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2011 • 6 • 30

Our boatman said as-a-matter-of-factly that the name Borawan is a portmanteau, a blend of two words — Boracay and Palawan. The island was named so, he claimed, because it possesses white sand similar to that on Boracay and rock formations reminiscent of Palawan’s limestone cliffs. Sounds like a name and an explanation hacked within the confines of a meeting room in a marketing office, but we took it in the meantime. The question is, is the island worthy of its name?

Well, I’m not the right person to judge. Granted, its sand has nothing on the fine and fair grains of Boracay and its cliffs are easily dwarfed by the karst giants of the country’s last frontier, but it could be a great alternative to those who cannot afford to fly to the faraway islands.

Padre Burgos, the usual jump-off point, is just four to five hours from Manila. But Borawan is actually part of Pagbilao. It glazes just one side of Pagbilao Chica Island. Emphasis on chica, which differentiates it from the much, much more expansive Pagbilao Grande Island, where Puting Buhangin is tucked neatly.

A more believable explanation for its name, as local folk would tell you, is “bulawan,” Visayan for gold. And looking at the number of tourists, its shores might as well be golden.

The first thing that snatched my attention when we arrived on the island were the colorful tents on the shore. Apparently, it is a favorite camping place for overnighters. You can rent tents for P500. But I strongly recommend that you get a tent (or borrow one) before coming here to save bucks. You can get a tent good for 3 for around P1000 at DIY shops (Handyman, Ace Hardware). You will still end up paying P200 for pitching, but at least you could take home the tent and use it again on other trips.

The problem was that the shore was a bit narrow and the beach looked so crowded. It was the third week of May; people were still on a summer euphoria.

My friends on top of a cliff
My friends on top of a cliff
Another friend, Frances, who climbed to the summit of one cliff
Another friend, Frances, who climbed to the summit of one cliff
Towering cliffs!
Towering cliffs!

On one end of the beach were giant rocks that block the waves, making this part a favorite among non-swimming beach bums. The waters could get so still, lake-like, that they murky easily. Jellyfish also abound in certain parts of the water, warned some locals. But it doesn’t stop most people from taking a dip.

There’s a restroom made of bamboo in the area but that was the only restroom we saw along the beach. There was also a small store beside it. They were the only man-made structures we found along the coast.

How to Get to Borawan Island: From Manila by public transport.

  1. Ride a bus to Lucena City. There are many terminals in Metro Manila that go to Lucena. Fare is somewhere between P250-260. Travel time: 3 hours.
  2. Alight at Lucena Grand Terminal.
  3. From the terminal, take another bus to Unisan. The bus is not air-conditioned and fare is around P35-40. Travel time: 1 and a half hours.
  4. Get off at QCRB Bank (Padre Burgos) or ask the driver to drop you off here.
  5. Take a tricycle to Aplaya. Tell the driver you intend to go to Borawan.
  6. There are boats for rent in Aplaya. These boats can take you on an island-hopping tour with stops in Puting Buhangin (Pagbilao), Dampalitan Island and Borawan Island. P2000, good for 10 pax.

That’s it! Enjoy Padre Burgos and Pagbilao, Quezon!

List of Expenses:
Entrance Fee: P80
Tent Rental: P500
Cottage Rental: P700-P850
Tent Pitching Fee: P200
Shower Use Fee: P20
Restroom Fee: P10

Boat Tour Rates (Good for 8pax):
P800 – Borawan Beach only (round trip)
P1800 – Borawan + Dampalitan + Puting Buhangin

Budget Tour Packages:
Rates: Around P2800/person
Contact: Harry Balais +639176274945


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It was so amazing seeing these kind of Island.. Actually our School planned to have a Tour there. We’re so exited about it. :)

The Poor Traveler

Wow, sana matuloy kayo. It’s absolutely gorgeous. :)


[…] Borawan Island […]


hey poor traveller.. panu un pauwi from the island hopping?? madami din ba masasakyan? planning to go there via public transport.. :D


May i just ask how much wiLL be the boat rentaLs?
thanks much… :)


Namiss ko ang padre burgos . tsk tsk

Delsa Madrena

sa mga budget punta don?frm manila..


1000 php
budget per head ok n ksama n pagkain no restaurant small sari2 store only virgin island no house in sight bring ur own food and drinks perfect camping site

Joanne-Girl Serran Ferrandiz

less thank 2K, ull pay less if ull go there in a group..

Catherine Abadilla Orpilla

sobra gnda ng place but there are no amenities on the islands…just nature at its best!

Cee Jhay

Good place. Been in borawan last Christmas! Look at my photos. PM me i have the owner of vista playa resto numbr. :)


hi there ..levi hir..ilang tao ang puede sa bangka going to borawan pati hired na ba yon for other islands.. pahingi naman ng number ng vista aplaya.. punta kasi kami sa 26 and 27 thanks.

E.g. Blanco

how much yung boat rental?


And the other thing….I luv your name….close to angel…lol…colors is sync with music….music to our soul and colors are to eyes and perception …art….make us relax and beauty is connected to our souls….and its Connected to serenity mother.nature and balance and contentment to blessings…..blessings and generosity is like a giant magnet…it creates positive energy of richness and abundance of things….

Milan Polo

Been there, it’s a nice place. wala nga lang accommodation na bongga, good thing we found ate irma xa ngprepare ng food nmin and she let us rent their rest house for a very reasonable price. About 1k my 1 day food and accommodation ka na and boat rental+manila-padre burgos fare which about 600 I think balikan n, so less thab 2k nga. :)

Maricris Parreno

hi milan! saan ung rest house? can i have the number nung owner? tnx! i was thnkng na parang whole day trip lng xa since wla ngang accom dun…

Ray Mikhelle Escobar

very nice place for summer… :D two thumbs up… b (^^) d

Manolito M. Seno

Fyi: borawan comes the visayan word bulawan which means GOLD. ,

Sheryl Sollestre

i thought borawan is owned by a anchorland already and is being developed into an island resort? are there still places to go there just to enjoy nature for free o kelangan na ng entrance fees to get to enjoy the island? =D

Meyri Joi

I’ve been here, Survivor ang set up namin…island overnyt! so memorable!

Megumi Ishihana

Grabe naman…why are the people being deprived of beautiful beaches kung may magmamay-ari ng mga beaches? FYI, beaches are for public use and cannot be owned by any individual. Maybe they can own the island but not the beaches as well sa the waters surrounding it.

Vincent De Vera Abejo

sa amin ‘to… one of the beautiful places in Quezon Province. :)

Ai Ris

superrr nice place to unwind together with family and friends. :)can’t wait to have a break to go there..

Tara Tañedo Marciano

pag mangaling po kau manila at commute bus lang po byahe lucena, then baba kayo grandcentral terminal, me bumibiyahe po dung mini bus at jeep byahe unisan at padre burgos po. sbihn nyo n lng s kundoktor sa padre burgos kau then me mga banca n po dun magdadala senyo sa island. 4hrs frm manila 45mins frm grand to padre burgos tpos mga 3o min lng po to isla borawan.

Te Anoh

ma borawan ka gd ni d gro kung diri ka ky relaxing katama.. :)

Jayrom Haban Jaramilla

@restie ramirez ditto tau

Em Lanz

ganda po jan. .entrance fee 30,to 50,only,

Vee Evangelista

Been there, done that (plus more!)
cover photo says it all :)


i’ve been to Borawan din..super ganda! check my blog:


we are going to visit Borawan this Lenten season, and hope we will enjoy the beauty of the island.

Ron James

Thanks for featuring my hometown Padre Burgos, you definitely help our tourism industry.. I hope you guys visit us and for those who visited already, thank you and you are all welcome here to enjoy.

For more information about Padre Burgos (Borawan, Dampalitan and other places within it) please feel free to email me at or contact me @ 09178989750.

Thank you and more power.. Enjoy traveling

The Poor Traveler

You have a beautiful hometown!!! :)

ramon miranda

yup nakarating na ako sa lugar na yan. Maanda at malinaw ang tubig. hindi masyado mainit


how much po ang bayad sa boat? tnx!! gusto ko pumunta d2 ksma ang mga friends ko..

cai yu

we will be there tom morning. see u person ate irma….package deal. at 900 pesos only food, boat rental and entrance all in…


Pde po mahinge ang no. Ni ate irma

anna monteclaro

Hi ..ano po number ni ate irma ??were planning to go borawan with my friends tnx and godbless


Hi cai yu!

I would like to know ate irma’s number.
We’re planning to go there tomorrow.

cai yu

perfect place!!! we were there last holy week….. u can contact Ate irma for more affordable package at convenient stay……

Jerrie Sandy

..we’ve been here with group of ten..nice yun place but the time we arrived its very crowded because Holy Week.. Nag-avail kami ng package tour kay Sir Ron James at very reasonable price na-avail namin yun 3 islands, masarap yun food they prepared for us. Sea foods, veggies and fruits ang request nmin at na-provide nmn niya.. May kasama nang dalawang tent to use for free at nka-avail na din kami ng free cottage sa kanya.. We stayed at Dampalitan Island for overnight. Buti na lang at nagpa-reserved kagad sya ng space for pitching ng tent that time..


hi ask ko lang magkno ung package??

Jerrie Sandy

Sir Ron’s # +639496362087 if you want to avail the package


how much is the package for 2 persons only?? planning to go tehre this coming end of november..


Hi this is to update that the contact of RON JAMES is 09496362087. We availed the package from him and it is worth paying. Thanks for your blog, it has been very helpful to us.


Thanks for sharing, Jaja!

Mara Anne

How much did you pay for the trycicle?

Ellie Samson

borawan, dampalitan and puting buhangin boat rent and assistant for more info. and inquiries just call this number 09476142289 and seach for noime thnx.


need paba mag boat papunta sa borawan?or pag dating sa venue dun na yung beach?

Jennie Surio

Hi May I know “Ate Irma’s number”?

Aldrin aquino

Guy sino po may no dito ni ate irma,,.pupuntahan namin ng group ko to on 26 27,,. Thanks in advance,,


Hi good day if you need someone to assist you on your tour just contact this number 09308587114 and look for Noeme , thank you