Anda: Bohol’s Kept Secret (No More)

Bohol, the 10th largest island of the Philippines, has always been a fascination to both local and foreign travelers. Together with the islands of Palawan and Cebu, this island province has proven to be a major tourism hub. Attraction drawers like the Chocolate Hills, Panglao Island’s exquisite beaches, the Loboc River Cruise, and the very charming primate tarsier have kept the visitors number increasing in this tropical paradise.


And just like that… all the while we have seen the best of Bohol. It was during my 4th time in this alluring island when I got the chance to visit the north eastern town of Anda.  Being a secluded town, it isn’t that surprising that it has some of Bohol well-kept shorelines. And just like most Philippine beaches, it boasts off pristine, crystal clear waters, fine white sand BUT with a lesser crowd.  Sounds like the perfect spot, at least for me who isn’t into teeming beaches.


My one-day stay in Anda, hopping from one beach to another, proved that indeed there is more to Bohol. So if you want to go beyond the usual Bohol itinerary, be willing to take on the extra mile by travelling up-north and enjoy this quaint town beaches like the beautiful public beach QuinaleBeach to the more secluded Bitoon Beach, and Bugnaw Beach. 

Also, the town have other attractions worthy of a visit like Can-umantad Waterfalls, Cabugnow Cave Pool, and Limanok Island. Twas quite unfortunate that I wasn’t able to visit these because of a heavy downpour during the rest of my stay. Well, there goes a good reason to go back to Anda.

How to Get to Anda, Bohol

Anda is approximately 100 kilometers from Tagbilaran and it takes two to three hours to reach by bus or private vehicle. Several buses and V-hire vans available at Dao District also have several scheduled trips to Anda.

Anda Bohol Tourism Contacts

Municipality of Anda
Anda Tourism Office
Poblacion Anda, Bohol
Mobile: 0908-793-6643
Email: /

Lamanoc Island Tours
Operating Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tour cost: Php300 pesos (inclusive of entrance, guided tour and boat trip)
Contact Numbers: (038) 510 8094 or 0917 3245917


Special thanks to a very generous instagram friend of mine, @rey_of_light for allowing me to use some of his Anda photos. Follow him on his Instagram and you’ll be delighted to discover more of Bohol’s wonders.

Don’t be wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Malamawi Island (Basilan, PH)

“Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind.” — Amit Ray, Meditation: Insights and Inspirations.

During my 1st visit in the island province of Basilan wayback 2005, I was very afraid to roam around. With news about insurgents thriving in the province, I was just satiated by the thought that, at least, I was able to set my feet in one of the country’s less traveled places.


Fastforward some 10 years after the 1st encounter: The thought of going back to Basilan and see the splendor it can offer came about after a friend invited me to go to Tawi-Tawi. We thought of squeezing in a Basilan side trip. And so during the last day of our Western Mindanao sojourn, we went to experience Basilan’s best kept secret – Malamawi Island.

We took the earliest ferry ride to Isabela City (Basilan’s capital) from Zamboanga City port and arrived after an hour. The feeling is pretty much different compared to my 1st visit. This time, it is much more peaceful and I , myself is more  confident to walk around (unlike before that I was too afraid of bringing out my camera to take a snap)..


From mainland Basilan, we rode an outrigger boat that took us only around 5-10 minutes to reach Malamawi Island. Upon docking, our group (together with a tourism officer, Ate YanYan) chartered 3 motorcycles for us to reach Malamawi’s white sand beaches.

The trip to the other side of Malamawi had us passing through a dirt path and some bucolic rural scenes. After 15 minutes or so, the sight of aquamarine, inviting waters flashed before our very eyes. I remember running towards the beach excitingly like a kid.


Before I started taking photos of the place, I had to spend a few minutes marveling at its beauty. At the back of my head, I was silently uttering – “how could anyone think there is something soooooo spectacular in a terror-laiden place like Basilan?” Somehow, the bad image of the province has suffered through the years somewhat helped in the preservation of its tourist destinations like that of Malamawi.

The cove like beach dotted with fine white sand, hugged by crystal clear waters, empty wooden cottages and few visitors, was beyond perfect. And as soon as the sun came out of the clouds, the beach and its water further glimmered in its beauty. The vista made my sense of sight more than satiated. It was just so peaceful and serene and really captivating!


We only spent a few hours in the island, and I felt kinda sad when we were leaving. All the negative things thrown on Basilan started to fade. It made me further realize that the Philippines is really a place so much endowed with immense natural splendor. As a travel enthusiast, I think we should learn how to appreciate the beauty of every place we have and should stop from tainting its reputation.

How to Get to Malamawi:

From Manila, fly to Zamboanga City. Once in Zamboanga City, ride a tricycle to the Zamboanga City port. There are several ferries bound for Isabela City in  Basilan. Once in Isabela City, walk towards the right side of Isabela Port. Boats to Malamawi are found just before you reach the fish market. Once in Malamawi mainland, ride a motorcycle to its white beach.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Burot Beach (Batangas, PH)

“Life’s a beach” meaning life is nothing but wonderful, amazing… It is just like saying “Life is Good”. Who doesn’t like the beach? Well, at times it could be too sunshiny and sweaty and salty but who cares? The beach makes you relaxed, feel warm… we can have lots of fun in the water and the sand… it’s a place where one can enjoy life.



This is Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas, Philippines. And here, life is a beach!

The beach is a delightful world on its own — walking through scalding sand, listening to the sound of the crashing waves, getting blind by the sun, and smelling the salty scent of the air. Experience this and more!

More of this serene and pristine beach soon.


It’s where I regain my faith and recharge my batteries. The beach.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

Hinugtan Beach (Aklan, PH)

Found at the westernmost part of the province of Aklan is a quiet coastal town with natural wonders waiting to be explored. And if you adore off-the-beaten beaches and you are up for a little (mis)adventure, then Hinugtan Beach in Buruanga would probably charm your wandering soul.


Hinugtan Beach is a secluded, white sand beach fringed by coconut trees, is said to be a replica of Boracay’s, only it is a smaller version. But unlike Boracay, what you’ll stumble on is delight in solitude, enjoyment that isn’t too pricey on your pocket.


Buruanga, being an out-of-the-way destination, does not only offer Hinugtan’s cerulean waters. It is also home to the famed Ariel’s Point( formerly called Batason Point) which is a a cliff diving spot most Boracay tourists visit. And after an entire day swimming, snorkelling or just lazing along the area, get ready to feed your eyes with an awe-inspiring sunset.

If you are planning to stay overnight, you can bring with you a tent or you may stay in one of the cottages of Tuburan Baybay Resort.


How to Reach Hinugtan Beach:

Since the town is located nearby Caticlan Airport, this would be the nearest airport from Manila. Alternative is the Kalibo International Airport in Aklan’s capital. The most common route from there is to go to Boracay and charter a boat going to Hinugtan which is only about an hour away.


Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

Guisi Beach & Lighthouse (Guimaras, PH)

Guimaras  –  one of the smaller island provinces in the Philippines, has been dubbed as the Philippines “Mango Country”. Visitors who flock their way to the more touristy Iloilo and Bacolod cities, would perceive Guimaras as a potential sidetrip.


I was fortunate enough to have visited this province on 2 occasions (2012 and 2013). My desire to visit Guimaras wasn’t prompted by my taste buds’ yearning to savour their popular mangoes, but, by my wanderlust soul to visit some interesting sites I have read over the internet.


And so during my 1st visit, I decided to check out the seemingly picture-perfect Guisi Beach in the outskirts of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. I hired a habal-habal driver to take me to this tucked destination.

Guisi Beach is a stretch of white sand (though not as whote and as fine as other beaches) with luxuriant palm trees dotted with some interesting rock formations. The water of the beach is an inviting shade of blue and green, despite not as crystal clear as other beaches I have been to. Nonetheless, the beach itself has this unique charm that will keep you drawn.


When I arrived there, it was exactly how I have seen in it photos. Really picturesque! I personally love the rocks at one side of the beach. Also, I was fortunate because there weren’t many people then. A local mentioned that during the weekends, many locals flock their way to this beach. There are a couple of resorts within the area from which one could choose from in case you intend to stay overnight.


After spending some time at the beach, my guide-slash-habal-habal driver suggested that I go and see the ruins of the old Guisi Lighthouse (formerly known as Faro de Punta Luzaran). I was happy to know that there was more to the beach. After a short walk towards a hilly site, the imposing ruins of the lighthouse greeted me.  This old lighthouse was built during the Spanish-colonial period. I asked permission to climb the top portion despite the obviously rusty tower. I was quite apprehensive while making my way to the top as the tower may no longer be that sturdy.  When I reached the top, I found myself opening my mouth but speechless. The view of Guisi Beach is indeed more than rewarding.


Where to Stay near Guisi Beach:

Guisi Clearwater Resort:

Address: Guisi, Dolores, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, Philippines

Contact No.: +639195636688

Room Rate: Starting from 700 php

Kenyama Beach Resort:

Address: Guisi, Dolores, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, Philippines

Contact No.: 0998-3084049; 0939-9175495 (Smart); 0906-2709157 (Globe)


Room Rate: Starting from 1200 php

Raymen Beach Resort:

Address: Alubihod, Poblacion, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, Philippines

Contact No.: +63 33 396 0252


Room Rate: Starting from 600 php/room


How to Get to Guisi in Nueva Valencia:

From Manila, one can reach Guimaras by plane via Iloilo (being the nearest).  Once you arrive in Iloilo, take a cab and tell the driver to take you to Ortiz Wharf (the motorboat wharf bound for Jordan). If you are coming from Cebu, travel by sea, (choose between Cokaliong Shipping Lines or Trans Asia Shipping Lines) for a 12-hour travel going to Iloilo.  Once you arrive in Iloilo, take a cab and tell the driver to take you to Ortiz Wharf.  You may also opt to take a jeepney to save money. Ask locals which jeepney passes by Ortiz Wharf.  Then Take the motorboat from Ortiz wharf going to Jordan.


Travel time from Ortiz Wharf to Jordan Wharf  is around 15 minutes and the fare is Php 14. Once you arrive at the wharf, you can arrange for a shuttle or multicab at the tourism office which is just a few steps away from the arrival area. However, if you are alone or maybe just with another person, you can take a habal-habal. Travel time takes around an hour and the lowest fare for a group is Php 900.  The habal-habal ride takes a shorter travel time and fare differs depending on your haggling skills.


I left Guisi with a smile on my face and my heart beaming with joy. There is no qualm the lighthouse and the beach of Guisi  are some of Guimaras’ must-see destinations. So, don’t  be a wasted soul, be  ‘juan’derlust.

Umbrella Rocks (Agno, Pangasinan)

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. — Michelangelo


Pangasinan is unquestionably one of those Philippine provinces blessed with seemingly endless nature’s wonders. The western part of the province alone is dotted with stunningand pristine seascapes. From the fascinating rockscapes of Surip in Bani and Timapog in Burgos, to the picturesque Hundred Islands in Alaminos and Tondol Beach in Anda, plus the postcard-worthy beauty of Tambobong Beach and Colibra Island in Dasol and Patar Beach and the waterfalls of Bolinao, Pangasinan is indeed an embodiment of awe. And, there is more!


Another must visit is the quaint coastal town of Agno, which boasts the astonishingly carved Umbrella Rocks along Sabangan Beach. These huge rock formations are named such because they look like oversize umbrellas from which one can seek shade when the sun is up. Appearing to be mushroom-like to other people, these coralline masterpieces formed by unremitting waves against the shore through time, make the beachside more scenic.

Sabangan beach in itself is a great place to bum around. With its very fine grey to black sandy shores and inviting waters, this could be one of your much needed relaxing getaways. And at the end of the day, the sundown at this side of Pangasinan will surely melt your heart away.


How to Get to Umbrella Rocks:
From Manila, take a bus bound for Bani or Bolinao in Pangasinan. Drop by the town of Bani, then take a tricycle or jeepney ride to Agno, Pangasinan. There are also direct bus ride  from Manila to Agno, Pangasinan  although it is very limited. The travel time is around 5 to 6 hours. Once in Agno, ride a tricycle that will take you to the Umbrella Rocks.

These are some of the buses plying the Manila – Pangasinan route:

  •  Dagupan Bus Line, Victory Liner and Philippine Rabbit in Cubao, Quezon City.
  •  Five Star Bus Line in Pasay City
  • City Trans in Manila


Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

Kalanggaman Island (Palompon, Leyte)

““Let the sea water wet your feet, and the sand be your seat…”


The moment I saw several photos of my friend on an island’s sand bar and its ever clear turquoise waters wayback 2013, it never left my mind. Every now and then, I would seek for opportunities as to when I could possibly make my way to this indescribably beautiful island.


Fastforward 2015. July. Rainy season in the Philippines. And I found my way going to Leyte – the home of the very paradise-like Kalanggaman Island. This uninhabited island that is 753 meters in length, is now considered a dream beach destination, not only in the Visayas, but in the entire Philippines. Located in the municipality of Palompon and the province of Leyte, it is known for its stunning sandbar that seem to stretch endlessly into the cerulean waters. The white coralline and sand shoreline and crystal clear waters along both sides of the island adds more beauty to this pristine place.


FYI: In 2013, the island gained attention after a big cruise ship stopped there to let its guest relax for a few hours.

There are no resorts on Kalanggaman Island. However, the local government of Palompon have established some basic amenities for the comfort of visitors. There are also policemen stationed on the island for the guests ‘security If you intend to stay overnight in the island, make sure to bring your tent and food as there are no available cottages for sleeping and store to buy food.


So if you want to relax and perhaps, get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, take time to go and see Kalanggaman Island. Bring with you a book to read or walk along and capture how photogenic the island is. Wait for the sun to set or rise, or just laze around and get your skin some sunshine vitamin early in the morning. Of course, swimming and snorkelling are some of the usual activities one can do.


*Take note of the following reminders: 

Regular Rate (Day Tour)
International Tourists – P500
Non-Palompon Tourists – P150
Non-Palompon College Tourists – P40
Non-Palompon High-school Tourists – P30
Non-Palompon Elementary Pupil – P20
Non-Palomponganon Senior Citizen – P120
Overnight Rates
International Tourists – P750
Non-Palompon Tourists – P225
Non-Palompon College Tourists – P60
Non-Palompon High-school Tourists – P45
Non-Palompon Elementary Pupil – P30
Non-Palomponganon Senior Citizen – P180


The rates for pumpboats (round trip) are as follow:

P3,000 – for 15 people and below
P3,500 – for 25 people and below
P4,000 – for 30 people and below


Where to Stay in Palompon Town:

Hutton Lodge
Cor. San Francisco St. & Evangelista St.
Contact number: (053) 338-3098Juan Titang Beach Resort
Brgy. Buaya, Sabang
Palompon, Leyte
Contact number: 0917 741 0259
Rizal Street, Palompon, Leyte
Contact number: (053) 338-2880Whispering Beach Mini Hotel
P. Del Rosario Ext., Brgy. Guiwan I
Contacts numbers: (053) 338-2135/555-8045

*I personally stayed at PACCI House as it is the nearest to the Liberty Park where one has to pay the necessary fees.


How to Reach Kalanggaman Island?

Fastest way is by air. From Manila, go to Palompon, Leyte via Tacloban Airport or Cebu Airport (a.k.a. Mactan International Airport).

From Tacloban Airport, ride a van going to Palompon. Van rides are found at the Abucay terminal in Tacloban. Trip takes about 4 hours.

From Cebu Airport, ride a taxi and choose from among the following location of shipping lines:

Super Shuttle Ferry (Bogo, Cebu – Palompon Leyte)
– Bogo, Cebu to Palompon, Leyte at 12:00PM daily
– Palompon, Leyte to Bogo, Cebu at 7:30PM daily

Super Shuttle Ferry’s office is located at 38 Gorordo Ave, Cebu City

Cokaliong Shipping Lines, Inc. (Cebu City – Palompon Leyte)
– Cebu City Pier 1 to Palompon at 08:00 PM (Mon, Thu)
– Cebu City Pier 1 to Palompon at 12:00 NN (Sun)
– Palompon to Cebu City Pier 1 at 08:00 AM Tue, Fri)
– Palompon to Cebu City Pier 1 at 10:00 PM (Sun)

Once in Palompon, go to Palompon Liberty Park and pay the necessary fees for the Kalanggaman EcoTour. The boat ride from this point to Kalanggaman Island takes about an hour for regular boats .


Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

Malcapuya Island (Palawan, PH)

“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.” – John Hope Franklin


Palawan is undeniably one of the Philippines’best destination (if not the best). Having travelled to a number of beaches for the past years, I sometimes feel that they all look the same. During my 4th Palawan trip (and 2nd Coron trip), I decided to include Malcapuya Island in my itinerary.


And was I glad I did include it this time!!! Malcapuya is such a sight to behold. Well, there is still the white sand dotted shore touched by cerulean waters character that is typical of a Palawan beach. But there is something refreshing that my senses could not pinpoint specifically. I was actually lost for words that I don’t know which superlative to use to depict its beauty.


The boat ride from Coron mainland to Malcapuya Island takes about 1.5 to 2 hours depending on how rough the waters are. The boats usually dock at the north side of the Island, from there; a short walk is made over to the south side. A long stretch of glimmering white powdery sand greets every visitor.


The water is way more than inviting that one would jump their way to it. It is a delight to snorkel because a lot of fishes would swim with you. Together with Dicalubuan Island (Banana Island), I regard them as my best island beaches in Coron.


The costs of going to Malcapuya include the following: The entrance fee is 200 Php per person and hiring a boat from Coron Town over the day will cost around 3500 to 4000 Php. That would also include 2 other islands to visit (Dicalubuan and Bulog Dos).


Heads up: Heard from the grapevine that the island has been acquired by the Henann Group of Resorts and will soon be establishing a 5 -star luxury resort which is set to be the next big thing in Coron, Palawan. OH NOOOOOOO!!! I am not sure if this is really a good thing. But my wandering soul is quite dreaded about this news… Oh well…


How To Get There

From Manila, tourists who wants to visit Malcapuya Island can take a flight going to Busuanga, Palawan. Upon reaching Busuanga, tourists should take a 40-minute land trip (usually a van) bound for Coron town proper. There are also various passenger ships that ply the Manila-Coron route. Once in Coron, hire boat to Malcapuya Island.



Where To Stay in Coron:

Apartelle de Gabrielle  –  #231 National Highway Poblacion 5, Coron, Palawan; Contact Nos: 02-7882468 / 0921-4520473 / 0921-4521009 / 0905-3640753;

Balay Majika Lodge – Real Street, Poblacio 3, Coron, Palawan; Contact Nos: +63 919 3169030 / +63 9178563187 / +639087316543; Website:

Busuanga Island paradise – Km. 12 ,Hi-way, Brgy. Guadalupe, Busuanga Island, Coron – Busuanga Road, Coron, Palawan; Contact No. (02) 911 9180; Website:

Coron Backpacker Gusethouse- Coron-Busuanga Road, Coron; Contact No: 0916 400 4871; Website:


Coron Ecolodge – Calle Real Poblacion 2, Coron, Palawan; Contact Number: 0919 204 8824; Website:

Coron Gateway Hotel – Barangay Poblacion 1 , Coron, Palawan; Contact Nos: (+632) 887-7107 / 887-2420. Website:

Centro Coron Bed & Breakfast – National Highway, Barangay 4, Coron, Palawan: Contact Nos: 09277454625 | 09491414177; Website:

Coron Village Lodge ­– Brgy. Poblacio 1, Coron, Palawan; Contact Nos: +639081089772 / 4252231; Website:

Princess of Coron Resort – Nueva Street, No.6 Barangay Poblacion, Coron, Palawan; Contact No. 0916 540 0288; Website:


Nonetheless, don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

Capones Island (Zambales, PH)

Capones Island, a two-kilometer long, bone-shaped island, is located a few kilometers off the coast of Brgy. Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales. Originally called Isla Gran de Capon, this island is primarily rock-strewn and barren. However, it is bounded by white coralline beaches that change place due to weather conditions and aquatic current.


There are no commercial resorts and facilities. The island’s main attraction drawer is the scenic Spanish colonial lighthouse that stands on the top of a hill. The Faro de Punta Capones was put up on August 1, 1890. It served as a guide to ships to and from Subic Bay or Manila. The view from the hill is more than stunning. The huge pieces of weathered stones bordering the island and the eye-refreshing cerulean sea are just feast to the sight.


A Capones Island visit is often a side trip after coming from an Anawangin or Nagsasa Cove tramping. It is also in close proximity to a smaller island called Camara.


How to Get to Capones Island:

By Land: Capones Island is accessible by bus from Pasay or Caloocan. Ride a bus bound for Iba or Subic, Zambales. The estimated time of travel is 3 to 4 hours. Get off at the town of San Antonio and ride a tricycle to Brgy. Pundaquit. The fare is more or less 30 pesos for a 15 to 20 minute drive. From Barangay Pundaquit, boats are available going to Capones Island. The quickest way is to ride a plane to Subic International Airport. Then ride a bus going to San Antonio/Iba. Drop by Sa Antonio town proper and then take a tryke to Pundaquit.

zambales (6)

Don’t be a wasted soul. Be ‘juan”derlust…

Anguib Cove (Cagayan, PH)

“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” – Robert Henri


Who does not love the sea? To most people I know, the beach is a place of healing and happiness. The salt in the air and the water somewhat cleanses our soul and the sun cuddles us in its warmth. So if you have been reading my posts, by now you are pretty much acquainted that The Philippines is indeed a haven of some of the best beaches in the world. This is my 111th post here in WordPress and its again a write-up about a beach you might want to explore sometime soon.


Santa Ana, the northernmost town of the Province of Cagayan in the Philippines, is known as the Game Fishing Hub of the Philippines since it is bounded by teeming and vast marine life. I just featured a must-see place (Palaui Island) in this town a few days ago. Now, here is another one that is worth visiting too. The place is called Anguib Cove. (Check out Palaui Island write-up here at


I was fortunate to have visited this beach on two occasions: first in 201, and then again during the following year. Anguib Cove, a pretty much secluded beach, has become the pride of the town. It features startlingly blue, clear waters that touch the fine, white sand alongside its shores.  Being in a cove, the waters are calm and display stillness as the waves are mild, making the place safe for swimming.


The presence of agoho and coconut trees around the beach and some rock formations at one end of the cove, add up charm to its enthralling landscape.


During the time I have been to the beach, it was still underdeveloped as there are very few structures there (which I personally like).  Only a few cottages abound the area. We chose to pitch tents near the shore and it was more than perfect. There is no electricity at this far end of Sta. Ana so those who plan to come here must bring the basics whenever they can.


How to Reach Palaui Island:

The fastest way to reach Anguib Cove from Manila is to take a commercial flight to Tuguegarao City (capital of Cagayan Province). Another way (long way) is for you to endure a 14-16 hours bus ride to Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. Recommended Bus Companies are Victory Liner, Dalin Bus and Florida Bus Liner. (Terminal of these bus lines can be found in Sampaloc and Cubao). From there, take a three-hour van or bus ride to the fishing town of Santa Ana. From the town of Santa Ana, you need to ride a tricyle (P15 per passenger) to reach the port of San Vicente. Hire an outrigger boat that will take you to the cove OR you may rent a tricycle or van to get you to the far-end of Santa Ana, by land, where the cove can also be reached.


Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…