I love going to places. If there is one luxury that I always indulge myself into, it’s visiting new places and old favorites and get lost in their beauty and extravagance. It may be as simple as a newly opened restaurant somewhere in the suburb, another city to stroll, a new mountain to explore or a new shore to wander around. Definitely, these types of adventure give me the tingles and the smiles. Though I love the beach, its tranquility, its life, and its serenity, being a typical Asian who doesn’t know how to swim made it not a priority for me to visit and explore. And I am a Filipino. What is the connection of that? Well, let’s just say that my country has quite a number of beautiful beaches and I missed visiting most of them. Damn! Well, I am learning that basic survivor skill of swimming and I hope to learn soon enough for me to enjoy some water sports, snorkeling, or plain swimming in the beautiful waters of my homeland and my home region. Please teach me how to swim? I wear damn good bikinis. HAHAHAHA
Anyway, I have decided to skip roaming Singapura and do an entry based on an article about the beautiful beaches of the Philippines. Let’s just say, I have been to few of these listed paradise; did reminisce on their beauty and tranquility and now aiming to visit them one by one – of course with me being able to really enjoy it and swim in it. I have already contemplated on a possibility of owning a property infront of the beach and get lost in her beauty. I hope to still see an unspoiled beach shore with that calm water and white sand and have the luxury to sit on the veranda with someone special (I hope), watching the sunset, and enjoying the loudest of the silence. That’s paradise! And I deserve it. Anyway, here’s the article that I would like to share and the awesome pictures taken.
I am so proud of my country and its beauty.
I have always loved rankings of world beaches but when no Philippine beach appears on the lists, I would surely get disheartened. How could someone produce the list of the top 10 beaches in the world when in fact they have not seen all! They could have just came up with the title, “The best beaches we have seen so far!” Sometimes, you cannot fathom why a beach in filthy Kho Phangan in Thailand is ranked higher than the immaculate beach in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. CNN produced a list of the world’s 50 best beaches and it created overwhelming disapproval when beaches in the Greek Islands, in Bermuda and in the Philippines’ Palawan were missed out. Also, Yahoo Travel featured an article ranking the Philippines’ best beaches and I thought it was not so properly done, placing El Nido at the top without even singling out any of El Nido’s famed beaches.
That’s why I came up with my own ranking of the Philippines’ best beaches. This is supposed to be a counter post to the Yahoo Travel article and a counter punch to the CNN article that only had one Philippine beach. In this post I would focus on the Philippine beaches that are so underrated when it comes to world rankings. Those included in the list are beaches that I have visited so far. At the end of this post, I have also mentioned beaches that could have been included in the list if I have visited them. You can click on the hyperlinks that I have provided for more information and photos on the area or beach included in the list. Here goes the list of the top 12 beaches that mesmerized me.
12. BULOG ISLAND, CORON, PALAWAN
Getting off the boat for a short stop at the tiny, inhabited island of Bulog in Coron, I immediately blurted out that it would be a perfect site for a beach wedding upon seeing an abandoned, huge hut. Definitely, there will be no gate crashers! I had a hard time choosing this over its neighboring Banana Island but I chose Bulog Island to be in the list because of its small size, double beach of fine white sand and a sand bar that connects it to a neighboring island.
11. SIQUIJOR ISLAND
Just an hour away from Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental is the island province of Siquijor. Known for its witchcraft, magic and sorcery tales the island surprises every first time visitor. Coco Grove Resort owns approximately 800 meters of the finest stretch of white sand beach in the island. Be careful though as eager sea urchins wait to prick your feet as the beach guards do not clean them away to preserve the abundant aquatic life surrounding the island. Diving is also excellent. To top everything else, the unbelievable sunset is the best and most fiery I have experienced ever!
10. DUMALUAN BEACH, PANGLAO ISLAND, BOHOL
Panglao Island boasts of unique attractions like the world-famous Chocolate Hills and the smallest primate in the world, the Philippine tarsier. Dumaluan Beach is located south of Panglao Island. A great stretch of the beach is fronting one of the exclusive resorts in the island, Bohol Beach Club. A better alternative than the crowded Alona Beach 2.5 kilometers away, Dumaluan Beach is also a great spot for romantic sunsets.
9. LAHOS ISLAND, CARAMOAN, CAMARINES SUR
Caramoan Peninsula is composed of gorgeous islands scattered around its bay. Lahos Island is one of them and it is one of the islands used for the Survivor series shoots. In fact, Survivor has inked a contract with the local government to use the islands for 10 years calling Caramoan the Home of the Survivor. Lahos Island’s short beach area is actually double sided and is accented by limestone formations at its ends. It is quite a trip to Caramoan. From Naga City in Camarines Sur, you can take a 1.5 hour ride to the port of Sabang. From the port of Sabang, you need to take a 2-hour boat ride to the port of Guijalo. From Guijalo you need to take a 20-min land trip to get to the other side of the peninsula that is a short boat ride to the different islands of Caramoan.
8. PUKA BEACH, BORACAY, AKLAN
Not as spectacular as White Beach in Boracay, Puka Beach has fans of its own though. This is a very good alternative when you want to get away from the crowd in White Beach. I have enjoyed solitude on this beach many times. Just a 15-min ride from White Beach, it has no resorts fronting its shores but only tiny souvenir stores and a long-standing restaurant that easily became my favorite base in the area.
7. BANTAYAN ISLAND, CEBU
The northern part of Cebu island, the most visited island in the Philippines, has a number of great beach holiday choices. One of them is Paradise Beach in Bantayan Island. Take a 4-hour drive from Cebu City to Hagnaya Port and then from the port, Bantayan Island is a short boat ride away. Compared to its neighboring island, Malapascua, a diving haven, Bantayan is larger and has more mainstream beaches.
6. HELICOPTER ISLAND, EL NIDO, PALAWAN
With scenic views of neighboring Cadlao Island and the rest of the islands around El Nido’s Bacuit Bay, the beach at Helicopter Island is for me the golden beach of El Nido. A regular stopover for one of the 4 El Nido island tour packages, Helicopter Island does not have the usual white sand beach but the clear jade waters are so irresistibly inviting.
5. SECRET BEACH, EL NIDO, PALAWAN
Not a secret anymore to those who have visited it, the beach’s secret remains on where it is hidden. The only way to access the beach is by swimming through a very small opening beneath limestone cliffs that could be dangerous during monsoon season when the sea current is strong as the waves could bump you into sharp rocks when going through the small opening. However, when you get inside, you could probably utter that you have never seen and experienced anything like it before! The short stretch of white sandy cove at one end of the area enclosed by towering karst formations is said to be the inspiration of Alex Garland’s The Beach. Secret Beach in El Nido deserves to be in the top 5 for its uniqueness.
4. CALAGUAS, CAMARINES NORTE
Calaguas Island‘s Long Beach is mostly drawing local tourists who want an absolute beach getaway especially during the summer months. The tough two hours trip on mostly choppy seas can easily be shrugged off once you get off the boat and set foot on the amazing beach. There is no electricity, no resorts and no potable or running water. You need to bring your own food and drinks, your own tent and your own sane self. During Holy Week, the beach becomes alive with organizers bringing generators, lights and speakers for that once a year Reggae Night.
3. KALANGGAMAN ISLAND, PALOMPON, LEYTE
One of the islands creating great impressions lately to first time visitors, Kalanggaman has gorgeous waters surrounding it, the clearest I have seen anywhere else. Its stunning main beach and two sand bars are worthy of the one hour journey from the port of Palompon town in Leyte. Palompon is around three hours drive away from Leyte’s capital, Tacloban City and one hour drive away from Ormoc City. An overnight stay here is needed to experience the island spreads its wings like a bird when it reveals its two sand bars located at its eastern and western tips. Kalanggaman got its name from “langgam” which means bird in Cebuano dialect. Like Calaguas Island, there is no running potable water, no electricity and no resorts so the tiny island can give you a perfect natural beach experience. A full moon experience in the island will surely be unforgettable too!
2. WHITE BEACH, BORACAY, AKLAN
Boracay’s White Beach has been consistently making the world’s best beaches list and it has been the standard of a beach in the Philippines. I only gave the number 2 spot because of the massive crowd especially during peak season. It is one thing to enjoy people watching but it is another thing to be annoyed by the noise and commotion of eager tourists. I either escape to Friday’s or Boracay Terraces Resort located at the end of White Beach or hie off to nearby Puka Beach to escape the crowd. I still love White Beach after all these years. What made it almost to the top position in my list are its incredible qualities that also made it to the world’s top beaches list: the gentle slope, the amazingly clear turquoise waters and its signature sugar-fine white sand that is probably the finest and whitest I have ever seen.
1. MALCAPUYA ISLAND, CORON, PALAWAN
Topping the list is a beach on an island located one and a half hours away by boat from Coronmainland in Palawan. Malcapuya Island has the best beach in the Philippines for me, for now. Pristine, lovely, unadulterated, tranquil. The underwater scenery is also spectacular. One of the reasons why it maintains its natural beauty is that no boats are allowed to dock on its shores. The docking area is located at a rocky area at the back of the island a few minutes walk to the main beach.
So that’s how I have ranked the Philippine beaches I have visited. What do you think?
The following 6 beaches are surely to be included in the list if I have visited them.
PINAGBUYUTAN ISLAND, EL NIDO, PALAWAN
Damn Survivor! This island should have been one of the stops of our out of this world island hopping around Bacuit Bay in El Nido, Palawan. However, we were not allowed to dock in the island as it was closed for a Survivor shooting. Anyway this island took my breath away even as we were passing by it. The white sand beach shimmers at the base of the limestone island towering high above everything else in Bacuit Bay. Who needs to go to Bora-Bora?
SABITANG LAYA, CARAMOAN, CAMARINES SUR
Sabitang Laya has probably the best beach in the Caramoan Peninsula. The island is triangular in shape with two sides forming a V-shaped beach meeting at a unique formation of black missed this island during a recent visit to Caramoan. You just have to get the right timing that the island is open to public and not used by Survivor shooting (yes Survivor’s the culprit again!). Survivor has rented the Caramoan islands for 10 years but during shooting breaks the islands are opened to the public.
LONG BEACH, SAN VICENTE, PALAWAN
Hailed as the next major beach destination in the Philippines, Long Beach in San Vicente, Palawan has an incredible 14 kilometers of unadulterated beach. Lately, land prices have risen five times in value as the area gears up for development. An air strip is being planned as San Vicente is a grueling 4 hours drive away from Palawan’s capital city of Puerto Princesa and 2 hours away from the world famous El Nido.
PULO BEACH, PAMALICAN ISLAND, PALAWAN
A stunning island among Cuyo Islands in Palawan’s north east coast, Pamalican Island has been chosen by Aman Resorts as the site for its only property in the Philippines, Amanpulo Resort. The island boasts of powdery, white sand beach lining its entire coast! It is quite a challenge to reach this island as only chartered 19-seater planes can land on the private air strip and only guests of the exclusive resort can set foot in the island with room prices starting from US$1,000 per night. This island resort is often visited by famous Hollywood and local stars. Naomi Campbell, Mariah Carey, Claudia Schiffer, Tom Cruise, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert de Niro, and Diana Ross were among the past guests.
The island province of Camiguin is one of Mindanao’s paradise island destinations. The volcanic island boasts of pristine white sand beach, cool waters and untouched jungles. The island can be reached via Cagayan de Oro City with a short drive to Balingoan where you can take a boat to the island.
CALAYAN ISLAND, CAGAYAN VALLEY
Recently featured in Cebu Pacific Air’s SMILE magazine, Calayan Island is a stunning revelation. Although it is a long journey to the island, the island is worthy of a visit with its clear waters, secluded coves and spectacular cliffs.
Philippine beaches rock, don’t you think so?
CNN Article regarding our beaches:
It's More Fun in The Philippines: http://anapink18.blogspot.sg/2014/02/its-more-fun-in-philippines.html
It's More Fun in The Philippines: http://anapink18.blogspot.sg/2014/02/its-more-fun-in-philippines.html