[Dinadiawan, Aurora] ~ Beach Close to Home

 For I have been to many but none yet at home   – 12.29-30.15

I have been to quite a number of beaches in 2015 but when I had the chance for one last “hirit” (Filipino slang which connotes ‘more wanting’), I spent time on a secluded one closer to home. It was an overnight trip but most of what I did were packed during the day – from lazy people-watching, moments of wading and what to me is this crazy loooong walk from almost end-to-end of this long strip of sand.

My only time to rest was during sunset until it was dark and cloudplay was over. After that, I slept for almost 12 hours (!) which equals to about 5 regular days. Then in all my groggy in the morning was a lovely goodbye surprise.

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First beach in my hometown

Most of the time, people would be surprised when they knew I grew up in Baler and I would tell them that I don’t know how to surf or even know how to swim. In response, I would just smile and share no further but the story is – ever since I was a child, I was scared of the waves in my hometown. Whenever we visit the beach then, my cousins would immediately run and play in the water while I stay and watch; and in very few times of curiosity would come near the water and let my toes and the sea meet.

I was already a grown-up when I realized how beaches have this calming effect on me. Being the type of person who likes to be always doing things, even simultaneously at pace that is fast, I realized that the beach is the only place where I feel happy doing nothing.

However, as I have not overcome my fear of waves, this love affair was never with beach from home. Years later and my encounter remains that of seconds with my feet and the sea.

Maybe for some parts of me wanting to connect to home, at that time in 2015 I wanted to try a beach near home. Maybe not the very same beach I was scared of as a child but somewhere that felt a bit more friendly. (Small steps.) I have read about more than one but as a starting point, I chose one that is most accessible.

An hour away from Baler, going to Dinadiawan is via this road along the coast, hence the unblocked view of the sea.

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Packed van I was in that morning

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Compared to the more popular Sabang Beach, Dinadiawan turned out a lot more secluded, sea a lot calmer and with more than enough space of sand for bumming or (probably) camping. I was told by a friend that some people go here to surf but it was hard to imagine it from what I saw when I was there. It could have been the season or probably some other parts of the beach.

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Inasmuch as I want to go all lazy as soon as I got there, I had to find a place to stay. While I asked to be dropped off at Dinadiawan Agri Resort, I wanted to check the others which we drove past on the way there. Little did I know that I signed up for some hard work because apparently, these resorts are far apart. I noticed immediately too that there was no natural shade where I can take rest in between walking.

Nonetheless, I walked as far as I could and funnily ended up staying in the resort where I was dropped off. When I finally got settled, I found shade and was on bum mode until about early afternoon when I took my butt off to some walking.

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Tired from all the walking, I literally just threw all my stuff here

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Rest of the morning spent alternately taking photos from where I was sitting, drinking beer, reading and wading.

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It was early afternoon when I started walking again – taking photos of anything that seemed interesting, getting into the water whenever I was feeling uncomfortable with the heat and sweat.

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An abandoned resort? 

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When I couldn’t find shade, I just let my back burn like this :p

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And take selfies :p

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Sunset with these locals

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Black

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Black and (glowing) white

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The following morning after many hours of sleep, I woke up to an odd version of sunrise.

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On the right is this calming blue

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But on the right is this intense orange

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And then this morning greeted me with this. Whoa. The first time I saw both ends of a rainbow.

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The rainbow gone too soon

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Initially I thought I just had too much sleep but upon closer look, something bit my eyelid

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Awww. It’s still early for wake-up call for this dog

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How to get there and other practical details

From Manila, there are buses bound for Baler which is the capital town of Aurora, the same province where Dinadiawan is.

GENESIS BUS has daily trips – via its aircon buses and a deluxe version called Joybus. With the latter, seats are more comfortable, reservations are accepted and the usual 7- to 8-hour trip is cut by around 2-3 hours.This is due to no stopovers and with trips leaving in the wee hours of morning – 12:30AM or 1:30AM.

You may also opt to take buses bound for Cabanatuan and from the Central Terminal, take a van bound for Baler.

Once in Baler, you may take a van from the bus terminal and ask to be dropped off at your resort in Dinadiawan.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Kristina Correa (or more known to almost all people in her life as Teng) is based on the city of Manila in the Philippines and whenever she can, cools off with routine and gets her doses of happy someplace else. She doesn’t mean to inform and help plan (as obvious with her laziness with details) but hopes her stories and photos can inspire you to create your own.

 

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