Here in the Philippines, when the calendar is flipped to the month of March, almost everyone pictures a white sandy beach, turquoise seas, island hopping, colorful flip flops and girls in bikinis, sexy tan and festivities, etcetera. Though it may look like every day is summer here, as this is one of the tropical countries in Asia, the real summer season which starts in March and ends in May is really something that Filipinos and tourists look forward to.
This 2012, I, with my boyfriend Wowoo and friend Carla welcomed summer in Dampalitan Beach in Padre Burgos Quezon. It is located in Bondoc Peninsula just east of Lucena City, the capital of Quezon.
After a total of butt-numbing 5 hour bus trip from Alabang, we arrived at 3pm in Baranggay Marao where we rented a boat to Dampalitan Beach. In 10 mins, the boat turned left on a cove where a stretch of white sandy beach greeted us. The view suddenly reminded me of Anawangin and Nagsasa Coves in Zambales. There were hammocks hung from the tall evergreen pines trees lined on the beach. Some cottages can also be seen completing that tropical ambiance.
Dampalitan is an undeveloped beach (and I hope would never be) privately owned by a businessman. The caretaker and her family live there to maintain it. There are four native residential houses, few nipa hut and tables available for rent.
We pitched our tents immediately, giving enough time for us to witness the sunset…and voila! The sun, like a great big romantic fire in the sky started to descend gracefully to the mountain slopes from afar. It zipped my mouth for a while, the colors and intensity of light was enough to calm myself – then I thought here I go again, silenced by the beautiful sunset which never failed to amaze me.
These nature’s surprises didn’t end with that beautiful sunset. While having our sumptuous sinigang na tuna and steamed rice for dinner, the magnificent moon started to show off giving light in the darkness of the night. The moon never left us. In fact, when I unzipped my tent the next morning, she greeted me with a picturesque beauty of gleaming sphere elegantly quieting down with its light mirroring on the calm sea – ahhh! Mornings in paradise that’s not worth by a month salary at work.
But though Dampalitan impressed me with those wonderful encounters with nature, it is worthy to note for the travellers that swimming can be a bit dangerous as sea urchins were scattered as close as two to three meters from the shore. I advise everyone to be careful. If you’re planning on waking up late the next morning, do not pitch your tent near the residential houses as they wake up early and can be really noisy it would wake you up.
- Cellphone signal for all networks is available.
- No electricity. Your lamps and flashlights would be helpful.
- There are mosquitoes at night. It is essential to bring insect repellent and mosquito net (in case you will be renting a cottage)
- There is a comfort room but don’t expect for a flushing toilet.
- There is one sari-sari store (small convenient store) that sells your basic needs.
- Clean water for washing/bathing can be bought at the sari-sari store for 30 pesos per gallon.
- If you ran out of booze, Emperador Brandy can be bought from thesari-sari store. Just drink moderately Ü
- For accommodation, either you bring your own tent and pay 150 pesos or rent a cottage for 700 pesos.
- Since this is beach camping, you/group need to bring the basic camping necessities ; stove, cookset, eating utensils
How to get to Dampalitan Beach? Here’s how with the detailed summary of expenses and travel duration:
NOTE: Food and drinks are not included on the calculation. What we did was, we brought canned goods and booze in the island. You can buy canned goods at the Vista Playa store before riding the boat to Dampalitan.
You may contact Ate Mercy, the beach’s caretaker at mobile no. 09195306590.
Who would have thought that you could spend less than 1k for a beach getaway? Well, here’s your proof. Now it’s your time to spread the word. Enjoy! =)