Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Revisiting Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas

It was 2010 when I first visited Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas in Pagbilao Quezon. Back then, the owners of the cove didn't allow guests to stay overnight. It was sad leaving the cove after just a few hours of lounging at the shore. The place is nothing but captivating, your sweet respite from the hassle and bustle of an urban jungle. It's a joy when I heard that the new and current owners of the cove (current because the land ownership is still on trial with the higher court) already allows beach camping and overnight stay. Without second thoughts, I decided it would be the perfect place to bond with my husband's siblings before her sister goes back to US and more importantly, to have our prenuptial photo taken. 

The first time I went there, I took a boat from Brgy. Bantigue as stated in my previous blog. This time, I decided to try the other route suggested by other bloggers that would involve a short boat ride and some trekking. 

Commuting to Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas

Ride any Lucena bound (city capital of Quezon province) buses from Manila. We rode Lucena Lines stationed inside Araneta Center in Cubao and paid Php217. JAC Liner and Jam Liner both in their Buendia and Kamias Stations have hourly departures too. Travel time is around 3 and a half hours

Alight in Lucena Grand Terminal. Look for the queue of jeeps going to Pagbilao town. Travel will take around 20 minutes and  fare is Php10. The jeep will take you directly to their jeep teminal in Pagbilao near the market

On the same area, ride a jeep bound Ibabang Polo. Inform the driver you're going to Kwebang Lampas so he can drop you to the jump off point where you can start your trek to the cove. It took us about 45 minutes to arrive and paid Php40 each. Once you've alighted, please ask the locals to point you the way to make sure you're on the right path. We did it and the locals were very friendly and very eager to help.

Fares may change. It is what we paid on our trip last December 2012.

The Trek to the Cove

The trek would start on a concrete road that would lead you to what looks like a barrier in the middle of the road (It looks like a checkpoint without people manning it). From there, you'll start walking on rough and unpaved road with interesting views of hilly terrain.

The only sad thought is it seemed there's an ongoing mining in the area (I could be wrong though) that left several pits and expanse of barren brown land. It took us about 20 minutes of walking before we saw few houses. Walking towards the back of the houses, we arrived in what seemed to be a lake or a pond.

The locals said we can cross the lake by walking as it is shallow and just thigh deep. It looked wide and a bit murky so we kind of felt concerned for the two kids trekking with us. We don't want to gamble our safety so we decided to ride a small boat that helped us cross the water for just Php10 each.

Arriving at the other end of the lake, we continued treading until we saw a very gorgeous view of the rocks and the sea with the Pagbilao Power plant in the background. We stopped for a while for some photos.

We continued traversing with the visible pathway until we entered a forested area, slowly engulfed in the  thickness of the trees.  The trail is quite slippery because of the previous rain but is not so bad, although proper care is still advised. Our two kid companions was able to do it without any problems, I'm sure adults would find it easy. We continued walking until we arrived in the area with coconut trees, the grounds for Puting Buhangin, that is. :)

On Pitching Tents and Fees and Some Reminders

We were greeted by Mang Lando, the new caretaker of the the cove. He allowed us to choose our spot where we can pitch our tents. He also offered a small open hut with tables and chairs but politely declined, it's just too much for me. That night however, while we were cooking using our tiny camping stove, it rained. We were using umbrellas while cooking as not to get wet. Kuya Lando approached us and offered us to use the hut for free. Who would decline such an offer right? I feel grateful for his generosity. You may contact Mang Lando at 09475911630 or +639475911630 (from abroad).

After setting up tents, I also asked him about their other fees. I don't want to get surprises, if you know what I mean. 

Rates as of December 2012
Entrance Fee Day tour                                        Php50
Entrance Fee Overnight                                       Php100/night
Open Hut with Table and Benches                          Php400
Fresh Water                                      Php50/pail or bucket (I find it unreasonable)
Pitching Fee (Own tent)                                         Php150
Tent Rental                                                         Php300-500 depending on tent size

They have functional bathrooms/shower rooms but it is not clean. There's water stored in their big containers used to flush the toilet but is not for bathing purposes, again it is not clean.  There's no available drinking water so it is a must that you bring your own. There's no electricity and bonfire is prohibited when we went there (There's even a sign posted on a coconut tree informing guests there's a fine for violating this) so make sure to bring flashlights or headlamps to be able to move around at night and a camping lamp for your socials. Like in other remote places, mosquitoes can be notorious so insect repellent is handy. Locals say there's a jellyfish season in Puting Buhangin but we we're lucky during our visit, that it isn't. One of our kid companions  still got stung by a jellyfish though that caused him pain, swelling and redness in his arms. It's a good thing we brought vinegar just for this purpose. We applied some on his arms and a few hours later, he was back wading in the water.

The Cove

They say an experience could never be created twice and I agree with that. I know however that one thing can create a wonderful experience twice or more, it might not be on the same level but has the same intensity at some extent. I was mesmerized by Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas when I first visited. (Please chick here to read my previous blog.) My second visit still left me in awe. It still is my happy beach - secluded, serene, beautiful. The emerald green water is still sparkling. The sand is still as white as ever. The shore is devoid of any debris or trash. The cave still has an amusing effect on me. My only disappointment is the vandals who left their names known to all guests by inscribing it in the stone walls. That's very irresponsible and uncivilized. Deep in my heart, I'm hoping this stops soon.

On the lighter note, I'm glad that Puting Buhangin retained its raw beauty. I could still sit in one area for a while just looking at the beauty before my eyes. It consumed me. Our several hours of travel was worth it. We stayed for three days and 2 nights and my favorite moment is the evenings when the full moon radiates it's glory to the sea and the white sand underwater illuminates and makes the sea sparkle against the dim night. The second night, the moon seemed to shy away leaving only the stars flaunt their beauty on the dark sky. It was priceless and romantic.

Our last day had the best weather so that's when we have our prenuptial photo shoot done. I didn't wear any make up. Fresh from swimming, I just slipped my dress and combed my salt water drenched hair. My then boyfriend (now husband) did the same and in a few minutes, we were wearing our best smiles and comfortably posed together in front of the camera. The photos turned out lovely, probably because our background is beautiful and we felt hopeless romantics in this gorgeous beach.

As the clock ticks on the third day, I am left quite sad knowing we'll be leaving soon. Our three days in this beach made me a kid again, carefree and spontaneous. Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas is and will always be my happy beach.


  1. hi pang, iba na pala ang caretaker ng puting buhangin.december last year,we went there..wala pang bayad ang cottage,and sumakay kmi ng tricycle.200 oneway pa lng.and wlang libre na pampaligo khit man lng tubig poso.kya nadala akong bumalik.pero ung place sobra tlgang ganda!wala akong masabi sa ganda ng paligid at sobrang linis ng tubig dagat.ngyon nkita ko ulit ang blog mo,medyo napaisip akong bumalik kc pwede nmn pla lakarin mula sa entrance gate,hangang dun sa sakayan ng bangka papuntang puting buhangin,,anyway.thanks again..god bless

    1. Hi Domingo. May fresh water na nga sila kaso ang mahal. :( Sana magpatayo na sila ng poso, I think sa entrance fee naman na sinisingil nila, kaya nila magset aside ng konti for that para naman mas ginhawa sa mga guests nila. Pwede syang lakarin, medyo malayolayo lang pero kung mahilig ka din maglakad like us walang mgiging problema. I agree about sa ganda ng lugar, haunting nga halos ang gnda nya.

  2. Great journey, thanks for the information :)

  3. wow thanks for the info! aahm kung may dala po na sasakyan hanggang san kaya yun pede? we'll visit with number of kids kase so we're trying to minimize the walking part :) thanks. :) btw great prenup pics <3

    1. Hi. I figured out super late na ang reply ko, I apologize. Didn't open my blog for quite some time. If you'll be driving, pwede kayo magpark sa vacant lot just before magbanka patawid sa resort.

  4. Hi my friend and i was considering this place.. Overnight lang... Mag.e.exceed ba kami sa 1,500 sa overall gastos? Studyante po kami kaya wala kami pera.. :( :)

  5. Hnd pa po iyan ang puting buhangin, kwebang lampas lang po iyan. Ang sinasabi po na puting buhangin sa pagbilao ay isang maliit na isla. Hindi po sya accessible by land dahil nsa dagat talaga sya. Private island din po iyon at may membership po.


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