Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Day I Got Mesmerized by Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas

I never thought a place like this exists here in the Philippines. Don’t get me wrong. I know how beautiful Philippines is and for that I am so proud to be a Filipino. It’s just that Puting Buhangin is so serene, a private cove that’s perfect for people seeking an intimate encounter with nature, something ironic for a country with ninety four million population.

Researching for this trip, I found out two options on how to go to Puting Buhangin, one via trekking and the other through a boat ride. I prefer trekking, however, I found out later on that trekking is no longer allowed since the area one needs to walk through had been purchased by a businessman and they don’t allow passing through the property anymore. I’d be honest to say that I haven’t validated the truth behind that story but I opted for the boat ride. It’s less adventurous but then, it’s better to do what I’m sure about to save time and it’s a perfect option anyways since we had lunch in Silangang Nayon, a floating restaurant that’s a close proximity to the fishing village where we rented a boat that took us to Putting Buhangin.

It was a cloudy day with occasional drizzles when we arrived in Pagbilao Quezon. The wind was blowing cold February breeze but it didn't change our spirits from being euphoric. We were all excited reaching the cove. We boarded a boat in Barangay Bantigue and as soon as our boat left, the earlier white cottony clouds were replaced by thicker black clouds. In about twenty minutes of riding the boat, the Pagbilao Power Plant became visible in a hazy sea then rain poured hard so we secured our backpacks to make sure our things didn't get wet. We're a different case though, we were all soaking from the rain, the wind kind of made a joke on us for it blew harder but we're in a light spirit so we just chose to enjoy the rain and cold. It rarely happens anyway so it wasn't really a discomfort, rather a new experience to savor. :)

The weather made me feel that it was really testing us because when our boat reached the power plant area, the rain stopped. Parts of the sky illuminated a blue tint and clouds were still prevalent but the sun was shining in that part of the sea. It felt like being warped in a different dimension.

After the power plant, the view turned more interesting. We passed by small patches of white sands on a limestone backdrop. Trees are abundant. Rock formations became a usual sight then we passed a white limestone, it looked sparkling from our boat.

In just a few minutes from the white limestone, our boat was continually moving swiftly when a cave opening materialized from the rock formations. It looked like half of it was being submerged in sea water. Just a few more seconds and our boat maneuvered turning a sharp left. I saw we're headed a crescent shaped white sand cove with emerald waters. That's when I realized, we have almost reached our destination - the opening I saw is the Kwebang Lagpas and the white sand cove is Puting Buhangin.

I can't contain my excitement once our boat docked the shore. What I was seeing is definitely worth the travel, the rain and the cold wind. The water is super clear. The coral sand is visible in the shallow area and the water turns emerald green in the deeper part of the beach. Since our clothes are wet from the rain, we started swimming right after paying the Php50 entrance fee.The water is calm, having the two rock boulder formations on both sides of the cove kind of regulate the waves entering the cove. The cove is crescent shaped and is really white, made from powdered corals.

Walking to the other side of the cove, I noticed that there are bigger bits of corals that haven't been crushed by the sea yet, something that might be a bit discomfort to the feet if not wearing slippers. Once you decide to go to the waters though, the sand turns fine and softer in just a few feet. As I was walking into the deeper waters to dip, I felt something rubbed in my feet and curious as what it is, I wore my goggles and checked it out. To my surprise, there are about seven white colored fishes swimming around my feet. It was amazing! I tried to capture their photos but they were moving too fast and looked almost transparent as the water so it was hard distinguishing them. The waters of Pagbilao Grande might really be prosperous, evident of the fishing boats near the cove.

Kwebang Lagpas is a unique feature of Puting Buhangin. It is located on the rocky right side of the cove. It is accessible from the shore and the other opening fronting the seas and deeper waters.

It is a small cave that won't need a lot of time navigating. Once inside, you'd notice the smooth wall of the cave, proof that when sea water is high, the whole cave is being immersed, something you won't wish to happen while you're inside it.

The place is really peacefully relaxing. We're the only guests when we went there. There are open cottages available for rent that are built under coconut trees. You may prefer not to rent a cottage but to just lie down in the bermuda grass lawn under the cool shade of the trees or in the shore, which we did since we just visited for few hours. The only downside is that there's a restroom but it is locked, the caretakers didn't bother to open it for us. It was a good thing that we needed to leave soon since we had to travel to Lucban Quezon where we stayed for the night. We traveled back to Brgy. Bantigue with our clothes still wet and changed in Mang Bin's (our boatman) house.

The cove is only open for day visits but I'm hoping that would change once the case on the cove's real ownership is settled. I'm hoping they can do something about the restrooms too. Nevertheless, when it comes to the beauty of Puting Buhangin, it is still a heavenly place that will surely captivate you. One of the places I call a sanctuary - quiet, isolated and extremely mesmerizing.

Please check this on directions going to Puting Buhangin.


  1. hi there! nice post and very informative.

    how long is pagbilao to lucban? we're planning to go there this coming sunday, and since it's pahiyas festival we will drop by to lucban then pagbilao.

    hope to hear from you. thank you!

  2. Hi! Thanks for visiting my site. :)

    There's no public transportation directly to Pagbilao from Lucban. You need to ride a jeep going to Lucena City and drop by Lucena Grand Terminal. It usually takes 45 minutes. From there, there are queues of jeepneys going to Pagbilao. Pagbilao town proper can be reached in about an hour but if you're headed to Puting Buhangin, you should alight halfway the highway to ride tricycles that can take you to Bantigue. That would be a 20-30 minute ride.

    Hope you have fun in Quezon. :)

  3. hi!how much did you pay for the boat?

  4. Now you can enjoy longer at Kwebang Lampas and have a safe stay at Don Enrique Resort Resto & Bar just a kilometer from the Power Plant it offers huge swimming Pool, restaurant,videoke bar, with mineral water station & close cottage (bahay kubo)for overnight.Had a night sighting of Fire Flies and monkey sightings at daylight, trecking & hundres of virgin cave exploration.You can contact Raul Manalansan @ 09183964682 for reservations.By Eng’r Ric Manalansan Owner


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