Philippines’ Beaches: What’s Not to Love?

The Philippines, being an archipelago, is dotted with innumerable pristine, sparkling beaches. Some white, others black, a few brown, and surprisingly pink too! We have beaches that are as fine as talcum powder to gritty, sandy ones, while others are pebble lined. Majority of these tropical paradise boasts off crystal clear water that comes in azure to turquoise colors. Regardless of the color and texture of beaches’ sand and water, Philippines’ seashores will make one’s “beach escapade” memorable and fun!

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Besides the obvious aesthetics of our beaches, here are other reasons why bumming around the beaches of the Philippines is a must doPhilippines’ beaches have a laid-back vibe, especially the small-town beaches and the off-the beaten ones. They are the ultimate relaxation zones perfect for experiencing serenity and peace of mind. One can go for an afternoon walk along the shoreline or sit down under shady palm trees while reading a book. Or just lie down, let the crashing waves touch your feet and the gentle wind kiss your lips. Totally relaxing and an awesome escape to a stressful life!

Philippines’ beaches have a laid-back vibe, especially the small-town beaches and the off-the beaten ones. They are the ultimate relaxation zones perfect for experiencing serenity and peace of mind. One can go for an afternoon walk along the shoreline or sit down under shady palm trees while reading a book. Or just lie down, let the crashing waves touch your feet and the gentle wind kiss your lips. Totally relaxing and an awesome escape to a stressful life!

Philippines’ beaches are home to various water sports and activities. From surfing, to snorkeling to SCUBA diving, kitesurfing, kayaking, island-hopping and many more. Plus, the marine life is teeming with wonders.  One will never run out of things to do. These activities can keep you fit and make your vacation more fun-filled.

Philippines’ beaches showcase some of the most jaw-dropping sunrise and sunset views. Everything turns into a picturesque, surreal nature art once the sun starts to rise. It is even more dramatic during sundown. Sunset by the beach is one thing I look forward the most.

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Philippines’ beaches are generally cheap. While some of our beaches are becoming more and more commercialized, I want to believe that majority of our beaches are still inexpensive, and some even for free. One could spend some time along the beach without worrying about spending much – paying for entrance fees or buying pricey food because again, the cost isn’t really high.

Philippines’ beaches are home to good and hospitable Filipinos. I want to think that Filipino hospitality is evident in almost all parts of the country – whether at the mountain villages, to seaside towns, and various rural areas. Most Filipinos are willing to lend a helping hand in whatever ways they could. Some families would invite you their homes, some would even cook the freshest sea catch of the day for their visitors to have a sumptuous meal.

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They say “life is a beach”. Whether you have a beach bod, dad bod or whatever kind of body figure you have, the beach is one welcoming place for you to experience life, to live life.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be Juanderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Ulan-Ulan Waterfalls (Biliran, PH)

When we were young, there were times when my sister and I would storm our way out just to take a bath under the rain. And it was fun… it was a different feeling getting soaked, half-naked without any pretentions. Of course, we can no longer do that now that we are adults. I mean we still can if e want to minus the half-naked thing.

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The introduction I made has something to do with the rain. When I have visited the province Biliran, one particular sight I enjoyed the most was a visit to Ulan-Ulan Waterfalls in the town of Almeria. “Uan” in the local dialect means rain. It was named such because the water cascade appears to be rain shower – like.

The jump-off to the waterfalls is located in a barangay called Sampao. First, one would be required to ride a 20-minute habal-habal (motorcycle) and do a more or less 30-minute trek to reach the waterfalls. The trail is pretty easy except for some parts that could be really muddy when it rains.

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Upon reaching the falls, I was so excited to get wet by its flow. True to its name, it does look like a pretty heavy rain shower. The falls is about 90 feet high with a catch basin that is quite shallow. The verdant surroundings add up to the natural charm of the waterfall. I enjoyed taking a shower despite the freezing cold water. A lot of unusual frogs and dragonflies abound the area that made me happy taking photos.

Truly, Ulan-Ulan Falls is one of Biliran’s must-see nature secret. From here, there are other trek worthy waterfalls like Recoletos and Sampao Waterfalls.

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How to Get to Ulan-Ulan Falls:

From Manila, fly to Tacloban City in Leyte. From Tacloban, you have several options to get to Almeria, Biliran. The most frequent, and conducive way is to hire a van although there are also public transports like jeepney or taxi that will take you to the van terminal and get on a van to Naval (Biliran’s capital). Once in Naval, hire a habal-habal for a faster means of transport to Brgy. Sampao. There is a registration site where you can hire a guide. There are no standard fees for guide. The trek will also start from that area.

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

Talahid Beach (Biliran, PH)

Talahid Beach is perhaps one of the most popular and frequented beach in mainland Biliran province.The beach, which is located in the town of Almeria, is lined with several resorts and it faces some islands like Dalutan and Capinahan Islands.

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The beach may not have fine white sand (rather, it has pebble to coralline like sandy shoreline) but it possesses a calm and crystal clear water that is difficult to resist. Moreover, the beach becomes magical both in the morning and in the afternoon as the sunrise and sunset can be both viewed from the area.

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There are 3 well-established resorts in the area.

Resort Contacts
Agta Beach Resort +63 927 150 0335, +63 920 583 0480, +63 936 970 2476 or email at
info@agtabeachresort.com
Coco Grove (Talahid Beach Resort) +63 917 826 9321
VRC Resort +63 (0) 9164665809;  vrcresort@gmail.com

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These resorts may arrange your tour within the island like island-hopping tour to Sambawan Island, Maripipi Island, Capinahan Island and Dalutan Island. You may also trek you way to the many waterfalls of Almeria (and Biliran in general) like Ulan-Ulan, Recoletos and many more. If you wish to do various water activities like snorkelling, SCUBA diving, kayaking and paddle boarding, you can just let the resorts staff know.

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How to Get to Talahid Beach:

From Manila, fly to Tacloban City in Leyte. From Tacloban, you have several options to get to Talahid, Almeria, Biliran. The most frequent, and conducive way is to hire a van although there are also public transports like jeepney or taxi that will take you to the van terminal and get on a van to Naval (Biliran’s capital). Once in Naval, ride a bus to Kawayan and get off right at the top of the Talahid Beach where most of the aforementioned resorts driveway are. You can also hire a habal-habal from Naval for a faster means of transport to Talahid.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust.

Sambawan Island (Biliran, PH)

Sambawan Island is a top destination of the 4th smallest island province in the Philippines, Biliran. Part of the island municipality of Maripipi, this up-and-coming gem  is a world of enchantment with its shifting blue to green crystal clear waters, undulating cliffs, teeming corals, IIndian almond (talisay/Terminalia capitata) trees dotting the white coralline and sandy shoreline, and a few karst formation. The best part? The island’s irresistible charm is not messed up by commercialism (yet, and hopefully would be kept that way).

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Personally, the view offered by this island from the top of its hills has to be one of the most picturesque I have seen. I can just sit down all-day and gaze my eyes at the very pleasant, 360-degrees sight that can make you forget how life can be torturing at times. Since I cannot fully describe how lovely and stunning and lovely and stunning and (you see I am lost for words)… I will just have to allow my photos to do the talking… (And oh, did I mention that the sunset is as glorious as one could imagine. Check photo below. I am betting that the sunrise is as equally glorious as the sundown from this island).

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If you are interested in staying overnight at the island, a kiosk or an open cottage (no walls) are available in the area. These can accommodate 5 persons, with which they charge P500 for a 12-hours stay and the bigger kiosks they call kamalig for P1,000 per night. There are also three-beach cottages with three large beds, with own comfort rooms and attic. The cost of stay is at P2,500 to PHP3,000 that can accommodate 10 persons. They have a generator that runs from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. and solar lamps.  If you are on a tight budget, you may pitch your tent for a Php100 fee.

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However, visitors are advised to bring food (although there is a small store in the island). A grilling area is available so one can buy some fresh sea produce and prepare it in the island. Drinking water is said to be available for free. The fresh spring water of the famous Viga Water Springs in Maripipi serves as the source.

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How to Reach Sambawan Island:

From Manila (or Cebu), the fastest way to reach Sambawan Island is through plane via Tacloban City. From city airport, take a cab and alight at the van terminal bound (Duptours) for Naval, Biliran located at the corner of P Burgos and Salazar Streets (van fare as of this writing is around P150). Travel time is around 2 to 2.5 hours.

There are also ferries from Cebu City that directly goes to Ormoc, Leyte. From Ormoc, there are vans bound for Naval.

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Once in Naval, ride a bus or jeepney bound for Kawayan. If you opts for a faster means, you can take a habal-habal ride too. Once in Kawayan, walk your way to their port. Rent an outrigger boat that will take you to Sambawan. For a boat that can accommodate upto 10 people, the price ranges from P1,000 to P2,000 (depends if you are for a day or overnight stay + your haggling skills). The travel time is 45-60 minutes depending on the time of day and current of waves.

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A cheaper alternative (but longer) is to take the public ferry boat to Maripipi that leaves Naval at 10:00AM and goes back to Naval from Maripipi at 5:00AM the following day. Ferry schedule is on a daily basis except Sundays. The fare is P60 and the travel time is about 2 hours. In Maripipi, you can hire a boat to Sambawan and back to Maripipi for P500 (again, depending on your haggling skills). The travel time is around 20-30 minutes.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust.