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.

South Palms Resort Panglao (Bohol, PH)

Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me: If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, life and living need not be so hard.

Sumptuous and Paradisiacal: Two words befitting to describe my visit at this prime Bohol resort in the island of Panglao called South Palms.

4South Palms Beach Resort is a 9.3 hectare tropical paradise within a 45-hectare spread of a beachfront property. I have to say it is one of the ultimate beach destinations in Bohol as it boasts off a beach with the longest coastline in Panglao. Unlike other beaches teeming with people, Bolod Beach of South Palms guarantees a relaxing leisure walk along its white sand-dotted shoreline, and enjoyable swimming in its azure to turquoise waters. Definitely PARADISIACAL!

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The resort rooms display local artistry, with utmost relaxation and a stunning view of the beach as footpath provides easy access to the lovely coast. Each of these tropically adorned rooms have AC system, a flat-screen TV, a personal safety cabinet, coffee-and-tea making amenities, and a private bathroom with toiletries and hot/cold shower facilities.

They also have a variety of luxurious recreational activities and facilities that range from ball games, different water activities (snorkeling, SCUBA diving), and even day tours to other Bohol spots. Truly an ideal place for family and friends!

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And, if you intend to come in group for a business meeting or a company outing, the beach resort is also a perfect venue as they also have conference rooms and function halls. While I was strolling along their beach area, I was thinking that it is a great area for team building.

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Another thing I like about South Palms is that they have their own restaurant. A seafood restaurant at that! I am a seafood lover so I may have a little bias here. Its resto is called Oceanica Seafood Restaurant that serves both local and international cuisines. It is an open restaurant meaning you have a wonderful view of the sea (and the pool) while you are eating. It is in close proximity to the resort’s pool bars (which offers a selection of refreshing drinks). Here are some of the really palatine-satiating food I have tried at Oceanica:

Manok Inato – a local dish of grilled chicken cooked in coconut milk with aromatic spices. First time to try this and my palate agrees that it is tasty! Then there is this “Gambas-al-ahilo”, a prawn delicacy that is both sweet and spicy. I am a seafood lover so yes, I love this one. Both dishes were a great match to my “inun-un” or crab meat rice. I also had a healthy and refreshing salad called “Watermelon Summer” salad made of lettuce, mango, and watermelon. I had cucumber lemonade for drinks, an all-time favorite drink of mine. So, it is safe to say that I really had a gastronomic experience at Oceanica. As I have said earlier, everything is SUMPTUOUS!

DSC_00743Other features of the resort include the following: a souvenir shop, an ATM, a spa, a gym, laundry service, and outdoor pools. Wi-Fi access is almost everywhere (even along the coastline, I love it!) There is a free public parking that doesn’t require reservation. It is good to know that they have a 24-hour front desk, a 24-hour room service, provides airport transfer and shuttle services (that is if you want to go to Alona Beach), and they even have currency exchange. I am also pleased to know that they have facilities for guests with disability.

 

South Palms Beach Resort Panglao is indeed a destination to keep in mind when in Bohol. I can even imagine it as a lovely setting for a romantic date or beach wedding

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

Please refer to the images below for their rates and some promos:

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Balicasag Island (Bohol, PH)

Seemingly floating in the Bohol Sea, is a small island called Balicasag. It is regarded as one of the best dive sites in the island province of Bohol. This marine sanctuary is home to various fishes and corals.

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My 2008 Bohol jaunt gave me a chance to explore the wonders of this island. Recalling my experience then, we were asked to start our day early for our sea tour. My friend and I were staying at the Dumaluan Beach Resort in Panglao. Our habal-habal driver-slash-boatman fetched us early. Because of the early wake up call, we were able to witness sunrise at this side of Bohol.

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Our first stop that day was the much anticipated dolphin-watching near Balicasag Island. I like boat rides in the morning as the sea breeze is cool and not yet sweat-inducing. At around 7 AM, we were already in the middle of the sea, waiting for the dolphins. Accodring to our boatman, it is best to do this activity early morning as the number of dolphins decreases between 8:00-10:00 AM.  There were several boats waiting for the dolphins when suddenly one boat started to chase a group of dolphins. The other boats followed and it was like I was watching a regatta.

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It was my first time to see these loveable mammals. And I love the fact that I saw them in their natural habitat, instead of seeing them at a theme-park making the entire experience surreal, raw, and really gratifying. Despite being elusive, the thought of seeing them with my own eyes is something I was happy about then. After chasing the dolphins, we proceeded to Balicasag Island to snorkel and have our late breakfast.

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Upon docking, I have noticed that the shores of the island is washed up with pebbles and coral pieces (some, pretty sharp, hence it is best to have a footwear). I decided first to walk along the coastline to take some photos before eating my packed breakfast under a tree. At this point, more and more boats were docking bringing in more people.

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So, I decided to go swimming and snorkelling after donning a vest. I must say that the underwater of Balicasag is teeming with marine life – multi-hued corals, vibrant starfishes, diverse fishes, sea grasses and many more. Too bad I didn’t have an underwater camera then. Nonetheless, the memories of that experience are still intact whenever i visit memory lane.

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Right before noon time, we decided to leave the island and go back to mainland Panglao. It was an exhausting but fun-filled day. I told myself that I should return sometime in the future (with an underwater camera at hand) and maybe do some SCUBA diving.
Fees/Charges:

Small paddle boat to snorkeling site – 150.00 Php / pax

Snorkeling Gears with lifevest – 150.00 Php / pax

Aqua shoes – 100.00 Php / pax

Boat Fee  – 1500.00 Php

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How to Go to Balicasag Island:

From Manila, one can fly their way to Tagbilaran (Bohol’s capital). From Tagbilaran Airport hire a van, ride a habal-habal or even a tryke to Panglao and choose a place to stay. From Panglao Beach, they can arrange your sea tour to Balicasag. Alternative route is from Manila to Cebu, the once in Cebu, ride a fast-craft to Bohol.

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