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Escape Manila: 6 Beaches To Visit For The Weekend

Roaring jeepneys, soul-crushing traffic and soot that goes hand in hand with the second-hand smoke you unwillingly inhale in public… Now don’t get me wrong, I love Manila. But there are times when I just wanna pack-up and leave all the chaos behind. I’m sure you’ve also felt it before, that’s why I’ve compiled a list of destinations for the beach goer, because even though the city is where it’s at, we all could use a day-off once in a while. And by that, I mean as many weekends as possible.

1. Masasa Beach, Tingloy Island, Batangas.

For a while, this secluded beach has only been known by the locals, but thanks to the internet, it is now one of the “go-to” beach destination by those who want to escape the overcrowded Metro. Having said this, we went there during the Holy Week Holiday and only saw two other groups. We camped by the beach and stayed there for 2 days. You can rent a tent for around 500php. The locals also offer some of their spare rooms for rent.

How to get there:

  1. From SLEX, proceed to Star Tollway and then Bauan, go down to Mabini Port (you can also take the bus, in which you will go down in the Terminal of Balagtas and just ride a jeepney to Mabini). If you plan on taking your own car, there is a parking spot there that you can rent for 90php per day.
  2. Taking the morning boat trip from Mabini port to Tingloy Island is recommended.
  3. At the island, rent a tricycle going to Masasa Beach

2. Borawan Island, Padre Burgos


Does the name sound familiar? It’s because Borawan was taken from Boracay, because of its white sand and Palawan because of the rock formations. If you’re still saving up some money to go to Palawan and Boracay, why not go to Borawan in the meantime and kill two birds with one stone. I’m sure that I used that incorrectly.

How to get there:

  1. From Manila, ride a bus bound for Lucena.
  2. From the terminal, take another bus to Unisan. Get off at Padre Burgos.
  3. At the terminal, there will be folks that will offer you boat rides to the island.

3. Magalawa Island, Palauig, Zambales

magalawa island

Magalawa, when compared to the other beaches in Zambales is not yet filled with tourists. We stayed at Ruiz Resort, the staff are professional and very accommodating, they’ve already finished setting our tent before we even arrive. They also provide tools and cooking utensils if you want to grill your own food.

How to get there:

  1. From NLEX, proceed to SCTEX.
  2. Head to Subic Bay Freeport Expressway and then to National Road, from there,  drive to Iba. When you see Amungan Triangle,  bear right to Banlog Triangle and then head to Luan Port.
  3. Take the boat to Magalawa Island.

4. Hundred Islands, Pangasinan

hundred islands

This National Park is well known around the country for a reason, because it is unlike any other. Taking a boat tour around the islands is recommended or, if you’re up to the challenge and have ample amounts of sunblock, you can kayak with your buddy!

How to get there:

  1. Take a bus ride form Manila to Alaminos City.
  2. Ride a tricycle to Lucap Wharf where you can ride a boat to start your tour.

5. Dipaculao Beach, Aurora

dipaculao beach

Dipaculao is bit further above the infamous Baler, but trust me, beach-wise, you’re in for a treat. The water is unspoiled and the sands are white, this alone is enough to make the extra effort to go journey there.

6. Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur

You’ve probably heard about Caramoan, and rightly so, because it is one of the best beaches in the country which is reachable by road from Manila (although we took a plane to Naga and you have to ride a pump boat to get there). You can also go scuba diving in Caramoan which is always a good sign that the place is free from pollution.

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