Life is sunnier at the beach—both literally and figuratively. The lingering vibe of tranquility and being away from the demanding world is what every traveler searches for. Fortunately, one doesn’t need to fly out of Manila to enjoy these because located just near the metro are a set of less crowded and stunning beaches such as these:
Sisiman Beach (Bataan)
Travel writer Gretchen Filart-Dublin marvels at the seclusion that Sisiman beach in Mariveles, Bataan offers to off-the-beaten path travelers like her; “Straddling the farther reaches of Bataan, Sisiman Beach in Mariveles is a secluded retreat for beach-frenzied travelers. It takes around four hours to access from the city, passing by coastal Bagac and Morong – perhaps one of the reasons why it tends to be overlooked. The beach strip is beautifully lined with pebbles and rustic huts, and while swimming one enjoys a gorgeous backdrop of a lighthouse and Gordo’s Peak, which is excellent for rock climbing post-swim. Also not to be missed is a grassy hill close by overlooking Corregidor Island which can be easily hiked in 10 minutes.”
How to Get Here: From Manila (Gil Puyat and Cubao terminals), take a Mariveles-bound bus. Buses also ply the Dau bus terminal. Go down at the BASECO Compound/ SSS Building in Mariveles. Board a tricycle at the the tricycle terminal/ TODA from the street across SSS. Tell the driver to drop you off at the hill/ grotto, the lighthouse, or the beach.
Verde Island (Batangas)
The Verde Passage Island was declared as the Center of the Center of Marine Shorefish Biodiversity by a team of marine conservationist in 2006.The island retains that rustic setting where one would feel detached from the outside world. A 45-minute boat trip from the mainland of Batangas city brings you to the uncrowded gems of Cueva Sitio and Mahabang Buhangin.
How to Get Here: Leave Manila for Batangas Grand Terminal. Upon arriving, hire a tricycle to take you to Tabangao Aplaya where you can ride a boat sailing to Isla Verde.
Liw-Liwa Beach (Zambales)
Paula Anntoneth O can’t keep herself from mouthing her surname–“Ooh” each time she finds herself at her favorite beach in Zambales. “Liw Liwa beach in San Felipe, Zambales is a nice option for those wanting to learn surfing. Less crowded than San Juan, La Union and much nearer than Baler, Aurora. Accommodation in this area is cheap as several backpacking lodges have already been established. It can also be an alternative for the more popular Anawangin or Nagsasa Coves and is just under four hours from Manila.”
How to Get Here: Board a Victory Liner bus from Cubao or Pasay going to Iba and ask the driver to drop you off at San Felipe. From San Felipe just take a tricycle heading to Liw-Liwa beach. Traveling solo? Then you can join FlipTripPH’s TripKada’s regular group tours to Liw-Liwa.
Bani Beach (Pangasinan)
Celine Reyes spills the beans about her favorite romantic hideaway in Pangasinan “Bani in Pangasinan belongs to the Hall of Fame of the Cleanest Coastal Municipalities, and Surip Beach in Sitio Olanen will show you why. This beach which has a shore that, according to the locals, changes with the sea’s “mood.” It’s one of the cleanest I’ve ever seen. On top of that, its waters are so bountiful; it’s enough to sustain the local traditional fishing industry. The best part: it attracts fewer crowds than the beaches of neighbors Alaminos and Bolinao.”
How to Get Here: Board a Five Star Bus heading for Bolinao either in Cubao or Pasay. Ask the conductor to drop you off Bani town and proceed to the tourism center.
Dinadiawan Beach (Aurora)
Any beach junky would confirm that a five-hour trip to the surfing haven of Baler in Aurora is considered “near” Metro Manila. So, what’s an additional hour for you to be rewarded with a long stretch of glistening white sand beach–a total contrast of the more crowded Sabang beach in Baler. At Dinadiawan beach, you can enjoy a peaceful time with a few friends.
How to Get here: Take any bus going to Baler and from the town proper of Baler ride any PUVs heading further Baler-Casiguran road to reach Dipaculao Town. From the town proper take a 20-minute tricycle or habal-habal going to Dinadiawan beach.
Masasa Beach (Batangas)
Surrounded by lush green hilltops, this lonely stretch of beach in Tingloy, Batangas provides the ideal place to shut-off from your email and other electronic gadgets. Reading a book and pitching a tent to wait for the stars seems like the perfect way to spend a memorable night in this remote location.
How to Get Here: Take a bus from Manila to Batangas Grand Terminal. From there, ride an Anilao Port bound jeepney where you will transfer to a passenger boat going to Tingloy. After getting off; flag a tricycle to take you to Masasa Beach.
Which beaches near Metro Manila do you recommend?