We first set foot on this white sand beach at the end of our island-hopping tour, on our second day in Romblon. We had spent an inordinate amount of time at our third island destination leaving us only several minutes to explore beautiful Bonbon Beach before we had to return to Romblon town. Our boat hurriedly docked in the middle of Bonbon’s long, curving sandbar and we lost no time in exploring the beach, by now beginning to get awash in the golden rays of a sun lazily dropping down into the distant horizon. Continue reading A Beach Named Bonbon
We hadn’t planned going to this beach this early, having just arrived at Romblon town at 6 AM. Our initial plan was to catch up on sleep in the morning, then head for Talipasak Beach in the afternoon. We would then visit three other beaches including Tiamban Beach, on the following day. But a sudden brownout before 9AM changed our plans. It was unbearably hot in the hotel and with the multitude of beaches nearby we’d be fools not to cool off at these, so off to Talipasak we went.
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.
From our resort at Barangay Laurente in San Pascual town, it was the farthest of all three islands in our island-hopping tour. Sombrero Island is about an hour away from the port at San Pascual town. However it is almost two hours away from the first island on our itinerary – Animasola Island – situated much farther to the northeast. Fortunately we could stop at Tinalisayan Island on our way to Sombrero – or it would have been almost two hours of a monotonous journey on the deep blue of the Ragay Gulf.
In the middle of a trip that requires a total of 7 vehicular transfers – a taxi ride starting from home, an 8-hour bus ride, a 2-hour ferry ride, 2 van rides and 2 transfers by trike – you come to a point when you begin to question the sheer absurdity of going through a self-flagellating travel schedule just to cross out an item in your bucket list. And it didn’t end there. The following day after our arrival in sleepy San Pascual town in Burias Island, Masbate we had to negotiate a not-so-calm sea on our way to the islands of Animasola, Tinalisayan and Sombrero. In a boat just big enough for the five of us. These islands had better be good or else.
There are only two seasons in the Philippines: wet and dry. The dry season typically runs from November to May, with the wet season – usually the time for rains and typhoons – picking up the rest. Filipinos often refer to the dry and hot months from April to May as summer, an attempt to identify it with the closest season in temperate countries. Continue reading Magalawa Island: Can’t Wait for Summer
Everything had gone smoothly during our visit to Guimaras. Until this time. We had just boarded a boat at Alubihod Beach for our island-hopping trip. Despite having rained the previous days – it was the southwest monsoon or habagat season – the sun was up and the waters of the Panay Gulf unusually calm. Our first destination was easily visible on the horizon and, from what we knew, just 15 minutes away. Our motorized outrigger started its engine and we waited for the boat to speed up. So far, so good. We waited… and waited… and waited. Continue reading Island-Hopping at Guimaras