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Monday, December 1, 2014

On 7:14 PM by Kresten Marti Ujano   No comments
“Today is a good day” was what I was thinking on the bus ride back to Cubao. It was a day after Christmas when we took to Cubao terminal stations (because a lot of bus stations going both Northern and Southern Philippines can be found at Quezon City, Cubao) with a random plan: take a bus to somewhere to, ultimately, find a beach and spend the afternoon tanning in the warm December sea breeze.

We took the Bataan Transit bus (found at Five Star Bus Terminal) bound for Mariveles, Bataan. One of my friends says he’s been to Marivelez, at Aguawan Beach, and that, since we’re on a budget, the place will be more than worth our money for a day trip—not to mention the people there are really nice and hospitable. Great then! Aguawan, here we come!

The bus trip cost 280PHP (6-7USD), one way. It’s a 3-4 hour ride from Manila; longer if you take a bus that will have stopovers along the way. We had one stopover but from what I heard, some buses make more, especially tour-centric trips. The bus trip ended at the Mariveles Bus terminal in the mainland and market district. Thereafter, we took a tricycle ride to Aguawan Beach.

We got to Aguawan Beach and stayed at Light Family (I assume this is the name of the resort because of the titular “relief” that greeted us). The beach wasn’t anything “dreamy,” like most other (more) popular beach destinations in the Philippines but it wasn’t shabby, too. It was… down to earth. The people were kind and helpful, to boot. It was like staying with family more than it was a vacation trip. Sure, the sand weren’t as white as Boracay’s or Puerto Princesa, but we had the luxury of quiet time, privacy, and unadulterated waters.

The ocean was clean on this part of the Philippines, very unlike the beaches in and around Subic and Olongapo. The water is clear but if you kick the sand a little too hard, it’ll murk up—which is natural. Any deeper where you no longer could get the sand to block your vision, all your left is just clear water and maybe a fish or two. Even opening your eyes underwater doesn’t hurt. The water is less saline on this beach.

Since it was a day trip, we didn’t bother to ask for how much overnight accommodations cost (sorry), but we did get a quaint cottage that could accommodate at least 6 people. The cottage cost 200PHP (5-6USD) for a full 24 hours. The locals were even so generous as to provide us with cutlery and free use of a grill since we brought raw fish and were asking how much to rent a grill. We invited them over to have lunch with us.

After a hearty lunch while sharing stories with the locals and fooling around at the beach, we got together with two very energetic kids who were offering to provide us with trekking assistance. To our surprise, the two kids were trekkers themselves and they both didn’t look any older than 12!

Halfway through the trek, as we were reaching higher ground, we found that the terrain became much steeper and hard to climb. Funny thing was that, in our “Calvary” suffering, the two kids didn’t seem to be phases at all. I didn’t get the chance to watch closely but they seemed to climb up ahead of us “without breaking a sweat” all too quite literally. OK, so we thought the view from the beach was a little average. Getting on the top of the mountain however was divine. You could see almost the whole of the peninsula and a lot of townships. Lucky for us, we got there just almost before sunset.

After trekking back down to the beach, we took a quick bath and readied to go home, just the same way we came. It was evening when we reached Manila but throughout that 4 hour ride, “today is a good day” kept repeating in my mind.

This article was brought to us by: Last Minute Travel Booking


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