Sunday, February 3, 2013

Borawan, Padre Burgos, Quezon

I was browsing through facebook when I chanced upon an invite to go to Borawan for a weekend January 12-13.  The first 2 weeks of the year was so hectic, that I saw this as an opportunity to take a break.  This is also my first time to visit the place and the picture on the invite was so tempting.
It was raining the night before, and was having second thoughts.  I tried to confirm whether the trip would push through, since we're leaving around 3AM.

I was still partying at a friends bar at 1AM, but went home at 2AM to prepare and pack, and went straight to the bus station to Lucena. I slept the entire bus ride, that the 3 hours travel time seemed like minutes.  I was at the Lucena Grand Terminal having breakfast where my travel buddies caught up with me.  This time, we headed straight to the market at Padre Burgos to get provisions.  Padre Burgos is still an hour from Lucena.

Not far from the town is where we met our contact, where a boat was arranged for tour and take us to Borawan where we will camp for the night.

The tide was low that morning, and we would have to get our feet wet and walk a few hundred meters to get to the boat.  After a few minutes of waiting, we were off to our first destination, Lampas Kweba.

It was called Lampas Kweba because of the small cave on the rock formation protruding from the shore.  We explored the beach and cave for a few minutes, but did not stay long since we want to get settled to our camp and rest a bit.  Most of us had very little sleep the night before.

Our boat was maneuvering our departure when a lady from the shore started shouting to our boatman about our entrance fee.  She was uncontrollably nagging about the policy of not letting the guest leave without having to pay the 50 pesos per person rate.  Our companions from the other boat managed to pay only 20 pesos since they did not step ashore.  It was a bit disappointing, since, we were tourist and were not aware of their policy and honestly have no intentions of running away from our obligations, had she asked politely.  Tempers rose, and the conversation got louder that ended with SHUT UP! after handing her the 300 pesos she's so mad about!  Still, the lady wouldn't bulge.  We told her that "we are not coming back", and she replied with, "we don't need you!"

What a way to give tourist a first impression of your place.

Even arguments are more fun in the Philippines.  Imagine us bickering with the lady ashore from our boat a few meters away.

We just might be back.... TO GET EVEN... hehe.

It took another 30 minutes to Borawan.  Lampas Kweba is actually farther and Borawan is on the way back.  We were supposed to visit Dampalitan but was pressed for time.

Unlike the original picture from the invite, development has now started on the private beach.  Picnic huts are now scattered alongside the rock formation, complete with toilet facilities and running water.

Borawan got its name because the rock formations that resembles the limestone of Palawan and the sands of Boracay.  The sands were white, but not as powdery as the original, contrary to the claim.

Should you plan a trip to the island, you can call the contact persons on the photo above, and they can arrange boat transfers for you.  Mar is the most accommodating caretaker, unlike his Lampas Kweba counterpart.

They have plans on putting a store on the beach, but its best that you have your own provisions.  The rest of the day were spent preparing meals, taking photos, rest, swimming and drinking.  We did a lot more drinking than swimming since a lot of jellyfish decided to welcome our arrival.  The resort caretaker was kind enough to enclosed a portion of the water with net for us to swim, but the water was really cold in the afternoon towards the evening.

We were picked up the next morning and was on our way back after breakfast.

The entire trip cost me about 1500 pesos including transportation.  Since its in Quezon Province, you can take the opportunity to have lunch from the many restaurants along the road to Manila.

Thanks to Mamu Rex for taking us, and to Ben, Lawrence, Rob, Russel, Arnel, Alvin, Jay, Rex's Sister, Kuya Driver and the not so Little Boy for the company.

Special mention to Russel, where I grabbed some of the pics without permission.


Day 5: Tito's Roadtrip Travel Guide to Bicol

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