Showing posts with label Top Beaches in the Philippines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Top Beaches in the Philippines. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

10 Best Beach Destinations in the Philippines For a Relaxing Walk-on-a-Beach Moment

February 17, 2021 0
White beach, Puerto Galera


Eager to go on a beach trip again?


Yeah, we love to. We all need that. We need a vacation somewhere. We deserve it to de-stress after going through a rough year. But the world is still in the middle of the pandemic and government restrictions on leisure travel is still very much in place. 


Philippines has yet to start distributing the vaccine jab, which makes traveling a bit risky and unsafe. Though more destinations are slowly reopening, I still don't have the appetite to start fixing my travel plans. Just not yet. 


I don't want to undergo such inconveniences of having a swab test, having tons of travel requirements to accomplish and, darn! I hate wearing face mask. 


I would never enjoy the trip,  So I will just wait when everything is okay. Meanwhile, I am preparing my list of beach destinations in the Philippines to visit when travel for leisure becomes convenient and comfortable again.


Prefer a beach with a long coastline


I don't like party destination beaches (except White beach, Puerto Galera) because I hate noises and a flow of a huge crowd. I prefer beaches that are quiet and calm where I could have a relaxing retreat and a moment of solitude. 

Morning walk in Boracay

I love beach destinations with a wide beachfront, sprawling ground and a great view of the open sea. And those with a long coastline so that I could have endless long walks anytime of the day. A walk on a beach is just so therapeutic and relaxing and that's what I am looking for in a beach adventure.


My attachment to the open sea


I was born and raised in a coastal town of Surigao del Sur, nestled between mountains and beaches and directly facing the Pacific Ocean.  A quiet rural area dotted by rivers, valleys, rice and coco fields. Very far from the world I lived today. 


I spent my childhood running through the rice fields, marveling at the mountains, picking seashells during low tide and chasing waves during high time.

Beach walking one December afternoon in my hometown

I would go to sleep at night with the noise of crashing waves, and would wake up to the sounds of chirping birds. During weekends and at summer time, I would take long afternoon walks at the seaside, gazing at the vast ocean, wondering what's beyond the mystical blue sea.


My happy place


Thus, a long coastline is my "happy place", my sanctuary when everything is unbearable. It is where I could be in my calmest myself, where I could have the privacy of my thoughts.

Beach walking in Aquaria resort, Batangas

Should everything is safe to embark into a leisure trip again without so many travel requirements to accomplish, my first destination is really a beach. 


Either I would go home to Surigao, or go somewhere for a beach lounging. I miss the scent of a salty ocean, the therapeutic sounds of the crashing waves, the relaxing sight of the open sea, the powdery beach sand, and the crisp breeze rolling from the ocean.


Most memorable beach walk


I have not gone much to luxurious beaches in the country, apart from Boracay and Pearl Farm, but I have some of the best beach travels where walking along the seaside became memorable.


Here's my beach walks to remember:


White Beach, Puerto Galera


Popularly recognized as one of the most beautiful bays in the world, White Beach in Puerto Galera has not lost its charm despite shifting Philippine tourism's focus to other beach destinations in the country. 

Long coastline of White beach, Puerto Galera


It's still one of the most charming islands in the Philippines to visit where a walk on a beach is the most liberating and care-free experience.

White beach, Puerto Galera


White Beach in Puerto Galera is my top favorite to revisit the moment normal traveling is back in the country. I love the experience walking in the morning along the seaside. It has a wide beach front with a great view of the open sea.

Beach walking in White Beach, Puerto Galera

The sprawling beach front, the long coastline, the brisk air coming from the open sea, the roaring of the waves, the turquoise blue water, everything is so terrific at White Beach, Puerto Galera. No wonder it's one of my favorite beach destinations in the Philippines. 


Check my trip and travel guide for Puerto Galera HERE. Or watch my Puerto Galera vlog HERE


White Beach, Boracay Island


Oh yes, Boracay! Who would not want to visit this breathtaking island in the Philippines? The powdery ivory sand, the irresistible emerald waters. The long coastline. It's surreal to always think of going to Boracay and get lost in thoughts.

A beach walk to remember. Station 2, Boracay

Apart from the watersports and high-spirited night life, Boracay offers the best walk on the beach experience due to its long coastline and fascinating view of the open sea. And you can even walk barefoot without any feeling of discomfort.

Morning walk before sunrise
Walking barefoot in White beach, Boracay

I love going back there someday and just experience life at the seaside, lay in the sand or walk barefoot and watch the world go by while waiting for the sunset.


Read my actual travel experience in BORACAY HERE!


Jomalig Island


One thing I love about Jomalig island is its secluded location and endless view of the open sea! I have never been to an island in the Philippines where everything looks like a surreal - pristine surroundings, super clear and heavenly turquoise and emerald waters, long stretches of shorelines, where crashing of waves sounded like songs of the mystical sea.

Uncanny and timeless! Like, you do not want to end the day and just want to spend time walking at the seaside, gazing at the vast ocean. Jomalig island is a must-visit in the Philippines.

Golden sand beach, Boracay

Going there is a bit difficult, unless you have the heart for an off-the-beaten track adventure. 


Sea travel seems risky. The boat travel takes more than five hours over the rough sea where waves smashed on the vessel like you've been shaken by an earth tremor. 


But the moment you reach the island, an awe of magic awaits. The white powdery sand, the stunning sea, the clear waters, the long coastline. 


Everything is so incredible at this remote Philippine island in the Quezon province. It offers the best walk-on-a-beach adventure to beach lovers.

Pamana beach, Jomalig Island
Irresistible emerald waters of Jomalig island
Lingayen cove, Jomalig island


It is a stunning island wonder that offers a sense of calmness and serenity. Its location in the middle of the rough seas provides abundance of a terrific ocean view and endless sea delights, making a beach walk here a rewarding experience.


Travel resources for Jomalig island:


Magalawa Island


Magalawa island is a remote island off the coast of Palauig, Zambales, Luzon, Philippines, spanning across 56 hectares of tropical land and white beach. 

Sand bar in Armada beach resort, Magalawa island

It has two operating resorts and the one I visited with colleagues is the Armada beach. It has clean amenities, quiet atmosphere and wide sandbar for a fascinating beach walk experience. 


I love the sandbar. It's ideal for any activities like team building and ball sports or just beach lounging, letting things go by in a day. It's also a great area to view the sunset.

Wide beach front of Armada beach resort
Life is calmer at seaside
Memorning walk at the other side of the sand bar

Armada beach resort in Magalawa island is calmer at night time. The resort has a policy of no to blasting videoke or any activities that create noise during the night, so the accommodation here is ultra relaxing.

For my Magalawa island adventure, check this LINK, or watch my Magalawa island vlog HERE


White Island, Camiguin


My travel to Camiguin island in 2010 is the reason why I became a travel blogger 😄. It was such a great experience that I began writing my travel moments exploring Camiguin, especially the White Island, thus, created a travel blog. Back then, I only had one blog - The Royals of Europe site.

White island, Camiguin

Camiguin was also the first island in the Philippines outside Southern Mindanao I've visited for a beach trip. So this beach adventure was very memorable.


White island is Camiguin's natural treasure. It is uninhabited with nothing but sandbar in it. Unlike other sandbars in the country that are attached to the mainland, the sandbar in White Island is totally isolated and literally floating in the open sea, so you feel like walking above the sea water when you do some beach walking here.  

White Island. Nothing in-between but ocean

The most ideal time to visit White island is in the early morning. Before sunrise, you should be in the island and leave before noon because it has only sandbar and no shade to protect you from the grueling sun.


Check my actual trip in Camiguin, including top spots to visit:


Beach Travel Plans


I have not traveled in over a year due to the pandemic. My last beach adventure was in November 2019 in Puerto Galera. Wish to travel again soon. And beach trip is my top choice.


Philippines is home to more than 7,000 islands and islets, so there's no short of beach destinations to choose, however, there's always an exemption. And because I love beaches with the longest coastline and with a surrounding that's quieter and calmer, I have gathered a list where I would be going next.


These 5 destinations are my top choices:


1. Long beach, San Vicente, Palawan


San Vicente, Palawan has been on my travel bucket list long before the pandemic began. I've gathered quite a number of articles and travel guides about this remote town in Palawan. When everything is okay to travel again, I'd love to go there.

San Vicente has the longest coastline in the Philippines

San Vicente is smack between El Nido and Puerto Princesa, and unlike Palawan's popular destinations, Coron and El Nido, San Vicente offers a very laid-back atmosphere and a terrific view of the open sea. 


And the perk?


It is home to the longest coastline in the Philippines, about three times the size of White beach in Boracay. And second in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia, thus, got the moniker of the "Long beach".


And that's enough to make me swoon in thrill! I love long coastlines because I can do an endless beach walk  day by day. 

Long beach, Palawan


Afternoon is always cool and ultra relax when I am in a long coastline, beach-walking. Such a peaceful feeling. I prefer a quieter environment where I could enjoy the day walking without the noise of a big crowd. I can no longer tolerate noises and crowded places. It drained my energy.


Long beach is a signature attraction in San Vicente, Palawan. It has a coconut-fringe coastline, pristine, ivory sand, stunning blue waters, and offers a pink-hued sunsets. Wow! Yeah, someday.


2. Santa Fe, Bantayan island


Bantayan island in the province of Cebu in the Visayas region is another dream beach destination. Heard a lot about it and wish to go there someday.


It's home to gorgeous beaches where atmosphere is so incredibly beautiful. Sugary white sand lapped by sparkling emerald water is the closest thing to paradise.

Santa Fe, Bantayan island, Cebu


Its most popular municipality is Santa Fe where beach side is so pristine and romantic, ideal for a whole day beach walking. The tropical wide beach front is dotted by coconut trees, good for a relaxing adventure.


3. Hagonoy, Brittania island, Surigao del Sur


Mindanao is not so popular among travelers. Apart from Siargao island in Surigao del Norte, you would rarely hear tourists mentioning about a Mindanao travel destination. 


It's due to the insurgencies in the island. The terrorist attacks, the kidnap for ransom incidents, the bandits. Inconvenience news that terrifies tourists.


But I want to debunk this notion. 


Although there are parts of Mindanao considered as hotspot or in red alert due to terrorism incidents, it only happened in some regions but never the entire Mindanao. 


I came from Mindanao, I grew up in the province of Surigao del Sur, studied and worked in Davao City. My home province belongs to the CARAGA region (Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte) and it's relatively safer for travel even for first time tourists,

Hagonoy island, Brittania group of islands, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur


The CARAGA region is peaceful and most of its municipalities are still very rural. So you would never get lost. People are accommodating and hospitable. 


The region offers the most exhilarating experience of adventure due to the natural landscape of mountains and beaches. Relatively unknown to tourists (with the exemption of Siargao island in Surigao del Norte), this unpopularity, however, works pretty well in favor of the municipalities.


It keeps the provinces in the region quieter and peaceful and less crowded. It allows plenty of space and privacy. 


It protects the environment to remain clean and sustainable. And most of all, it keeps the rates of beach resorts here relatively cheaper and affordable due to low demands from tourists, making CARAGA region an exciting travel destination.

Pristine white beach of Hagonoy island

One of these islands in my home province, Surigao del Sur, that offers the best of beach adventure is Hagonoy island in San Agustin, Surigao del sur. Just a 20-minute ride from my home town of Marihatag.


Formerly known as Oteiza, San Agustin (where both of my paternal grandparents hailed) is gifted with stunning islands (24 all) and islets called Brittania group of islands.

Papa and Mama in Hagonoy island


As most of these islands are uninhabited and almost without plants, the islands are spruced up in white and pristine coastlines with just few coconut trees, making it ideal for beach travelers who love to lounge under the warm sun.


With its terrific view of the Pacific Ocean and white sand, this island offers a fascinating adventure of beach walking and sunset viewing. 


Though we're 20 minutes away from San Agustin and my birthplace is part of this municipality, I have not yet visited Brittania group of islands, making me the only member of our family to have not set a foot in Hagonoy island.


4. Paliton beach, Siquior


So many foreign tourists are raving about the beauty of Paliton beach, in the exotic island of Siquijor, yet I only heard about this beach recently. So I got intrigued. And wanted to visit it someday.

Paliton island, Siquijor


It is located in the northeastern portion of San Juan, lies a stunning white sandy beach of Paliton.  According to the Lonely Planet article, Paliton beach has a crystal-clear water and palm-tree fringed shoreline.


And because it faces west, Paliton beach is a great place to watch the beautiful sunset. Oh, wow! Someday, hope to go there!


5. Saud Beach


Another stunning beach in the Philippines I only heard recently. Saud beach is located in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte in the Northern tip of Luzon. 

Paliton beach, Siquior

What I would love about this place is how travel resources online describe the place - calm, quiet with dazzling long arc of white sand glistening on the warm sunshine. Coconut palms fringe the shoreline 


For inquiry, you can visit their official website


My Beach Appetite


I am sort of an introvert who savors the quiet scenery and tranquil atmosphere of the beach than the crowded destinations. 


Popular beaches like El Nido and Coron in Palawan never fascinate me because of the flock of the huge tourists. Crowd and noise drain my energy and ruin my appetite of a beach holiday.


I prefer moments of solitude and calmness, enjoying the view of the ocean, the rushing of the waves, and the long beach walks.

Bayanan beach, Puerto Galera

I just want to spend a relaxing day on the beach, walking along the seashore, get lost in my thoughts and watch the world go by.  Then spend the afternoon laying in the sand, sipping tea or reading books or listening to the soft whispers of the rolling sea as sun prefers to set.

Golden sand, Jomalig island

Long coastline fascinates me, it's one of my definitions of a happy place on earth. Taking a quiet morning or afternoon walk along the shoreline resets my mood for a wonderful life. It's one of my indulgences in life.


It's pretty cool and liberating to be in a quiet beach. Someday, when everything is okay to get back on the road again, I would love to go to the beach in any of the above destinations. 


Until then. 😊

Friday, July 5, 2013

Boracay: The Party Island. And The Best Place To Walk on a Beach

July 05, 2013 6
Morning walk in Boracay


Gorgeous tropical environment, stunning coastline, sparkling water, romantic sunset, fun-filled daytime activities by the sea and vibrant night life, where else to experience all of it in the Philippines?

At the dazzling island of Boracay!

Unlike other beach resorts in the Philippines where visitors only enjoy the beauty of the seaside at day time, Boracay offers a unique experience of fun and adventure even at night time. 

Crystal cove during our island hopping

As the sun dramatically goes down, Boracay springs to life and visitors are treated to an ultimate party adventure. 

I'm not a party girl and I hate night life, I don't like staying up late and I detested liquors and cigarettes but during my Boracay trip, I enjoyed watching the crowd at night time. 

The laughter. The vigour. The vibes. I had fun watching people dancing, exchanging pleasantries, laughing and singing along. 

Morning grind in Boracay


So many tourists from diverse cultural background fidgeted the area!! It looks like Ibiza, a beach party destination in Spain frequently visited by famous celebrities and European royals.

I have been into many islands and beach resorts in the country, in fact seaside is no longer a stranger to me because I grew up in the coastal area of Surigao del sur at the outskirt of Mindanao peninsula, but nothing knocks the splendor and magnificence of Boracay. 

Truly impressive!!

So why I love Boracay? I figured, it’s not just about the island’s sun-kissed shoreline, ivory sand and crystal-clear water, but more about fun and discoveries, the exciting activities at daytime and lively scene at night time, the sugary sand, the sunset and the energy! 

Simply the best of both worlds!

Banana boat ride 

For three days and two nights it felt like I was in a completely different world, no worries, no concerns, no tension, I relished every moment of pleasure and freedom. 

It's good to think life one at a time. I had this very amazing, really incredible experience of fun and leisure. A million thanks to my very generous long-time friend, Anelyn Arcon, for sponsoring this once-in-a-lifetime moment of bonding at this world-class beach resort.

Planning Our Boracay Trip

This travel was almost impossible because of the stormy weather that the country had experienced over the last week of June. 

We originally wanted to travel via 2Go at the Batangas port to Caticlan, but due to the low pressure forecast, we did not push through, too risky. 

Strolling around the White Beach, Boracay


We waited for another day. On July 1, the weather had improved so we immediately checked the promo rates of Zest Air, luckily for us, the airline offered a cheaper rate.

Entering Boracay!

We boarded Zest Air from Manila to Kalibo, Aklan last July 2, the air travel took only 45 minutes. I was quite surprise with the runway of the Kalibo International Airport, so narrow and rocky, felt like I was riding a bus.
At the Kalibo International Airport disembarking from Zest Air


Caticlan airport, which is nearer to Boracay, also serves commercial flights but the airfare is quite expensive so we chose the Kalibo route.

After disembarking from the aircraft, we proceeded to the arrival section of the airport, we looked around where to catch a ride for Caticlan. 

Along the exit area, travelers have lots of options to choose, either ride a bus or hire a van or  a package of van plus boat transfer, we chose the latter because it was more convenient (Php250.00 each person for this package).

At the Caticlan jetty port, we paid P100 for terminal fee and P75.00 for environmental fee. The boat ride took only 10 minutes. 

After disembarking off the boat, we hired a multi-cab from the port to reach the beach area (fare is approximately P100.00 each) where we still need to scout for accommodations.

We did not book a hotel prior to our travel. 😄

Villa de Oro at station 2

There was a man we met named Sonny who worked for the tourism department of the local government and whose job is to help assist visitors. 

He guided us from the van to the Caticlan port and to Boracay, he also helped us find hotel because we did not book online. He brought us to Villa de Oro at station 2 located at the beachfront besides La Carmela. 

One good advantage of not booking online is that you still have options where to stay the moment you arrive. But this is only applicable during low season. If it's peak season, it will be difficult to look for a vacant place to stay.

Villa de Oro loft


We visited La Camela first but it was already full so Sonny introduced us to another villa. Since it was no longer a peak season, resorts at Boracay offered promotional packages to visitors who will book personally. 

We got a cheaper rate at Villa de Oro. 

Villa de Oro accommodation

We stayed in a loft style villa good for 6 people, it has an original rate of Php7,000.00 and it was given to us for only Php 4,800.00, the package included breakfast and dinner.

Mongolian buffet at Villa de Oro

We were amused with the villa's Mongolian buffet at dinner time because we're the one to choose and mix our vegetables and noodles. 

During our first night, it was truly an adventure. We mixed whatever ingredients displayed at the counter and brought it to the waiting chef and puff! the taste was strange! 

At breakfast time we had two choices: Filipino and American starters and I tried both starters for two mornings.

American style breakfast at Villa de Oro


Day 1: Watersports Activities, Island Hopping

Not being able to book a tour package to Boracay posed no problem to us. During day time, plenty of vendors/agents offering island hopping and other activities crowded the beachside.

They will offer competitive activities and prices. Travelers have different options to choose.

The usual package offered by the locals:

Activities                   Rate             Duration

Island hopping    Php 1,200.00      3 hours (rate of one boat per group)
Snorkeling          Php    120.00      30 minutes
Helmet Diving    Php     700.00      15 minutes
Banana Boat      Php     500.00      15 minutes
Para sailing        Php 1,500.00       15 minutes  

We chose three activities: 
  • Island hopping, Helmet diving and Banana Boat. 
  • It costs us around Php 1,371.00 each. 
  • The island hopping lasted 3 hours, we passed at the crocodile island and disembarked at the crystal cove where we hopped in and spent lunch. 
  • We resumed the tour after lunch. The island hopping was followed by Banana boat ride and Helmet diving.
At the crystal cove along Ilig-iligan beach during our island hopping
Lunch time at Crystal Cove

Banana boat

Fabulous! For moderate adventurers like me who cringed on extreme adventure and death-defying watersports, banana boat is a perfect adventure to choose. 

Banana boat ride

It's just purely fun, swishing around the sea water with inflated banana thing being pulled by a raging speed boat. I screamed on top of my lungs!

Helmet Diving

Yeah, this is somewhat a daredevil water adventure and I would never want to do it again. Ever! That was so scary!

The scary helmet diving

There was a quick orientation before going down the water but felt like the lecture did not sink in my scared brain. It's so scary because you have to go down to the deep blue water wearing a pressurized helmet, a slight error can be very fatal. 

I was so nervous that I did not immediately catch the instruction so I kept on asking my companions about those critical reminders.

It was really terrifying! 

Fish feeding under water

When it was our turn to go down, I hesitated at first but because it was non-refundable I forced myself to calm down and control my fears. 

Honestly, despite the orientation, I was oblivious what to do so when the helmet was put on my head scare for my safety stroke in my mind, I gripped hardly on the iron handle and did not release my hand so the diver pulled my body down and gently guided me. 

It was terrible because the helmet was so heavy and it felt like my eardrums were about to explode due to pressure! I was holding my breath and struggled to touch my feet on the sea bed. 

But when I saw Anelyn smiled and gestured the “OK” sign, I released a deep sigh of relief and slowly smiled back and realized it's safe to breath underwater hehe!

The diver had to pull us together constantly because we kept on moving due to the strong current of water and we could not be put together for the picture and video taking.

We were given slices of bread to feed the fishes but I was not concentrating, I was thinking more of going up back to the boat. 

We did not consume the 15 minutes, it was too much for our nervous system so I touched Anelyn's hand to send a signal to the diver to pull us up. 

Once back to the boat we could not help ourselves but poke fun with each other and laughed hardly on our bloopers!

Night Life in Boracay

Boracay is known as a party beach island.

At night time, the white beach springs to life. Blasting sound system tears the night.  Tourists packed the bar lounges and street enjoying the music, the food, drinks, partying until early dawn. 

Fire dance at night time


Yeah it was so vibrant, full of energy. The crowd is restless and foreigners enjoy the night, but we did not savor this moment anyway.

After walking around, observing people, watching the fun and scrutinizing the area, we went back to the villa and retired to bed.

Day 3

We're scheduled to leave the island at 1:00 after lunch. So the morning on our third day was just relaxing at the room.

Quick dip in the morning of our day 3


But I chose to do another morning walk along the shoreline, and a quick dip at the calm water. Morning in the white beach is not really as lively during afternoon and night time.

Guests seem still sleeping. Only few are strolling in the beach area. But I love the calmness of this scenario. It gives me more space to enjoy some quiet moment in the beach.

We left the island at 1:30 in the afternoon.

Photos of our Boracay trip

1. Walk on a Beach





2. Beach fun and bonding






3. Island Hopping




4. Island Strolling





Budget

For visitors who dreamed to experience the best of Boracay choose hotels or villas from station one or station two, these are nearer to party junctions, restaurants and shopping destinations plus the scene at night is more fascinating and exciting.

Here's my itemized cost for each person based on our trip:

1. Roundtrip airfare from Manila to Kalibo (Zestair promo rates)  Php 1,656.00
2. Van plus boat transfer package from Kalibo to Caticlan            Php    250.00
3. Terminal Fee (from Caticlan jetty port to Boracay)                  Php    100.00
4. Environmental Fee (one time only)                                         Php      75.00
5. Accommodation (Villa de Oro) loft style villa good for 6           Php 1,600.00
6. Lunch at Crystal Cove                                                           Php     200.00
7. Island Hopping                                                                      Php     200.00
8. Banana boat ride                                                                   Php     500.00
9. Helmet diving                                                                       Php     700.00
10. Meals (for three days)                                                         Php     600.00
11. Multicab fare (from the port to Boracay and vice versa)         Php     200.00                        
12. Boat transfer (to Caticlan port)                                             Php       25.00
13. Terminal Fee - port (yes, you have to pay twice)                   Php     100.00
14. Van (from Caticlan to Kalibo)                                              Php      175.00
15. Terminal Fee (airport)                                                         Php        40.00
16. Shopping for souvenirs                                                        Php      700.00

TOTAL: Php 7,121.00 each person

Back to Manila

boarding Zest Air going back to Manila
At the Kalibo International Airport @ 4:00 am 

We left Boracay on the 4th of July at 5:00 in the afternoon and traveled back to Kalibo for our flight back to Manila. The moment we arrived at the Caticlan airport thunderstorm greeted us, it was so awful, the weather turned pretty bad.

We rested at the nearby restaurant in Kalibo and went to the airport at 4:00 in the early morning. We had no sleep but still energetic when we boarded Zest Air back to Manila at 6:00 on the morning! Such a spectacular, relaxing experience at Boracay!

Thanks to Anelyn Arcon!!!

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