Summer would be a bummer without a little beach reprieve. Lucky for us we have more than 7000 islands to satisfy our summer craving. But not every getaway is as accessible from Metro Manila. So here’s a list of summer destinations that are not too far and are actually easy on the budget.
1. Burot Beach
This Batangas gem is known for amazing sunset views. It’s a bit of a drive if you are coming from Metro Manila (especially if you leave late) and the accommodations are strictly camping but if you don’t mind roughing it, you’d love the place. Take a short boat ride to see the sandbar and snorkel around.
2. Pandin Lake – much faster to reach than Burot. The lake is very popular among local tourists but the lake never gets too crowded because you can only hang around for two hours. There’s lunch included though and the ladies of the lake make a pretty mean fern salad. Since two hours do not make a day trip, some nearby sites you can see are the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery and Sampaloc Lake. There are also a lot of spring resorts in Liliw that will make the trip worth your while.
3. Puting Buhangin
Quezon Province is literally littered with gorgeous beaches but one of the closest ones is Puting Buhangin. This beach is very popular among Quezon locals so expect a crowded beach during summer. During the low season, though, the beach is as pretty as any.
4. Daranak Falls – also a touristy spot, Daranak Falls is cradled in Rizal and is a mere two hours away from the metro. I’m not sure about any overnight accommodations in the area but it’s perfect for some random summer Sunday when the heat just gets too much in the city.
5. Potipot Island
It will take you at least four hours to reach this tiny island in Zambales and there are no accommodations on the island so you’re going to have to be a camper type of a human being. The water is clear and gorgeous in the morning, the sunset is beautiful at dusk, and the moonlight is sensational at night.
6. Cavinti Falls
You can either go by boat or by trekking. The boat route gets you really wet even before you reach the falls and it’s more expensive. Trekking is more refreshing, provides you with more exercise, and lets you do a little rappeling.
7. Cagbalete Island
Another Quezon destination, Cagbalete Island is a little like Potipot but there are accommodations available, nearer, no sunset view, and the tide is really low in the morning. The water is really nice in the afternoon and the Bonzai rock right across is picture-worthy.
The list is made of flashback memories and I’m pretty sure there are still plenty of places I haven’t checked out. In any case, I would sure love to revisit each spot in this list.