The Beach is always a good idea, but cramped, crowded and overly commercialized beaches could really make you think twice about whether you want to go with the crowd or not. Most of the known beaches in the Philippines are usually crowded especially during summer. Aside from local tourists who usually go on vacation during April and May because of school break, foreign tourists are also flying in to experience the summer heat in our country and go on beach adventures. With these in mind, beach getting crowded, and rates becoming expensive due to high demand, you might really have a second thought about going. But, hey! don’t let this get in the way. It is still summer after all! Let me tell you about a place where you get away with all the hustle and fuzz!
Borawan Island- this is the place I was telling you about. This uncrowded beach is located in Pagbilao Island found in a small town called Padre Burgos, Quezon Province.
How to get there
- From Buendia or Alabang take a bus going to Lucena Grand Terminal, which takes about 4-5hrs. Major operators in the south area are Jac and Jam liners.
- From Lucena Grand Terminal, there are buses heading to Unisan which passes through the town of Padre Burgos. Ask the operator to drop you off at Barangay Basiao where you can get a boat going to Borawan Island.
- Rent a boat in Barangay Basiao that will take you to Borawan Island. It’s only 10-15minutes to the Island. There is no standard rate here so this will depend on your haggling skills. However, make sure you are not haggling too much and just at a reasonable price since this is one of their livelihood here.
If you have a private vehicle, Take SLEX and exit on Sto. Thomas heading right. Take the main highway that will lead you to Lucena for easy navigation use Waze. J From Lucena City, continue until you reach the intersection, take the road sign going to Padre Burgos that will lead you to Barangay Basiao. Then from there, you can see boatmen offering tours and services.
Where to stay and eat
Borawan Island is not residential nor commercialized as I mentioned. There are literally no Hotels, Inns, and Restaurants. The local government’s tourism council is solely managing it, which for me is quite good because you know it is safe and any large business persons do not dominate it, well not so far. Your accommodation options are either open cottages or tents.
There is a store where they offer some fresh fish to be grilled or fried. However, there are only limited food options so my tip is that you buy your food in Barangay Basiao before you head to the Island, the same way we did. There are eateries and local restaurants along the way. There is also no electricity at nighttime but there is a generator available at the only store on the island.
It could be a getaway from all the hustle and noise of the city, a quick getaway from urban life. Although the signal is strong meaning, you can still connect to the internet using data connection I highly suggest you take the chance to disconnect from what you left before that island, or from the rest of the world. When we visited the island, we only saw a few travelers and some were even only on a day tour.
During the night, you can marvel with the sea of stars in the open sky. This is where I have vividly seen a shooting star right in front of my eyes for the first time! We rented a tent and a banig(mat) for the night but since there are only a few campers and stay in locals on the island, some of my friends and I chose to sleep on the banig. It was actually a bizarre experience to be sleeping with the view of the stars above you and to wake up in the rays of the sun. I felt so close to nature.
We just enjoyed the sand and beach the next day. Since it is just a quick getaway, we did not have plenty of time to do Island hopping. But there are two other Islands that you can go to. The boatmen will usually offer you the island hopping tour along with transport service. Puting Buhangin, a stretch of white sand beach and Kwebang Lampas, a cave on the right-hand side of the beach are the two other destinations.
|Borawan Beach||Kwebang Lampas|
|Entrance Fee||PHP150.00 DAY TOUR/PHP220.00 OVERNIGHT||PHP80.00|
|Tent Space||PHP200.00 SMALL/PHP250.00 BIG||PHP200.00|
|Cottage Fee||PHP850.00DAY TOUR/1,250.00 OVERNIGHT||PHP350.00|
|Comfort Room||FREE||PHP70.00 (UNLIMITED USE)|
I bet you have screenshots of #travelgoal photos on your phone. I admit I do it myself. But you see, when expectation meets reality, sometimes you really can’t get the exact photo you want when there are also other people in the background. Here mostly, if you go on a weekday and wake up early to walk around, you have the island for yourself to enjoy!
- Buy your food, snacks, and toiletries in Barangay Basiao before you head for the Island because there is only one store on the Island and it is a bit expensive. There is no corkage so you do not need to worry about additional costs.
- Bring your own mat and tent so do not need to rent.
- Come during Full moon if you are staying overnight. I have not tried, but I am sure the sky view at nighttime will be better. Better if you have binoculars.
- Bring fully charged power bank otherwise, you will have to charge your phone at the store for PHP20.00.