Travel Diary: Weekend Getaway in Pagbilao, Quezon

When you grew tired and weary to the concrete jungle of Manila, a trip to a nice secluded place with a splendid view of ocean, white sand and nature is a perfect way to unwind and forget temporarily the reality of your world.

Tucked away from the outskirts of Barangay Polo, Pagbilao Quezon,  a beautiful paradise lies in this quaint town. The resort is known as Puting Buhangin which is a private property but it’s open to public on a daytrip and also just recently overnight camping is allowed already. At the far right side facing the ocean, a cave is located known as Kwebang Lagpas. There are two ways to get here, via land or via boat. But since, we’re not familiar where the boat ride is, we opt to choose the latter.

Actually, Pagbilao is far from our itinerary, but since typhoon “Marce” is hitting the northern part of Luzon, we divert our trip to this place and I did not regret it. Why not? Because it’s worth of every puyat, pagod and pagkaligaw once we reached the resort. We we’re greeted by the majestic view of the sea glistening in shades of emerald, white powdery sand, peaceful setting and the humble life it offers.

Getting in Pagbilao is quite tricky (atleast from what we experienced) but perhaps an adventure for us. Since this is a sudden change of course, we ended up unprepared and lost at the same time. But that’s the gist of a DIY trip. Our meeting place is in Greenbelt, Makati (we stayed at McDonalds till 12am) and headed to Pasay Terminal and took a bus enroute to Lucena. According to the blog I read, we should alight to the Lucena Grand Terminal because there are buses, jeeps and vans enroute to Pagbilao. But for some reasons we didn’t able to do so and instead we get off to. It’s already 4:00am (3 hours travel time) and we truly have no idea where we are already. We found a bakery and mini store and had our coffee there. We asked the local vendor on how to go to Pagbilao, he told us that there are jeeps passing in that area going to Pagbilao but we have to wait till 5:00am, the first trip.

The ride going to Pagbilao lasted for about 30minutes or so, and then took another jeep going to Barangay Polo. We waited for about an hour again since the jeep will leave at around 7:00am. We take this opportunity to get some sleep while waiting. Going to Barangay Polo is exhausting. It took as about 2hours and a half to reach the terminal. And from there we took a tricycle and then we transfer to another tricycle that will bring us to the island. It cost us Php200.00 going there. All in all we paid a total of Php500.00 for the back and forth service plus Php20.00 fee to the main gate. You might think they are charging a lot, but it’s fair to do so because of the rough road the tricycle have to bear.

When we reach the entrance, we have to cross the mangroves via boat ride. The fee is Php10.00/head. Funny thing is that when we crossed already the mangroves, a pile of huge and small rocks and the view of ocean greeted us. And we thought to ourselves, is this is it already? It looks like a deserted island with some rubbish and the fact that this is far from what we have seen in the blogs and images in the web. Apparently, this is only the entrance to Kwebang Lagpas. The kids told us that we have to trek in order to get to the main island. The trek lasted for about 30 minutes and we have to be careful too because the entire trail is really muddy and occasionally slippery on some areas.

Finally, after all the transfers and trek we we’re able to reached the place and we we’re flabbergasted with the scenery before us. Truly, we have to suffer first in order to witness this beautiful paradise. I can say, all my tiredness was swept away just seeing the place. It is simply exquisite. It has white powdery sand, crystal clear water which changes from shades of green to blue. I love the tranquillity of the place, very soothing and relaxing. The waves quietly kiss the shores. There are some water creatures you will find along the shore.

I also like the cave, the Kwebang Lagpas. When I explore inside it, the water is just below the knee. Going further inside is another opening of the cave where you will get the view of the bay. I can’t help but to utter myself that I only got to see the place in the picture but now I actually seeing them for real. The only thing that I can complain is their shower area. You have to buy a gallon of clean water first before you can take a shower.

Suffice to say, I have a nice time exploring Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lagpas. This is timing to prepare myself for the upcoming peak season. I know when I get back to Manila, I’ll be on my real world again having to deal with the complexities of my work. But, no complains. I definitely recommended the Pagbilao, Quezon as one of your travel where to’s.