It’s been a year since my last visit to Padre Burgos and I’d have to say that much has changed since then. In the advent of travel bloggers and communities, short trips to Quezon become accessible and affordable so that locals and city slickers alike now overwhelm what used to be inconspicuous and hidden beaches.
But enough lamenting, let’s get on to the topic at hand: Padre Burgos. Local tourism is definitely on the rise for this municipality in Quezon which is unsurprising really because of its gorgeous beaches and friendly locals. If you tell anyone at Lucena Grand Terminal where you’re heading, they won’t hesitate to help you out and tell you where to get off and refer you to any of the boatmen that they know.
Only the beaches of Dampalitan and Borawan are within the Padre Burgos area. Puting Buhangin is actually in Pagbilao, Quezon but it is far more accessible by boat from Padre Burgos than if you go straight to Pagbilao.
Dampalitan is a beach where the tide is never high enough. You’d have to go really really far, battle groups of sea urchins, and conquer a giant jellyfish before the water gets to swimming level (it’s best to go there and judge for yourself). What’s great about it is that it offers both a good sunrise and a good sunset view so it’s a good place to be camping overnight. During our first visit, it was the only beach ideal for an overnight stay because there are locals around and clean water for bathing, cooking, and washing the dishes (which will still cost you P40 pesos per container). There are cottages strewn all over the place. The entrance fee is at P30 per person and pitching a tent costs P150 per tent.
Puting Buhangin or Lukang Beach (named after the owner) located in Pagbilao is a local paradise if not for the sheer number of people that visit. I was greatly surprised by the number of people at the beach when we got there on Sunday morning. There was hardly any space for camping. Most of the cottages were already occupied. The beach was swarmed by boats so much that it was hardly possible to swim by the shore. Take out all the people, though, and you’ll be able to appreciate the fine white sand and the clear waters.
Our last stop was at Borawan which is the smallest of the three. Back on our first visit, the beach was bare and visited by only a few. Now it has cottages, huts, a store, and a bathroom. Although my friends and I generally prefer quiet places with minimum visitors, I can still say it was quite an improvement.
I’m still in love with Quezon. It might not be as magical for me now as it was once before but if you are in dire need of a quick and budget-friendly getaway, Padre Burgos will not disappoint.
HOW TO GET THERE
– Take a bus heading to the Lucena Grand Terminal (JAC, Lucena Lines) for 220 pesos. The ride might last you 2-3 hours depending on your departure time from Manila.
– Take a minibus and ask the driver to drop you off at Padre Burgos. You can get in touch with Mang Ambit, a boat owner in Padre Burgos, who can help you shop for food and supplies. The minibus actually passes right by their house.
– If you don’t have a boat contact though, take a tricycle from the main street to the small port and hire a boatman there. You can ask the boatman to take you to all three beaches like we did or, if you’re on a tighter budget, just to Dampalitan and Borawan which are the nearest beaches (Puting Buhangin is in fact in Pabilao).
500 – bus from Manila to Lucena and vice versa
80 – bus from Lucena Grand Terminal to Padre Burgos and vice versa
1800 – boat service from jump off to Dampalitan, Puting Buhangin, Dampalitan, then back to the port
150 – tent pitching fee at Dampalitan
30 – Dampalitan entrance fee
40 – per container of water (for cooking and drinking)
50 – entrance fee at Puting Buhangin
80 – Borawan entrance fee
300 – food and supplies
budget per person = 1500 maximum
Mang Ambit (boatman)
0928 784 1411
*All information posted are applicable as of April 2013.