Patar Beach in Bolinao Pangasinan is one of the popular white sand beaches in the north. It is well-known to its serenity and native environment. Most of the local tourists have gone to this place to relax and escape from bustling noise of the capital.
It was May 7, 2016 (2 days prior to Philippine national election) when our team (12 of us joined) had our last summer trip to Bolinao, Pangasinan (to relax and take time to think who to vote. Lol). The original plan was Calaguas Island, but due to lack of preparation, we ended up choosing Bolinao. Nonetheless, we did not regret the impromptu decision.
There are many ways of reaching Bolinao, but let me share the most common way. We embarked on a bus (Victory Liner for Php 459.00) from Cubao heading to Bolinao. It was 3AM when we left Manila.
The travel took almost 7 hours to reach Bolinao town proper (6 hours if you leave earlier than 3 AM). As soon as we reach our destination, some went to the nearest market to purchase food since we would be staying there until the next day.
While they are busy in the market, I stray to visit the ancient church of St. James near the municipal hall.
St. James church is said to be the oldest church in Bolinao, Pangasinan which was built in 1609 by the Franciscans. The church is made of black corals that endured several natural calamities. There is a thick line between my faith and to the faith of the people who come to this kind of church, but I use to be amazed by their structures and historic background.
After buying all things we would be needing, we resumed the travel to Patar Beach. We took a tricycle ride from Bolinao town proper for Php 350.00 for a one-way trip (No other way of reaching the beach than tricycle and private car). On our way, we passed by the famous Cape Bolinao light house. Of course, for instagram’s sake, we asked the driver to stop and allow us to take instagrammable shots with the light house.
After 30 minutes of travel, we reached the Patar Beach. We paid Php. 3,000 for an overnight stay in one nippa hut cottage (My teammate contacted the owner beforehand). The cottage was too small for us, but it’s alright because we brought tents and sleeping mats. There were lots of cottages in the area; you can just walk in if you don’t know someone.
In my opinion, I didn’t find Patar Beach that impressive and inviting compare to the other beaches I have visited. The beach is pretty crowded and there were some plastic sort of things floating in the water and scattered along the shore (that made me a bit disappointed). Seaweeds were also abundant under the water. Nonetheless, we still somehow enjoyed dipping in the sea water.
To make most of this trip, we did island-hopping for only Php. 1,500, which is very cheap. You can hire someone on the spot since there are plenty of ferrymen in the area to offer island-hopping service.
The boat seems to sink because of the huge waves.
The boat transfer took almost 30 minutes. I don’t know if I should call it island-hopping as the destination was still part of the island we came from. Anyhow, we were awed by the amazing view of rock formation. The place was indeed peaceful and pristine; better than Patar Beach (again, my opinion).
For the third time in my life, I’ve proven my valor by jumping my ass over a 25ft. cliff. It was fun, though it was nerve-breaking. I did it twice, nonethless. Well, this one was higher than the one in Fortune Island.
The non flinching me.
We came back to Patar Beach after spending quality time in the other end of the island. We washed up and prepared our dinner. While doing so, some put up the tents because the cottage that we had could not accommodate everybody.
Unlike other beach, the temperature in Bolinao during nighttime is warm that made most of us opt to sleep on the sleeping mat under the starry sky; and it was still warm.
Unluckily, I wasn’t able to get up early, and I missed capturing the sunrise by the beach.
When the sun got higher and its heat became scorching, we went back to our cottage to take our lunch and prepare for departure.
In this particular trip, I somehow realized that in traveling, it is not really the place that will make it worthwhile, but the persons you are with and your yen to explore and experience new things.
By all means, God is wonderful in His works (nature). I just hope that people will learn to be a good steward of it.
“Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds.”
BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES
● 459.00 Bus from Cubao, Manila to Bolinao, Pangasinan. (Victory Liner).
● 350.00 Tricycle from bus terminal to Patar Beach.
● 3,000.00 cottage.
Fare and frees are based on the time of writing.