Top 5 Undiscovered Beaches in Luzon

20 04 2013

Beat the heat! Let’s go to the beach!

Are you the type of person who hates crowded, overrated and touristy beaches? Do you want to soak yourself in crystal clear water, enjoy the white sand, witness the sunrise and the beautiful sunset, stargazing or watch dazzling fireflies at night? I bet you want to try all these but your next question would be, how much is the budget? My answer is, that would be the least of your concern.

Let me give you my top 5 undiscovered beaches near the capital city of the Philippines.

1. Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas — This has been one of my favorite destinations. I have been to this remote beach in Calatagan. I blogged about it twice and I must share with you that this has been the most viewed entry in my entire blog site.

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With only Php1,500 all-in, you can have an overnight stay in this white sand beach. To learn more about this trip you can read my previous blog about Burot beach.

2. Kwebang Lampas in Pagbilao, Quezon — Another hidden paradise in Quezon. This beach is not so accessible, I tell you. But that’s also the reason why this place remains uncrowded and have preserved its beauty. You have to travel for about 5-6 hours to get here. A few transfers from bus to jeepney to tricycle to boat and a bit of trekking. But don’t lose heart, my fellow traveler. Nature-lovers and adventure-seekers love this place.

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White sand, pristine water, caving, stargazing and fireflies will live up to your expectations. The most stars I’ve ever seen in my entire life, I’ve seen them here. I was also amazed to see some fireflies at night during my last visit here. Oh, the budget: Php1,500 all-in. That’s for an overnight.

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Directions on how to get here? Read my blog about Kwebang Lampas.

3. Sitio Liw-Liwa in San Felipe, Zambales — Going up north, to my most favorite place when it comes to scenery. The country-side view of Zambales has always been what I look forward to. I always sit on the left side window of the bus going north. I always want to see its beauty. Mountains, trees, grass of different shades(it adds drama to the view, I swear!), the sun and everything in between. It always have this cinematic feel. Anyway, Liwliwa is a sitio in San Felipe. If you are not into surfing you would not hear of this place. Not white sand, not as famous as Anawangin Cove but there is something about the place that captured my heart.

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How will I explain this? The place is quite small, very laid back life, with people who just love to smile, a clean beach, a secret haven for surfers who hates crowded sea and quiet place. There is something more about the place. I just don’t know how to elaborate but this has already been my favorite place in Zambales. I feel like I’m a local of this place and I think I can stay in Liwliwa for a long time. I just discovered the place last February and I have been there thrice already. I met some new friends who have been inloved with Liwliwa and made this place their every weekend destination since last year, consistently.

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Now it’s your turn to discover the place and tell me if you love the place too! How to get there? Read my blog about Liwliwa. Budget is Php1,500 for 2 days and 1night.

4. Nagsasa Cove in Pundaquit, Zambales — I told you I love Zambales! Most beautiful places are not easy to reach. They usually include butt-numbing bus rides, scary-boat rides and trekking. But the place relieves all the muscle pain and little heart attacks you get from boat rides. Yes, you have to deal with rough waves. Not to scare you, but I’m just setting your expectations. But again, the view will make you forget that you are still in the Philippines. No exaggeration. From the rock formations, still water of the river, picturesque view and of course the falls it make you stay a little more in this cove.

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Read more about its beauty here.

Budget: Honestly, I did not list down my expenses during my trip to Nagsasa. I was with my friends. I lost track of our expenses. But safe budget would be Php2,000 as the boat rental is kind of pricey plus you have to hire a tour guide if you want to trek to the falls.

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5. Cagbalete Island in Quezon — White sand bars would be it’s trademark! I think the whole stretch of the island is white sand. You can trek, swim, kayak, snorkel or just beach bum on this not-so-commercialzed island of Cagbalete.

Budget: Another trip with my friends which means, I don’t list down my expenses. But I’m pretty sure it was not more than Php3,000.

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Tips: For this kind trip where in you get yourself exposed to the sun don’t forget to bring your sunblocks/sun screen. It is also advisable that you bring a cap/hat, malong, umbrella(if you’re comfortable that way) or anything to give your head a shade and protection from the sun. Also don’t forget to apply mosquito repellant lotion as these places are home to insects that might cause irritation to your very sensitive skin.

My request: Please ALWAYS keep our beaches clean. Do not throw your trash on the beach or just anywhere. Love them as if you own the place. Let other people experience its beauty.

Keep exploring!

Do you have any questions or comments regarding this article? Feel free to get in touch with me by leaving a comment here or you may send me an email at victoriousjay1@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter. Please follow me @gladJAYtor. Also on Instagram, @Traveling_GladJAYtor. Enjoy your trip and keep safe!





How To Get To Burot Beach

19 02 2013

Here’s a quick guide on how to get to Burot beach.

The easiest to reach (not so crowded) beach from Manila. If you want to just relax by the beach on a boring weekend, I recommend you bring your backpack and tent with you to this little haven found in Calatagan, Batangas. Thinking about your budget? Worry no more! Here, no hotel accommodation to pay for. No need to book in advance of your plane ticket and if you happen to visit this place on a weekday, you might get the chance to have the whole place solo. I did the last time I visited the place. I got lucky! Just a few hours from Manila by bus and you get yourself in front of a white sand beach, calm water and can witness the beautiful sunset. Let me give you an idea of how much budget do you need to get there.

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TRANSPORTATION

From Pasay, look for BSC bus station near McDonald’s Taft in front of Metroplitan Mall, MRT Taft station.

Ride a bus going to Calatagan. The fare is about Php290 for an air-conditioned bus. Alight the bus when you reached their Calatagan terminal. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost because that’s their last stop.

Ride a tricycle going to the beach. The drivers are familiar with this beach. Haggle with the price as some drivers would charge you about Php200-Php250. Most of the drivers will only charge Php120-Php150. The first time I went there, in a group of 6, we rented two tricycles we were charged Php60 per head. Do the math.

When you get to the guard house, just ask permission from the guard and inform them that you want to swim. They will then ask you if you want to stay for overnight. There is an entrance fee of Php120. I believe that the beach is owned and I heard that they are going to develop the place. So while it is still unspoiled, pack your bags and head over to Calatagan. Let me know and share with us of your experience once you get back from there.

One way fares*
*Bus fare – Php 290
*Tricycle- Php 150
Overnight fee- Php 120 (optional)

THINGS TO DO

You can do snorkeling, swimming, island hopping and enjoy the sunset, the sand and the view. Please beware of the sea urchins. There is a lot.

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TIPS

Again, no accommodation in this beach so bring your own tent. Also bring a flashlight or lamp as there’s no electricity in the area. Also bring your food and water. There is a store in the beach but expect a much higher price. i don’t think they serve food either. I recommend that you buy your food once you get off the bus in Calatagan. You may ask the tricycle driver to drive you off to the market. Don’t forget your sunblock and most of all your mosquito repellant.

It is also advisable that you get the mobile number of the tricycle driver or ask them to fetch you on the following day.

Warning for girls, their comfort rooms aren’t as good as the ones in a hotel. They have about 3 to 4 comfort rooms already. Running water for taking a bath is available for free.

Do you have any questions or comments regarding this article? Feel free to get in touch with me by leaving a comment here or you may send me an email at victoriousjay1@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter. Please follow me @gladJAYtor. Enjoy your trip and keep safe!





CHASING SUNSET IN BUROT BEACH

18 07 2012

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The Cost Of Spontaneity
A sudden change of plan could be disheartening to most people but to me. As it is much more exciting and challenges me to be more spontaneous.

Good News, Bad News
Our trip to Burot beach in Calatagan, Batangas was an unplanned trip. The original plan was a climb to Mount Batulao last weekend. But due to conflict of schedules, the climb was cancelled. We were informed the day before the trip. This is not new to me as I get a lot of these. That’s why even before the trip, I make a research for another possible place to go to, intended not as plan b but for the next trip. I didn’t feel bad upon hearing the news over Facebook. As soon as I learned about it, I informed my workmates about my plan of going to Burot beach. Take note: I was the one who organized the trip.

Shit Happens (Opsss…)
I have to justify myself in this part: My original plan was to bring my things to the office the night before the trip so we can go directly from there. I am out of the office by 10AM. But shit happens!(excuse me for that term) My laundry was still unpicked at the shop so after my work, I head to the shop to pick them up. Very UNFORTUNATELY, my laundry was not ready yet. I have work the following day. I informed my colleagues right away. I told them that I will be going back home after work to pack my things. I made it to the meeting place at 12:20PM. I was late for 20 minutes.

Our bus left the terminal in Pasay at around 1:30PM. I know the importance of time and I know how it feels to wait.

“Sunset” A Bad LSS!
It was past five o’clock and we were still on the road. A few kilometers away from Calatagan. My colleague was so furious with the situation. She could not bear it anymore. I can only imagine how she wanted to get out of that bus and fly if she could to get to the seashore to witness the beauty of that sunset. We were stuck in traffic as a part of a bridge is under construction and only one lane is open for all the vehicles who passes through that place. It took us another hour and a half to get to the jump off to the beach. Along the way, she would keep ranting about me not able to get to the meeting place early. She would remind me about the sunset from time to time. It was dark when we get to the beach. We set up our tent and the “sunset” topic was still brought up. It was echoing to my head already like a last song syndrome (LSS). My other colleagues would also try to bring it up but nothing annoys me more than her that makes it more sound like I am the one to blame for not seeing the “sunset”. I heard it over our dinner, until they finished their drinks, until before I fell asleep. I was irritated!

Calm Sea
Early morning, I was awaken by the giggle and chitchat of the girls who woke up early. The moment I opened my eyes, I saw that the weather is good. The sun is not yet out though. I hurried and change my shorts inside our tent, went out and made a splash. I didn’t even brush my teeth or drink a water or take a bite of our breakfast. The water was so calm that no sound of waves one can hear. The water was clear and I swear, it was the most perfect water I’ve ever witnessed. Well, except for the seaweeds and sea urchins. The sand is fine and white, the trees are all over and the whole sea shore is well-kept. It has been years since I saw a calm sea like that. It could’ve been back in my beloved island—Jintotolo island.

The Sunken Sandbar
We all had our breakfast at around 8AM. Took pictures–swim–a little chitchat–then dip into the water–then eat a little–then swim, until two boatmen approached us and offered to bring us to a “white sand bar”. We grabbed the offer as we all wanted to see it. It was about a three to five minutes of boat ride. It was high tide then so the sandbar was already submerged. So we just enjoyed swimming around the shallow part in the middle of the sea. We stayed for about 20 to 30 minutes under the scorching heat of the sun along with the other group. Thanks to Kath’s sunblock (*with SPF 50) for keeping our skin from sunburn but not with our skin colors. LOL

Blame It On The Weatherman
About lunch time when we took a bath (there’s no shower in the beach) and get ourselves ready. And oh, the “sunset” thing was all over the whole time. (It didn’t end there. I even read it on her status and comments on Facebook a few days after. She even gave a name “Sunset” to my iPad. How’s that?!) I was so casual the whole time because it would be so unmanly to fight back but deep inside I’m already pissed off! I only managed to answer back with “please drop it” but still smiling as I don’t want to ruin my trip. They decided to stay to catch the sunset. I have to go back to Manila as I have work schedule at 7PM that day. I never protested of me going home solo. I asked the other group if I could go with them. Transportation (coming & going) to that place is not as easy as getting a taxi in Makati. That trip was so memorable to me. It made me think of doing backpacking solo again. I won’t enjoy if someone around make “parinig” and make it sound like “it’s all your fault” kind of joke. Even if it’s a joke. I never complaint about anything the whole time and never did I posted on Facebook or Twitter that I was annoyed about the situation. I already apologized the moment I arrived in our meeting place. It could be bearable if the joke lasted for a couple of hours. But hearing it the whole time, it makes you think of going back home and wished that you never joined the trip. It was a bitter-sweet trip for me. Because I was able to get to a place as peaceful as Burot beach but losing a friend whom I considered a backpacker like me whom I could count on whenever I have a trip.

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These last two pictures courtesy of Mugi!








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