[Burot Beach, Calatagan, Batangas] ~ Versions of Sea from South to North (1 of 2)

Semi-spontaneous beach trips a first this year, thanks to an unexpected long holiday due to some Holy –

01.16-19.15. 

>>>>>

Burot Beach

This was not included in my list of long weekends this 2015 but Papal visit to the Philippines instantly gave me this loooong free days for some non-work. There was some moment of panic as soon as I heard about it last week of 2014 but it kind of helped that flights were not allowed so that filtered my choices to anywhere that does not need air travel. As I wanted some balance,  spent the long weekend in beaches in opposite places in Luzon – a solo overnight camping trip in Burot Beach in Calatagan followed by days with Allen at The Circle, La Union.

I wanted somewhere accessible so the moment I read about Burot Beach earlier that week, I just stopped looking for other places. A friend also happened to have gone there and she affirmed that it was so accessible that one could take a day trip there.

It was accessible, yes, but I had some boo-boos on not waking up early that I missed the early morning bus. A great deal of time then spent riding a city bus which passengers called “swapang” (greedy in English) because it kept on stopping to get as many passengers it could. Upon reaching the terminal, there was more waiting time as the first trip bus already left – apparently while I was still sound asleep. The bus came (yep, because if not, how could I even be writing about this. Stop talking to yourself, Teng. Not healthy. At times :D).  Yes, the bus came but I was at the beach quite late in the afternoon already.

Tired from the trip and also a bit surprised at the crowd at the beach, immediately set up tent in the closest spot with shade. Realized later on though that spot was not that bad at all. Sometimes, being in the middle of the busy-ness could be a good thing. For this trip specifically, it gave me such opportunities for people-watch and eavesdrop. When the button is on, I could be this observant.

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 Where I set ground

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So I share this lazy afternoon with you

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Just for some perspective on where I was

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Once done setting camp, time for some people-watch 

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Someone’s obviously getting some tan

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Have not had the time to read lately but for some reason was feeling too lazy at that time that I got to read only about two pages

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IMG_9213 See. I just gave up. 😀 Oh this is bad.

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IMG_9216 We kids be excited.

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IMG_9217 Because they wanted fish, maybe?

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IMG_9220 Boat time stories

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Hey there, beach dog! Don’t be like them and run away from me 😀

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I just thought tent needed a picture

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IMG_9243 And one of my neighbors as well

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Was this the same lazy dog earlier?

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My beach trip notebook which is currently confused because functions as both  a planner and a diary

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IMG_9238Yep, this mestizo guy is serious about his tan

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Happy kids!

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And now this serious look on their faces

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That boy in green sure does know how to pose

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Told you.

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Wee. It’s the classic jump shot!

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Sunset bulb. 

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Oddly from another angle, sunset not as intense

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Again this question : was this the same dog?

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Back to this intense orange

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Don’t go into the light, stranger

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Waited for the day to officially end and when it started to get chilly, thought about having some bonfire. That was something I have been wanting to do since last year but I never learned the skill. Luckily in this beach though, they can do it for you for a few hundreds.

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Beginning. 

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Hence, it was this well – burning (if there is even such a word)

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After n minutes, still like this

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Sandwiched between two big groups and quite giddy noisy at that, I sat there by myself watching the bonfire while drinking my staple beer. I went inside the tent for a while for a snooze but maybe my body was too tired or it could be the beer or maybe just my lazyness that I ended up sleeping until very early in the morning. I woke up to several messages from my boyfriend who was worried about me because maybe, he was not used to me sleeping that early. (in hindsight though, this early sleeping happened in Potipot too during a solo trip around this time last year. Could that be a curse? Hmm, kudos to overthinking.)

Didn’t even notice sunrise in the morning but when there was enough, did my early morning walk around. First explored right side of the beach wherein from afar, I could see giant blobs of rock which upon closer look, I just could not decipher whether natural or man-made. Interestingly also, that spot was where most dogs like to lie down in the morning as I noticed several of them catatonic while us humans kept ourselves busy walking around.

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This is sad.

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I am starting to think this dog was haunting me.

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Somewhere there my morning destination

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Now this view of where I was from such destination. My tent on stealth though

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Parked.

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As I went farther to the right, it got more local 

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Where to?

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Somebody’s shelter

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ZzzzZZ away

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Twins.

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Iiiiiiih . Oh the invented words we have when seeing something like this.

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“Sungka” pieces

(And I even Googled what is sungka in English. But yes, it’s a Filipno game using a wooden board with holes wherein players get to drop and collect shells. Gad I miss playing this game. I forget the rules already!)

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One of the sad stories in this beach. Even this spot that was far from the tent areas have these

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Seemingly Siamese

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From where I stood.

And I swear my feet were hurting then. Those rocks could be really pointy. 

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Seen.

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That was one odd piece of rock. Quite a stick-out.

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For I could only reach up to this point.

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Seen 2.

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Mini-drifter

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This reminded me of coffee. Must be the colors and fact that it was morning.

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Girl’s pet

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Because he was made to run

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And now closer

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And then they ran after him

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Rocks similarly ‘separate’ on the left side of the beach

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And above it is another camping ground – for mostly families though, who brought their cars with them

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Walking on water

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A look at the campsite I mentioned earlier.

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It was with this sight that I knew I found the right spot

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Having read online an option to go island-hopping, I decided to ask for rates from the sari-sari store. (Yes, from beer to bonfire to everything else, that sari-sari store is the go-to). Since I wanted to be in control of my own time, I chose to do this solo instead of going with a group despite boatman’s advice that doing latter could save me money.

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I always have this boat show I am starting to get confused which beach I was at!

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Water remains shallow up to this point.

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The boat took me first to a sand bar they call Isla Puting Buhangin. This was the second sandbar I have seen but I was glad that it was very different from the first I saw in Bais City during a Dumaguete trip. While the first had its sudden drops to the sea, this one was significantly bigger and as far as my walking could go, I did not see any dangerous spot.

I was the sole person in the bar too. It was initially awkward because I was taking my time while boatman was just waiting for me. But I chose to not let it bother me and instead took my time ‘going around’. It was a lovely one and this is where I started being fascinated with starfishes. They are such colorful yet harmless creatures to me and quite a sight to be walking in shallow water and seeing them scattered there just randomly. (Gad. I can just imagine my amazement when I learn to dive and see what is underneath the sea).

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Just one of many

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Never mind the feet but according to boatman, these are made by sea creatures (hmm crabs, if I remember right?)

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It was frustrating to capture the sandbar in its wideness

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So frustrating that I tried taking a photo of it from various angles

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Not so obvious but this sand is marked with those skinny sea stars

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Seemingly whole but I was standing on another one

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Sorry with the feet

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Less cute but starfish still!

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This small. 

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Because Kuya volunteered to take this shot. Didn’t realize I would look this small

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More starfish!

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I just love those feet! (And my hand was obviously all wrinkly from all the playing in the water)

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I could have stayed longer in that place until the sky sent its signal like it was about to rain. With quite a heavy heart then told Kuya we could go to our next stop. Just when we were leaving the sandbar, a rock hit the bottom of our boat. I didn’t mind it at first because we were still in the shallow part. Then after about literally about a feet away from the shallow part, the motor stopped and boatman said we lost our engine.

I didn’t show panic at first – and until another boat came to tow us. The whole time though, I was trying to distract myself from fear especially whenever a wave was seemingly taking us what I could only assume to be someplace else. Water was generally calm but since it was about to rain, the wind blow was enough to create some waves. Boatman remained calm (and poker face) the entire time, with occasional rant that this was not his boat and he was just tasked to take it. I give it to him though that he kept paddling and if only I knew how, I would have helped him.

Whenever he was seeing a boat from a distance, he would wave his both hands and assure me that they are used to situations like this. It did take some time (or maybe I was just scared I thought it was too long) before someone came to tow us. This was after minutes of paddling and an attempt to anchor us somewhere in the middle of the sea. He threw something and kept on pulling it. Until this day, I do not know whether he was having problems there or what. I remember being scared though and all my thoughts were about jumping off the boat.

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Cloud warning

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Finally someone came to the rescue

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He took me back to the main beach because I had to be transferred to another boat. It was only when we were on dry land that I knew that boatman was scared too having sensed some panic in his voice when he told a friend what happened.

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I was scared but not enough to stop me from hopping to another one to continue

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This sight while we were on our way to this another sandbar they call Little Boracay 

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Though to me not as impressive as the first, this next stop had its character of having these sea urchins. Quite in contrast to the other with the starfish, it was these dangerous that inhabit latter. But since I thought they were not dangerous unless stepped on, got a spine from one of them.

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Aha! You are revealed so no victim huh.

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Sand here not as fine and white as the one in Isla Puting Buhangin

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Am not sure what this is but shell was so weak it break whenever I touch it.

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On its natural, it looks like this

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Our next stop was at this Coral island. Funnily though, it was not an island. It was a spot in the middle of sea!

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Post that funny incident at the snorkeling spot, I just asked boatman to take me to StarFish Island which was actually another sand bar with, well, starfish. It was smaller than the first two but water was a bit deeper (about knee-high) that I did not get to take as much pictures because I was scared I might drop my gadgets.

I was back at camp a little bit after noon. Swam for a while, bathed and de-camped. And had again this feeling that I have no choice but to leave. (SM, by the way, bought this beach not so long ago so there is  a chance that either they overdevelop it or close it to the public. Try to be there while you can!)

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So apparently that floating hut was for rent

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My clutter while disassembling tent

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There you are, visitor.

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Goodbye, you squishy fat worm.

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How to go to Burot Beach: 

My starting point was Sampaloc, Manila so had to take an FX to nearest bus catch which was a city bus along Quezon Avenue going to Coastal Mall (with Mia or Baclaran in signboard). Fare at around Php 45

At Coastal Mall, there are two bus terminals – city bus terminal on the left side while provincial buses are on the right. Aim to go right then ride a bus bound to Calatagan. This should not be a problem because there are screaming signboards per lane. I took an ordinary (non-aircon) bus via Celyrosa Liner. Fare from Coastal Mall to Calatagan is at Php140.

From the terminal (and right across it is some market where you can buy supplies), take a tricycle for Php150 one-way. You may ask for the driver’s number but tricycle can also be arranged from the beach itself. Entrance fee at 30 bucks, while to be able to pitch a tent, one should pay Php140. They rent tents as far as I know. To ask about rate, best to contact resort caretaker Mang Ramon at 09156028907

Going back, aim for the terminal. When I was about to leave on a Friday, last trip of Celyrosa bus is at 4PM. You may ask upon arrival though just to be sure.

Other Notes

Beer (1L Red Horse, a local beer): Php80 at the market, Php 85 on the beach area

Island Hopping: Php 120 if in a group; Php 500 if go solo

Bonfire: Php200. Can last for about two rounds so you can opt to save some of driftwood for some morning fire

Charging station near the guard house : Php60 per charge (best to bring your powerbanks then!)

No electricity so bring your own source of light (unless you prefer to live in darkness :D). There are limited, basic bathrooms in the area.

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2 thoughts on “[Burot Beach, Calatagan, Batangas] ~ Versions of Sea from South to North (1 of 2)”

  1. ADVENTURE TO BUROT BEACH
    i’m sure you can enjoy the beautiful
    white sand the clean water
    you can relax the beautiful place
    Try it Believe it
    just call or text : kuya Romy
    to guide you any time you want
    or tricycle ride to burot beach
    php 150 good for 1 to 3 person
    from public market to burot beach
    contact no : 09266452950

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