I must be crazy for attempting to pick just 5 favorite beaches in the Philippines. I’m sure this is just going to be part 1, and there will be more parts to this post in the future. Even though it’s a fact that our country boasts of hundreds of beautiful beaches, I’ve only been to a few, so my selection is not as extensive as I’d like them to be. But still, even with just a few beaches to choose from, this is going to be a tough post to write. Let’s begin.
1. Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga City
Yes. I may be a little biased here as this beach is located in my hometown. But, who can say no to pink sand? This island is known for its pretty color. The sand may not be as fine as the other popular beaches, but it’s sprinkled with crushed organ pipe corals which gives it a pink hue.
How to get there from Manila:
- To go to Zamboanga City, take a flight through Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific.
- From your hotel, (there are no overnight accommodations in the island), hail a tricycle and ask to be taken to Paseo del Mar
- From there, you can take a banca (small boat) to the island.
2. Dakak, Dapitan City
Dakak was the Boracay of the 80’s (and 90’s?). It was where celebrities would go to and it had a sort of exclusive vibe. Today, it’s not as popular, and not many tourists go there to visit anymore except for local residents or those coming from nearby cities like Zamboanga City. The beach is well-maintained though and even though my last trip there was during the summer, the water was cold and refreshing.
Tip: Go during the off-peak season as the entrance fees are twice as low as it is during the peak season.
How to get there from Manila:
- Take a Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines flight to Dipolog City
- Airport transfers are available if you book room reservations in Dakak.
- If not, from the airport, you can walk to the highway where you can take a bus to Dapitan City (provided you are not bringing heavy luggage)
- From there, you can take a habal-habal ride to the resort.
3. Twin Lagoon, Coron Island, Palawan
Okay, a lagoon is not a beach, but I’m including this in my list because I don’t have a Top 5 Favorite Lagoons post (yet). Also, the picture above is not of the Twin Lagoon because I don’t have many pictures during my trip to Coron. My DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras both got busted, and I damaged my iPhone in Kayangan Lake when my waterproof casing decided to give up on me. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the trip very much and I loved swimming in the lagoon.
To get inside the second lagoon, you must go through a small crevice under the rock formation. This crevice usually is covered with water during the high tide. If that’s the case, you can climb a ladder to get to the other side of the lagoon. It’s more fun to go under though, so make sure you go when the tide is low.
4. Potipot Island, Zambales
I loved Potipot. I even wrote about how it’s better than Boracay for me in this post. But since my last trip to this beach was 6 years ago, I don’t know how it has changed over the years. From what I remember, I stayed in the water almost the entire time we were there. I was sunburnt, but I didn’t care because I was with awesome company and the water was just perfect.
The island is just 10 minutes away from Candelaria, Zambales. We booked accommodations at Isla Vista and took a motorized banca to the island. As there were no overnight accommodations in the island, we headed back to Isla Vista later in the afternoon.
Tip: Bring your own food.
5. Boracay Island, Aklan
Okay, I know I said I didn’t like Boracay. But I gave it another chance, and a few more chances, and I realized, aside from the beautiful beach, you get to fall in love with Boracay (or any other place) because of the memories you make. I’ve been to this beach a few times over the past few years and my favorites were the summers of 2014 and 2015. It was when I tried parasailing and joined the Pub Crawl for the first time!
There’s definitely going to be a part 2.
Writing this, I discovered that a lot of what makes me like a particular place is defined by the people I’m with and the memories I make with them during the trip. This is a very short list to sum up all the memories I’ve made with people I’ve traveled with over the years. It is safe to say there is going to be a part 2 to this post.
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