In our past two visits to this coastal town our primary destination has always been the same: Patar Beach. Blessed with white sand and crystal-clear waters, Patar Beach we thought was worth the long 6-hour plus drive from Metro Manila. So when Leo drove his mom, sisters and a nephew to Bolinao in Pangasinan province recently, his first impulse was to bring them to this white beach wonder. Not having been to this beach since 2011, however, he was in for what was almost a rude awakening.
We were looking forward to this trip after a pretty hectic week. A relatively under-the-radar beach destination in the western seaboard of Pangasinan on a weekday would surely bring very few visitors. And during the off-peak tourist season to boot. Along with three other friends, we had everything geared up for a two-night stay and were looking forward to enjoying moments of solitude underneath the shade of coconut palms. Or so we thought.
From Tambobong Beach in Dasol, Pangasinan it was easily visible as a desert island of white sand with four gangling, widely-scattered coconut palms. On our first visit to Tambobong we couldn’t get any boat to take us here. The waves were just too strong at that time of the year. It took four years before we were able to return to Dasol and to attempt to get to Colibra Island again. After our visit to the beach at Balinmanok our boat finally made its way to this island.
While browsing through the pages of a travel guide in the early 2000’s we were surprised by its assertion that the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan was “overrated.” Instead, it suggested we visited the beaches of Dasol in the western part of the province. That suggestion was filed away in our memory banks until almost eight years later when we began encountering travel blogs featuring these beaches. In 2011 we finally paid a visit to Tambobong Beach in Dasol. The beach and its surrounding attractions were indeed alluring and pristine but the roads going there were extremely rough. The poor state of these roads discouraged us from going back.
Visitors traveling to the Philippine province of Pangasinan often head straight for the Hundred Islands in Alaminos or to Patar Beach in Bolinao. Even the previously unheard-of destinations of Tambobong Beach and Colibra Island in Dasol, Cabongaoan Beach in Burgos and Tondol Beach in Anda are quietly gaining popularity thanks to social media and travel bloggers. But just a few days after Easter Sunday, we found ourselves chilling in an unlikely part of Pangasinan – namely the eastern Pangasinan towns of Tayug, San Nicolas and Natividad.