Monday, March 31, 2014

A Quick Out of Town Break at Pagbilao Quezon

I have always been spontaneous and it really feels great to keep it intact during time of needs. I awe this Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas trip to the powerful FB group events. Sometime in March, i got invited to Pinoy Travel Addicts Group and this is where I saw a post for this trip. They need 8 more joiners, and i thought, it will be another great weekend escape from the hustle of Manila. I got excited after my slot got confirmed. My weekends were full, Saturday was a trip at The Manila Museum and Sunday is spared for Pagbilao, rock on The Blue Rider.

A bit tired and lacking sleep I woke up early morning of Sunday to prepare as we are meeting at 2 AM. I am a bit apprehensive if I got the instructions correctly with regard to the meeting the meeting place, luckily, i got it right. After few minutes of waiting for the rest of the joiners to come, we finally come to the closing of the van’s door and started traversing all the way south past 2 in the morning.

A bit sleepy so I started feeling comfortable and sleep along the way. I just woke up when the van stopped for a quick stretch and pee break for all of us somewhere in..nyahaha..I don’t know. After that short stop over, we continue the long road to Pagbilao, Quezon.

Kwebang Lampas is located in Barangay Isla Polo in Pagbilao Quezon. About 140 kms south of Metro Manila and travel time is about 5-6 hours if you take the public transportation. For those who will be driving or taking a private vehicle, 4 hours is a safe estimate. Since this is a group tour, we hired a van and it took us roughly 4 hours before touching Pagbilao. A beautiful day is awaiting as the sunrise started to show up.



We arrived at the jump off port (actually not a port because we will be cruising a very short mangrove river to get to the other end). We will be taking a motorized boat to cross the river.  While waiting for water to rise, the boatman told us that they can take us straight to the seashore for additional fee, but we prefer to do a little trek to make this trip more exciting.



This is just a quick boat ride and I started taking pictures of the sights along the way including the lighthouse of the Power Plant. Just a sight I couldn’t help but photograph.

Arriving at the other side of the lake, we continued treading until we saw gorgeous rock views and the sea with Pagbilao Power Plant serving as a great backdrop.  We stopped for a while and took some photos.



We continued traversing the visible way following the signs along the road until we entered a forested area, slowly engulfed in the thickness of of the trees. The trek and trail is a bit slippery but not that bad at all but proper care is still recommended.  We have a kid companion but was able to manage it without any problems, so I am pretty sure that adults will be able to do it hassle free.  We continue walking until we arrived in the area with coconut trees, the grounds for Puting Buhangin :)


Of course, it’s a Sunday so I am expecting a lot of beach bummers and campers. The challenge for us here is to look for a perfect spot to keep ourselves protected from direct heat of the sun. We’re lucky we found one, right in front of the beach and the center of the cove.



We started to settle and had breakfast. Weeh, great to know that these people are also into a lot of travelling and thanks to Minie for cooking a great breakfast for all of us.

After feeding our hungry stomach, we started enjoying the beach. Some went on swimming while others started exploring the cave. As for me, I just wanted to lay down and enjoy the sea breeze. Since the sea is calm, no crashing waves.

I took the liberty to roam around and check the resort facilities, if there’s any. For those who wanted to spend overnight in the resort, sorry to disappoint but there’s no room for rent for you to stay. You can pitch your tent anywhere safe and you are ready to spend the night. There were only few nipa huts with tables and benches designed for day trips only. They have Toilet and washroom as well, but don’t expect it to be cozy.  There’s no drinking water available so it’s a must that you bring your own. Definitely, no electricity in the resort so come prepared especially for those who will go on overnight. Make sure to bring flashlights or headlamps to be able to move around. Like in remote places, mosquitoes can be notorious so insect repellant should come handy. 


After my own ‘take-a-look-around’ trip, we all went to the limestone cliff to check what’s in store for us. Of course, for another Photo Op Session with the gang. The road to get to the top is a bit tricky and you need to make sure that you hold on the right rocks to keep you steadily safe. Happy me when this spectacular view greeted when I reached the top.  It’s breathtaking and simply mesmerizing.  They say an experience could never be created twice and I agree with that. Glad, i went all the way up here, it’s just simply beautiful. You can see crystal clear water all the way from here, and cliff diving is allowed in here (take extra care though, DIVE AT YOUR OWN RISK). Lastly, before I forget, be careful with the sea urchins too.




It’s one hell of a happy beach – secluded, serene and stunning. Nature at its finest. The emerald green water is sparkling. The sand is white, the shore is clean and most especially the water is calm.


After we had that short aerial view of the cove, it’s time to take a splash. We enjoyed the calm water but not the rocks. They’re a bit sharp and slippery. I recommend you use coral shoes when you come here and swim. You can also go inside the cave if you can resist the cold salt water. Launch shots of my Action Camera..acceptable!



Since, i prefer this day to very light, i just took few minutes in the water and went back to the shore to just consume the beauty before my eyes. This is one of the reason why I so love beaches even if that would mean getting burned under the sun and sticky/coarse hair. Beaches keep me calm and rejuvenated and by simply looking at the vastness of the ocean, I felt grateful.

After few hours of swimming, beach bumming and sun bathing, we had our seafood fiesta lunch :) Yeah, I can live with seafood all my life. That being said, I  could have been a sea creature in my past life, hehehe!



After having lunch, some went back swimming, others went up to the cliff and dive and me, I went to sleep. heheheh! This is all I wanted to do today, to sleep and chill beside the beach. Music playing, the winds are blowing, I can smell the sea water and I started closing my eyes and drifted away.

After 2 hours of napping, I freshen up! It’s time to get back to girl scout and CAT days wherein you have to really live within your means. I bought 5 liters fresh water to clean up myself (Php 50.00). After taking a bath, we all prepped up to go home.

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Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas is just a daytrip but I never underestimated the experiences and discoveries I will have. This does not only recharged myself and get ready for my next week’s battle at work but also gave me a different perspective in traveling. I have always and will always prefer to travel alone, but it’s always good to find company at some point. Not to highlight getting someone to talk to and share cost on your trips (I spent Php 700.00 all-in for this tirp) You will get to meet a lot of personalities, great people with great stories and experiences to tell. People who share the same passion as you do, people who always aim to explore, to travel and to experience ‘life-on-the-go’ that will eventually become your friends.

Here’s the breakdown of expenses for those who wanted to experience Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas in a day (taken from Mam Ron’s Damage Report)


Total Cost

Van Rental + Fuel Php  6,000.00
Toll Fees Php     414.00
Parking Fee Php     100.00
Food and Drinks Php  3,177.25
Entrance and Boat Fees Php  1,890.00


Php 11,581.25 (to be shared)

We found Php 500.00 along the way so we had an extra fund. Total cost Php 11,081.25 / 17 joiners , that makes it Php 651.83 each person (budget travel indeed)

Thanks to Mam Ron for allowing me to join this group and find future travel buddies maybe not just in the Philippines but also abroad. It’s one of the  best Happy Beach Sunday experiences.

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