Tag Archives: beach

Kalanggaman and its sandbars

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Kalanggaman Island | August 2012

A last minute suggestion and insertion in our itinerary, the Kalanggaman Island sidetrip turned out to be the star of our Leyte trip. Located in the municipality of Palompon, it is an hour-long drive from the city of Ormoc (by private car).

Unspoiled and every bit a beach denizen’s paradise, Kalanggaman is pristine and well-kept by the local tourism office. Its powdery white sand compete with those of Boracay’s.  It has two long stretches of sandbars jutting from its eastern and western portions. The sandbars are visible and do not inconveniently (as a whole) disappear with the tide.

Cottages dot one side of the island with bigger huts located in the middle. There are two sets of clean restrooms and grilling areas on either side of the island’s main structure (that I assume houses the office and store of the keepers). They provide the usual beach activities like snorkeling and kayaking. They also have affordable scuba packages for beginners.

As if a good omen, we were treated to the sight of playing dolphins while we were on our hour-long boat ride to the island. The best experience Kalanggaman offers would be its superb sunset and sunrise views. Arriving just in time when the sun set, we dashed to the western side to witness the play of purple, pink and red above our heads. Since we were camping overnight, we pitched our tents near the island’s lone watchtower that was fronting the east. By the break of dawn, we lumbered towards the top of the wooden tower and waited for the sun to rise.

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Of sandy beaches in a remote resort

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The white expanse of fine sand stretches a good hundreds of meters from the water’s edge. No exaggeration when it comes to the beaches of Cagbalete. At low tide, it stretches too far out that swimming in the clear blue waters of the Pacific will be fruitless. It makes for a lovely lounging spot though.

Still, Cagbalete Island is a great weekend getaway for a quick sun and sand date.

Easily accessible via public commute, buses ply the Mauban route via Lucena or directly from Metro Manila. Our group did the latter going to Mauban since the small buses from Lucena can drop off passengers at the marketplace near the pier. For the trip back to the metro, Manila-bound buses have a terminal right by the entrance to the town proper.

The boat ride to Cagbalete Island lasts between 45 minutes to an hour. The public boats are big enough to ferry around 40 to 50 passengers per way. Two public boats serve each scheduled time:

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Daguldol hiking and beaching

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San Juan, Batangas

A beach and a bundok. How can I resist it?

After an impromptu invitation by a UP friend and a frenzy of are-we-going-or-not conversations, last weekend, my office friends and I found ourselves in yet another weekend getaway. From our initial plan to go to the Hundred Islands in Alaminos to the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, we finally settled at the last minute to go to San Juan, Batangas for a beach and a mountain climbing trip.

Mt. Daguldol is located in Brgy. Hugom, San Juan, Batangas. It is a small mountain range with an MASL of 670+. Classified as an easy climb, the mountain along the coast of southern Batangas is a popular trekking destination. Accessible via private and public transportation, Mt. Daguldol appeals to both tourists and mountaineers. Apart from being only four to five hours away from the metro, San Juan is also popular for its beaches in Laiya which is a nice side trip.

To get there by public transportation, ride the RRCG buses in Buendia bound for San Juan. Unlike the Lipa- or pier-bound JAC or JAM Lines, these buses will take you directly to the town proper where you can alight at the town market. They leave at 4:00 AM, 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM. Their buses can be found near the MRT or LRT stations along Buendia in Pasay. From the town market, your group can either take the public jeepney (Php40.00 per head) or rent a van (Php650.00 per way) bound for Laiya or Hugom.

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Calaguas and its long beach

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view of Halabang Baybay atop a hill we braved

I first heard about the Calaguas Group of Islands from my Dad while he was sharing stories on how he heard it was really beautiful, who owns which island and which one’s for sale. Ironically though, I only read extensively about this gem of a spot from a non-Bicolano: in Lakwatsero’s site. Even awesome friend Gala Pinoy, who has had an article on the islands published in a major broadsheet, has been to this northern paradise years ahead.

Chances are, by now, you’ve been reading a lot of online entries writing nothing but ooohs and aaahs for the most famous beach in the Calaguas. Indeed, Halabang Baybay (as the locals call it) or Mahabang Buhangin has a very long stretch of fine golden white sand, aquamarine waters and interesting rock formations. Located in Barangay Mangcawayan, under the jurisdiction of the town of Vinzons, the beach is a piece of heaven for wanderers wanting a weekend of communing with the barest Mother Nature has to offer. Beach bummers, sun worshippers and stargazers will fall in love with the Calaguas.

Fast becoming a tourist spot, Mahabang Buhangin is now called the Boracay of the North (sorry Pagudpod). Well, at least they say it is going to be the next Boracay.

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Bagasbas beach and breakers

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Bagasbas Beach

Unknown except to Bicolanos since the 2008 Bagasbas Surf Camp, the beach is quickly gaining attention in the tourism and surfing circles.

Bagasbas Beach has a 2-km long and wide expanse of very fine black sand. It provides an alternative to the waves of Aurora and Zambales, with its year-round big breakers rolling in from the Pacific Ocean. The soft sands and shallow waters counter the strong waves making surfing in Bagasbas ideal for those wanting to test their luck (and, not to mention, “staying power”) in the water action.

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Anawangin and the almost-wilderness

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Scenery at the back of the cove

Again, Lady Luck was on our side.

In our first pathetic attempt at a spur-of-the-moment getaway, my officemates and I brought our beach denizen arses to Pundaquit in Zambales last April 9 and 10. Our chosen spot for the long weekend used to be the mountaineering community’s hideaway. Until about five years ago, the Anawangin Cove was an unspoilt weekend destination for campers.

I have heard so much about this place and have wanted to visit it many years back. The words camping, wilderness, remote and no electricity set off each group of friends I invited.

The beach of the cove is quite interesting as it is a mix of white, brown and grey sand which gives it an ash-like appearance and texture. Another surprising feature of the cove are the agoho trees that line the beach, dot the camping grounds and grow by the banks of the stream at the back. The absence of electricity and even mobile network coverage makes it appealing for those seeking remoteness.

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February pic(k) of the month

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Life’s a beach.

Dear Boracay:

I will never tire of basking in your sunny and sandy glory.

By the beach, I lie on a chair under the palm trees.

By the beach, I watch the sun set, flood colors and cast shadows on the landscape.

By the beach, I come to rest after frolicking in your surf.

I will keep coming back.

xoxo,

Kiss

Beaching in solitude

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Willy’s Rock in Boracay

Boracay will always be my favorite retreat. Most see it as an island of raucous parties and hot bodies. My own parents for one think this island has all kinds of people and risks.

But for me, I take refuge in a tucked away portion of White Beach. Away from the hustle, bustle and noise of D’ Mall, Station 2 and Station 3, my hideaway is Blue Waves Beach House. The four-room beachfront resort is sandwiched along the high-end strip of Fridays, Discovery Shores and Pearl of the Pacific. Its location at the northern end of Station 1 plus its affordable rates made it my best choice for a tranquil and laidback break.

From my room (which incidentally was the same room we had when we first stayed there in 2005), only a glass sliding door with pretty curtains separates me from the blue skies, the powdery white sand and the gentle lapping of the waves.

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