagudpod sets its own marvel as it is naturally divided into two amazing parts. One part is the Blue Lagoon, where waves were huge and careless, perfect for the adventurer souls searching for a place to surf on. The other part is Saud Beach, where the waters are calm and the sands are just cool enough for sun-bathing. I took that photo on a Holy Week so I believe it is not that crowded during normal summer days.
How to get there: You may want to take a plane going to Laoag, but then again for the adventure-seeking souls on a budget, you can ride a bus going to Laoag. check out Victory Liner or Partas from Cubao Bus Terminal. Then from Laoag, you can ride a van bound to Claveria.
4. Twin Rock Resort, Virac, Catanduanes
I woke up at 7:30 AM to be able to capture this shot with the perfect lighting. The golden sands of Catanduanes was worth the 12 hours travel by land and another 3 hours by sea. Catanduanes is an island located at the Bicol Region, South of Manila. It is my father’s hometown and my experience in this humble island is incomparable. This photo was captured a little too far from Twin Rock, but it showcases a facade of the resort including the outdoor activities which you might want to consider when you visit there. I have experienced extreme zip lining, baby octopus squirming on my palm, and a whole lot of overdue exciting encounters (another story to tell).
How to get there: Ride a Philtranco bus from Pasay bound to Albay (10-12 hrs by land depending on the traffic). Then from Albay sea port, ride a ferry boat to Virac, Catanduanes. From the port, you may ride a tricycle to Twin Rock. Or you can always book a flight direct to Catanduanes Island.
5. Daluyon Resort, Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan
It has always been the princess of the South. Palawan is the long island you see hanging at the left side of the country in the Philippine Map. I went there on a Ber-month and surprisingly, the weather was cooperative. Though it changes often from sunny to rainy then foggy and sunny again, the waters are always as tranquil as the photo.
How to get there: Book a flight to Puerto Prinsesa. from the airport, hire a van to take you to Daluyon Resort. Some vans also offer transfers to Subterranean Underground River.
6. Boracay Island, Aklan
My trips to Boracay were not purely for leisure. I experienced having to walk on the sands in high-heels and corporate attire in search for the perfect hotel for my trainings in the culinary field. This island has set its own edge all over the world for its cool powdery white sands, the clear waters, and definitely the night life. It is cosmopolitan written all over it in the middle of a very wide stretch of beach and jetty ports.
How to get there: There are 3 ways to get to Boracay. You can actually book a flight direct to Caticlan, ride a tricycle from the airport to bring you to the port (about 10-15 minute ride) or you can fly to Kalibo and ride a van to Caticlan Port (2 hours land travel). However, you can also ride a 2Go ferry from Batangas Port to Caticlan Port. From Caticlan Port, you can ride a tricycle or a mini-jeep to take you to your booked hotel or transient inn.
7. Camayan Beach Resort, Subic Bay, Zambales
Located in the near north, Camayan Beach resort is one of the nearest beaches for a quick getaway outside Metro Manila. The vast underwater sanctuary makes it a superb playground for any snorkeling fan.The resort offers water activities for families and barkadas, as well as a great prospective place for team buildings and company outing.
How to get there and more info about Camayan here: https://wanderbitesbybobbie.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/exploring-the-near-north-diy-to-subic-bay/
8. Calaguas Island, Vinzons, Camarines Norte
Calaguas is considered a very hidden gem in the Bicol region. Commercially untouched, the island offers a piece of paradise to anyone who wants to experience deep tranquility by the beach. However, boat ride to Calaguas Island sets an adrenaline rush to adventure trippers having to fray ginourmous waves of the Pacific Ocean from port. A trip to Calaguas is a very daring yet extraordinary experience for the brave wanderers.
How to get there and more about Calaguas Island here: http://wanderbitesbybobbie.tumblr.com/post/139351082351/explore-bicol-part-1-diy-to-calaguas-island
9. Las Casas Beach, Bagac, Bataan
The copper fine sands of Las Casas Beach is actually situated in the very heart of the heritage resort of Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar. It is merely a 4-hour travel to North of Manila by van. The quiet beach side of Las Casas is a perfect place to reminisce about history and culture as it faces the historical structures that the place have in site.
How to get there: Ride a bus Balanga bound from Cubao bus terminal. Upon arriving at Balanga, take a shuttle or mini-bus to Bagac. Then from Bagac terminal, ride a tricycle to the entrance of Las Casas.
10. Bagasbas Beach, Daet, Camarines Norte
Before Baler was Bagasbas Beach where surf junkies come to meet. The waves of Bagasbas, partly Pacific Ocean puts the beach as a top spot for surfing events both local and international. For non-surfers, you can hire an instructor to give you an experience on surfing as well as lessons on rip tides and ocean waves for a very minimal fee.
How to get there: Ride a Philtranco bus to Daet from Pasay bus terminal (8 hrs. land travel). From the terminal, ride a tricycle to Bagasbas Beach (15 minutes trike ride).
11. Oslob, Cebu
(Please pardon the healthy abs-ent. Abs under construction. LOL)
I have a lot of things to say when we talk about Cebu. I practically left my heart swimming with the whale sharks in Oslob. Aside from the food, the people, and the diversity of both city and nature, Cebu will always have a special place in my heart. Oslob, a town 4 hours away from the city, sets its own grandeur with the places that it has to offer. It is home for whalesharks, a major tourist attraction in Cebu. It is also where the beautiful Tumalog Falls is situated. I took the photo on a beach side facing another beautiful island called Sumilon. I probably would have another post just for Cebu itself as a little space in this post would not justify its beauty.
How to get there: Book a flight to Cebu Mactan Airport. Hire a van to take you to the town of Oslob (merely a 4 hour drive from the city).