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2011 • 6 • 7

“Where the hell is Frances?”

It was 2am and everyone was ready to hit the road for Pagbilao, Quezon. Everyone, that is, except Frances, for whom we were still patiently waiting.

“She said she’s on the way,” said one of my friends, “which means she just woke up.”

This was no ordinary trip. It was our very first trip together since college. This trip was, in many ways, a reunion. We had almost killed ourselves working for the past five years and although we had been on many trips since then, we never traveled together. Needless to say, this camping weekend was very special to everyone, and nothing should spoil it.

A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door and there was Frances. We instantly grabbed our bags, stormed out of the apartment, and went straight to the van. Surprisingly, without any urge to strangle Frances for the early morning stress.

Our group decided to rent a van for this trip. It was supposed to be a lot bigger. More than 18 people confirmed, but unfortunately, more than 8 people flaked out (FLAKERS!!! GAAAH!), leaving the group with 10 responsible, beautiful members.

(Check out this post: Planning a Camping Trip to Padre Burgos and Pagbilao, Quezon)

On the Road to Padre Burgos

There were 11 people (including the driver) sharing the van so it was very comfortable. Our meeting place was in Mandaluyong and we were heading south. I was asleep 99.99% of the time on the road, so I really had no idea how many stops we made or what directions we took. But at around 5:30am, we were at a bus terminal in Lucena City. I was confused at first; I immediately thought we would board the bus but then my friends told me we were just there for breakfast.

Our boat and brand new life vests. :D

BREAKFAST! I was awake in an instant. I looked around and saw Jollibee! Woohoo, I couldn’t think of anything better to wake up to than a smiling gay bee. But before I got too excited, one of my friends said that should we choose to eat there, she wouldn’t go with us. At first, I was shocked. How dare you? Are we discriminating against a bee? But then I realized that she worked for McDonalds. So yeah, goodbye Jollibee. See you in Manila.

We opted to have breakfast at a nearby carinderia. I had tortang talong with rice. P50 for a full meal. Boo, you Chickenjoy!

We hit the road again and continued driving to Padre Burgos for about an hour. When we reached the port, game on!

Puting Buhangin, Pagbilao, Quezon

Our group shared a boat with another group of tourists from Manila. Although it was a big group, the ride was surprisingly quiet. No one was talking. I guess we were all mesmerized by the view. We passed by several islands with pockets of white beaches and towering limestone cliffs. It was really breathtaking.

Puting Buhangin! Couldn’t wait to touch the sand!
The Poor Traveler’s Poor Friends :D
View from the boat! We passed by several limestone cliffs and white beaches

From afar we spotted a white beach with a chimney-like structure in the background. (Apparently, it’s the Pagbilao Power Plant.) I knew it was our next destination when I saw a small cave and recognized it from the photos I had seen when I was researching about the place.

Not really white sand but good enough! Crystal clear water, though!
My poor friends, camwhoring again

Lunch! Yummy! Photo by my friend Jerwin

The beach is called Puting Buhangin because of, well, its stretch of white sand. It’s a small cove with a small cave on one end. Although the sand was not white white, the water was clear. We were assigned a cottage big enough to accommodate all 10 of us. We saw other tourists set up their tents. As we started swimming, the others started prepping lunch. We just camwhored away the entire time and played games.

Kuwebang Lampas, Pagbilao, Quezon

After lunch, four friends and I decided to check out the cave called Kuwebang Lampas. Only five from the group went ahead coz the others wanted to catch some sleep. At first we thought we could just walk towards the cave but the rocks were too sharp. The water was also so deep, no one was confident to swim without the life vests on. So we went back to the hut, put on the vests and swam our way to the cave.

That’s Kwebang Lampas right there! :D

The cave was a bit small. We were wondering why it was called Kuwebang Lampas until we entered the cave. Apparently, you can swim to the other side of the cliff through the cave. What we loved most about the cave was the shade. Lol. It was high noon and the cave provided a sanctuary from the burning heat of the sun. You could also feel the cold and hot water mix underneath. It was a great feeling. There were also birds flying around inside.

We stayed in the cave for 15 minutes and swam back to the shore. We got no pics inside the cave since none of us had a water-proof cam. At around 2pm, we hopped back onto the boat and continued our island hopping.

How to Get to Puting Buhangin and Kuwebang Lampas: Here’s how to get to this place 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.

List of Expenses
Entrance Fee: P80
Tent Rental: P300-400

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


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Yosh Dimen
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Wow! Nice place, next year I will try to visit this place ;D


Hi Tina, I experienced to go there at Puting Buhangin at Pagbilao Quezon. If you need easy life( comftable night with clean toilets clean water for your shower & for cleaning utensils kung meron kayu dala food ) when you choose overnight , Pls dont expect that much cleanliess. if you can buy clean water cost pesos per gal much better.
and if rainy days dont bring your own car ( better 4×4 ) . from Guard of Plant site up to Entrance at Kwebang Lampas u will experience muddy road and your car has chance to stop.
my friends and I decided to go overnight , just because we can ‘t sleep that good ,we decided to go home. fyi.. but the place is Good and relaxing when weekdays. :)


So beautiful. Sana makapunta rin ako sa Quezon someday to visit this beach. Nice post and great travel blog.:-)

renz magnial


Haggeo Perez

That is a nice place, i hope someday i have the chance to visit this. Great Philippines

Ms. July

Nice place… One day I’ll be there too… That is a promise to myself. Keep it up. and Gob bless you always on your trips.

dong ho

been to this beach several times but never tried doing it by boat. also a great option as i like the view of the peaks and hills.

mimi molines

i’ve been there 3years ago, but still planning to visit again for it’s really a beautiful place…


Such finds you have here! Yay!


[…] spending a few hours at Puting Buhangin, we proceeded to Dampalitan […]


[…] Puting Buhangin, Kwebang Lampas, Dampalitan Beach […]

Harry A. Balais

Neither the boat operators nor the tourism office can assure us that we could get the ten (or maybe eleven) life vests for your group and the Sykes group. So, we decided to buy around 45 life vests (supposed to be 18 for you and 26 for Sykes).

Interesting piece, when we did the ocular visit, we encountered heavy downpour as we left Puting Buhangin, going back to the wharft. And we didn’t have vests at that time. I imagine what would your reactions be if that happened to you, too. hahaha

Lerma Julia Schürer

oi nakakahiya lapit lang kami jan pero hindi ko pa yan napupuntahan,,,,kung saan saan na ako naka punta ,,,,

Hans Juangco Sevillano

maganda d2 super… my entrance n now P50 day swimming and P100 overnyt. P200 or 400 ata cottage :)


Whats ur contact # f we ntend to go to pagbilao.?

Elaine Macalolooy

Thanks for this awesome site,my wish list to see in Phil even got longer.

Victor Osorio

@ Elaine 7,000 plus islands…. and all of them are awsome!

Ruby Dominguez Jakobsen

Been there late 90´s not yet really known and hard to find a place to eat but there is a family who offered help and cooked food for my group, but it´s a beautiful white sand beach…… maybe it´s time to visit again the place……. :)


OMG, this place has been a tradition for my family every labour day (like a company retreat) and for atleast 10years, it was as if we have our own private island since no one knows about the place yet… it wasnt popular before so we only called it Polo since its within/by baranggay Polo.
THIS PLACE IS FABULOUS! I love the clear water and the cave. We always hang out by the cave around noon since its so HOT out. watch out for the jelly fishes and sea urchins.. (based on what i remembered last year)

The Poor Traveler

Thanks for sharing Jamella! Yes, the only problem we had was the jellyfish. I was afraid to swim at first but, ugh, what the hech, I still swam regardless!


hi poor traveler…me and my husband is planning to have an out of town when we take our vacation this coming June…it’s our first time to bring our kids…it is ok to bring our kids in this kind of travel? thanks…

The Poor Traveler

Hi Joseph, I believe it’s okay but it can be a bit uncomfortable for them. If you’re planning to do the Padre Burgos-Pagbilao trip the way I did it, then know that there are no hotels here. If you’re cool with camping trips, then it shouldn’t be a problem. (We spent the night in nearby Dampalitan Island, by the way)


hello mr. poor traveler!

do you have other contact nos (other than the tour agency)to help me.. or do you know how to go there using private car and where will we stop/stay? or any house there where to ask for boat etc. do you know any contact person who can give me details about the trip or maybe can i have your contact no?



Hello! Nice article and really nice pictures! I visited the Philippines in 2012 and it is such an amazing country! I went to Palawan, Cebu (mainly Malapascua) and Bohol. I absolutely loved Palawan. It is so untouched and pristine. Especially El Nido is a great place to spend a few weeks exploring the surroundings!

Yesterday one of my articles was published on theplanetD travel blog. It is about the Philippines (10 reason why this should be your next destination. If you want you can check it out at:

Thanks for your article and i’ll keep following your blog!

Cheers! Bastiaan


I’m from Quezon Province but I never knew of this place. Thanks for this. I recommend you also to visit Brgy. Villa Norte in Alabat Island, Quezon. Another God-given treasure. :)

More travel posts Poor Traveler! God bless! :)

Abbey Dawson

Thanks for sharing…I also want to go to Borawan


[…] List of Expenses: Borawan Budget Travel Guide […]


where can I get a van to go there? me and my friends are planning to go this coming holy week because thats our only vacant time, but it’s so waste of time riding a bus during holy week, do u have any contacts? please share :)


Love the pics! Would you recommend bringing a private car (sedan) also? Is the road or route going to the beaches relatively safe and easy to drive on? Thanks! :)


Hi.. If you want to visit this place.. Pls call kuya elong jaro/ shamaine they can help u .. And accomodate u well.

Jason flavier

Hi can i know th enumber of kuya elong jaro or shamaine?

ms. amy

can i kinow the conyact number of kuya elong and shamaine? we are planning to go overnight.


May road po pala to Kuwebang Lampas? Di po ba pwede dumaan doon?


Hi! Can you give us the contact number of Kuya Elong Jaro/ Sharmaine? My friends are planning a beach getaway this september! Thank you!


hi. san po nagpark overnight yung van? safe po ba iwan ang car sa port area?
thank you po

Jason flavier

Hi can i know th enumber of kuya elong jaro or shamaine?


Hi open po ba tomorrow ang Puting Buhangin, Quezon? Tnx


Aw ganun ba sir? Sayang, may alam pa po bq kau na iba pang open na beach sa quezon? Thank you