If the sea has been calling you but your schedule and budget do not permit a visit to Balabac’sOnuk Island, or endure a six- to eight-hour ride to see El Nido, or even just steal a peek in Puerto Princesa’ Honda Bay, here’s an easier but equally awesome alternative: PutingBuhangin in Barangay Mangingisda. Yep, for the busy traveler from Puerto Princesa, PutingBuhangin offers the awesome respite with its still uncrowded white-sand beach, clear sea waters, and the promise of a stunning view of sunset. It’s one of the perfect getaways: not too far from bayan and won’t kill your budget.
Interested enough? Here are seven things that you can do in PutingBuhangin:
1. Pitch your camp. Nothing beats setting up your own tent with the serene view at the front.
2. Swim your heart out. The clear waters of PutingBuhangin will capture your heart. Since only few people visit it, you’ll have the whole place by yourself.
3. Photo ops. Discover your inner photographer through the landscapes and have your Instagram-worthy shots. The sandbar was simply awesome!
4. Look for crabs and shells in low tide.You can unwind while walking along the stretch of sands looking for shells. It’s good to do something different out of the usual things you do.
5. Cook like a Girl Scout. Have a break in feeding yourself fast-food; rediscover your inner chef as you improvise on cooking. You can gather firewood around. It’ll be fun and relaxing as well. If you’re lucky, you can buy a freshly caught fish from the fishermen in the area.
6. Get tanned. Screw gluta for a while. Enjoy yourself with a good tan!
7. Watch the sunset. Sunset in PutingBuhangin is one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever witnessed. It’s calming and serene.
HOW TO GET THERE
There are three options for reaching PutingBuhangin: boat, bus or your own private land vehicle. The boat ride to Mangingisda is available daily from the Puerto Princesa City fish port, with trips starting as early as 6 a.m., and for only P35. Estimated time of travel is 30 to 45 minutes depending on the sea vessel and the weather. The boat will drop you off at Mangingisda’s seaport, from wherein you can ride a tricycle to PutingBuhangin. You will most likely have to haggle the tricycle fare with the driver. It’s a bit of a distance from the port so you may be better off hiring the tricycle.
If by land, you can ride a bus or van going to southern Palawan and ask them to drop you at Barangay Mangingisda. You can then fetch a tricycle and have them get you to the area.
If you have a service of your own but it’s your first time going to Mangingisda, ask someone who knows the way, or you can also Google for directions. I think it’s been geo-tagged so it’ll be easy. Careful driving though, the feeder road to the area will test your driving skills.
1. FAIR REMINDER: Ask the Barangay officials first and coordinate where to get permission before going as PutingBuhangin is a private property, especially if you’re planning to stay overnight. The area is secluded, so exercise caution.
2. Check the calendar whether it’s low tide or high tide so you’ll be able to adjust your activities.
3. Bring camp materials (for overnight stay), or a hammock if you plan to stay only through day time.
4. ‘Off’ lotion (or other brands of mosquito repellant) and sunscreen must go together. You might want to bring katol because of the sandflies (niknik).
5. Bring your own food and water and other essential things. If cooking, put out the fire before you leave. The next shanty store you’ll see is few kilometers away.
6. Lastly, bring your own garbage bag. If you’re having alcoholic drinks, refrain from breaking bottles. Make sure you bring them back to the mainland and dispose them properly along with your garbage.
About the Author: Bev is a contributing reflection writer for Didache Youth, a Catholic devotional for youth. She travels extensively throughout her college days as a youth leader in her lay community, allowing her to meet lots of people and discover new places. Her love for her province has been fortified when she became one of the 2014 Tubbataha Youth Ambassadors. This has awakened her interest in rediscovering Palawan’s beauty and protecting it. She writes her adventures and reflections on the road on her blog bevthepalawanderer.wordpress.com. You can also read her ruminations on her page, The Wandering Palawenya.
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