When the gods showered Batangas with fine sand, Malabrigo was probably stoned. But somehow it managed to catch tons of pebbles. And it’s not a consolation. Not at all.

A ten-minute tricycle ride across agricultural lands took me to a quiet seaside neighborhood. The driver pointed to the direction of the shore through someone’s backyard. “That’s the beach,” he said. “Keep left and you’ll find the lighthouse.”

Even from the road, I could already sense the scent of the ocean. Yes, even despite the strong smell of fried fish that floated in the air. The owners of the house were having breakfast, al fresco-style.

Stoned Solitude

“Makikiraan po,” I greeted them, who smilingly showed me the way. The sound of the waves’ melodic rumbling grew louder with every step. And the ground, it got covered by more and more round stones. Never had I seen a pebble beach before, and it somehow made me quite nervous. Being accident-prone, I feared that it might be a dangerous territory. (I stumble even on flat ground.) One step and then another. The farther I made it, the more the worry faded away. I guided my feet out of my flip-flops and let them feel the cobbles. Rough, as expected, but not too rough to hurt. If anything, there was something therapeutic about it, as though they massaged the soles of my feet. If it wasn’t for the heat, I’d have totally ditched the slippers.

I ran across a bed of stones and climbed to the top of a giant boulder. Malabrigo Point, as this beach is sometimes called, is at the southernmost tip of Batangas. From here I saw the waves of the busy Verde Island Passage, rolling to the stony shore. I saw no one else. This place — this pebbly piece of paradise — was all mine. All mine.

While most Manila-dwellers flock to the usual beach destinations — Laiya, Anawangin Cove, and Puerto Galera — Malabrigo has managed to fly under the radar all these years, preserving its natural beauty and pristine state. Two things can take credit for it. One is its location. Tucked in a relatively obscure municipality (Lobo isn’t one of the first towns to come to mind when we think of Batangas), it can be reached by meandering along mountainsides, an hour from Batangas City and a total of 3 hours from Manila, if you’re fast and lucky.

The shingle beach of Malabrigo is not your usual white beach.
The pebble beach of Malabrigo is not your usual white beach.
Small- to medium-size cobbles make up this unusual beach
Small- to medium-size cobbles make up this unusual beach

Pebbly Pulchritude

The other reason is littered around its shore. Malabrigo doesn’t have the usual white sand that most beach bums chase. In fact, sand is nowhere to be found, and in its stead are small- to medium-size grey and white cobbles spread over the beach. No, you won’t see it glitter under the sun. No, you won’t find it pleasant for rolling (who does that, anyway?). And if you love a game of sand-throwing, that’s not gonna happen unless your intention is to murder your playmate. But it is comfortable. Comfortable enough for other non-sandy beach activities. (Rated GP activities only, needless to say.)

It was like watching a high definition movie. No grains, crystal clear. Clarity is its greatest asset. Malabrigo has the clearest waters I have seen in all the destinations around Manila. No sand to muddle it. No grains to scratch its glass-like shimmer. Not near the shoreline, at least. The sea is an ocean of gems. Sapphire and emerald hues blend under the Batangan sun.

Luminous Attitude

A walk farther east brought more of the lengthy coast to view. The pebbles turned to shingles, smaller and rougher, with every step until a small patch of sand made an appearance. Here, on the sand under the shade of an enormous rock, I took a break from the hard ground and the heat of the sun. My eyes scanned the area for any sign of the lighthouse, but the beach that gently bends in the distance has nothing. No sign in front of me.

I turned around, and there it was. A staircase. Of course it’s on the cliff. What was I expecting? The staircase zigzags on the cliffside to the top, where the lonely beacon stands proudly.

The eastern view of Malabrigo Beach.
The eastern view of Malabrigo Beach.
Sand starts making an appearance as I walked farther east.
Sand starts making an appearance as I walked farther east.
Malabrigo Lighthouse's official name is Faro de Punta de Malabrigo. But locals simply call it "parola."
Malabrigo Lighthouse’s official name is Faro de Punta de Malabrigo. But locals simply call it “parola.”
The lighthouse was newly renovated after a film production crew who shot at the place damaged the structure. Visits now require permits.
The lighthouse was newly renovated after a film production crew who shot at the place damaged the structure. Visits now require permits.

Batangas has two lighthouses: Cape Santiago in Calatagan and Punta de Malabrigo in Lobo. Both were part of the Spaniards’ project of illuminating the key maritime routes in the country. The Malabrigo parola, as it is locally known, guides the seafarers tackling the Verde Island Passage to Tayabas Bay.

Victorian-inspired, the Malabrigo Lighthouse was designed by Guillermo Brockman in 1891 and was constructed by Chinese contractor Jose Garcia in 1896. Like its Calatagan twin, the beacon is cylindrical, made of bricks, and has a metal staircase. It was declared as a National Historical Landmark on 27 November 2006.

I prepared myself for a structure in a state of neglect as described by many of those who come before me but was delightfully surprised to be greeted by a newly renovated lighthouse. The paint seemed fresh (perhaps around a year old), and the pastel colors radiated vibrantly against the dominant white.

Because of its proximity to the capital, it’s quite easy to think that we have seen most of Batangas. Yet, the Land of the Valiant (or the Province of All Seasons if you’re a fan of its governor, haha) continues to surprise travelers. Malabrigo is one of those pleasant revelations. In many ways, it is an unusual beach destination: close but almost unheard of, undisturbed but historically significant. Its pebbly beach may be an acquired taste, but it sure gives this coastal village a unique character and a much tougher attitude. And that alone makes it worth a quick getaway at the very least.

Malabrigo Lighthouse
Malabrigo Lighthouse

How to get to Malabrigo: From Manila, board the bus to Batangas City and get off at Diversion or Balagtas (around P150). Take a jeepney bound for SM Batangas or tricycle and tell the driver to drop you off at the jeepney terminal bound for Lobo. Take another jeepney to Lobo (P53) and then tricycle to Malabrigo Beach.

BATANGAS GUIDE


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Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. Jaja says:

    I want to bring my family there. Is there somewhere close where we could stay for the night?

    • yoshke says:

      Hi Jaja! Yes, Punta Malabrigo Resort is just nearby. There are also other inns and guesthouses around. :)

      • Grace says:

        ., ang ganda po ng view at tahimik.. ask ko Lang po kng mg kanu ang isang room for staying 2 days..

    • Deneb Villanueva says:

      Our family owns the Villamar Resort just before Punta Malabirgo Resort, the owners of that resort are distant relatives. I grew up here and we just wish it would stay hidden actually but we share it with friends :)

      • yoshke says:

        Woot! Thanks for sharing! You might want to share your resort’s contact details so our readers could reach you. :D

      • Rogel Laygo says:

        pare tawagan mo naman aku pasuyo na or bigay mo no mo 09369286924

      • Alyssa Kris says:

        Hi! Planning to celebrate our new year by the beach is your resort open for the new year? Can I have your contact no.?

  2. angel says:

    hi! ang ganda ng place and i think this is the perfect place para sa outing namin. ask ko lang kung how much yung entrace fee jan. Thank you.

  3. vicci says:

    Hi! Are the roads going to Malabrigo narrow and rough(dirt roads)? My friends and I are planning to go there and we might use a coaster since we’re a big group.

  4. mhe says:

    hi! sounds nice for a summer getaway.. how much kaya ung accommodations sa malapit?

  5. Aya says:

    hi! just want to know if possible mag camp near the beach? ang ganda kasu ng place.. best when you want to have some time alone and far from metro..

    • Jesa says:

      pwede sya mag camp. as my experience sobrang babait ng mga tao, napakahumble at hindi mapagsamantala, 1st time ko that time and summer pa pero sobrng payapa ng place kasi hindi pa sya masyadong kilala :)

  6. Deneb Villanueva says:

    Thanks for the entry, I am from Malabrigo and when I just want to relax I go home and stay by our beach :)

  7. Jojo Villaflor says:

    Just wanted to know how much are the rates for room accommodations for 2?
    Are there a lot of resorts in Malabrigo not so expensive?

  8. Sherlyn Sillana Ibisate says:

    Hi Pede bang magluto dun sa place like mag barbecue ? pede din ba overnight ? salamat

    • DamDiDum says:

      It is, but it’s difficult to find flat ground where you can pitch your tent and lay your back comfortably. Make sure to register at the barangay. We camped once without registering, and we were reprimanded by the Bantay Dagat.

  9. mhar tamayo says:

    Hi guys, ask ko lang po what time yung last trip pauwi if ever day tour lang at commute lang. Thanks! :D

  10. edith says:

    hi Good Evening may we ask for a contact number need lang namin ng details.thank you

  11. edith says:

    Hi good evening. may we ask for a contact number?need lang namin ng details.thank you

    • yoshke says:

      There is a resort in the area called Punta Malabrigo Beach Resort. There are several guest houses too.

      Pwede ka rin mag-camp. :)

  12. Angelica Noval says:

    Pwede po ba ang overnight camping dito sa may beach? :) thanks sa reply

  13. Jhen says:

    Hi po were planning to there ask lng po if ok po ba ang overnyt and may cottage po ba if meron hm po tia….

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Meron po sa Malabrigo Resort, pero di namin alam ang rates.

  14. Thel says:

    Hi po. tanong lang po, kung day tour lang kami at hindi na kmi kukuha ng accommodation since free naman po ang beach, meron po kayang mapagbabanlawan o nag ooffer ng shower or cr sa malabrigo beach? thanks po.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Thel, last time na nagpunta kami, may sumisingil na ng bayad. Di ko na matandaan how much, check ko sa notes ko, pero if I remember correctly, P20 yata.

      Dun sa shower, ung resort dun, Punta Malabrigo Beach resort. If gusto nyo access sa showers, pede kayo mag-day tour dun. P100 ung fee, last time I checked.

  15. jaylyn says:

    Hi po!Pagpumunta po ba dian sa Malabrigo beach resort kylangan pa bang sumakay ng bangka para makarating dian or yan na po mismo ang place ng pagliliguan? Meron po bang mga cottages dian may bayad po ba o wala?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Pagbaba mo ng trike, beach na. No need mag-bangka. May mga cottage naman. May bayad, di ko lang tanda magkano.

  16. larry says:

    pebbles pala ito. Thank you for the information. I wanna try this for the kids para maiba naman. para hindi lageng buhangin lang nag nasa isip ni;a :) I hope the place is still okay. Wanna try before Dec 25 2018.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Larry! Yes, pebbles po.

      Enjoy po kayo. Balitaan nyo rin po kami if ano na ung condition ngayon kasi last year pa kami huli nagpunta.

  17. Jeff says:

    Hello Friends,

    My whole family planning to visit this place overnight April 14-15 please any recommendation to stay. A house? AirBnB is available on this area? Please your help is appreciated.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Jeff, I don’t think there’s AirBnB (not sure). There is a resort there called Punta Malabrigo Resort. Maybe that’s an option for you?

  18. Reds says:

    What if 2days 1night po kame ? May mga Transient nman po ba na pde rent or pde mag camp sa beach ?

  19. Xandy sotto says:

    Hi we are planning to go tbis March, can I bring my kids with me? Safe po ba and maganda po ba tlaga ung place?
    Thanks!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Xandy, Malabrigo isn’t for everyone. If you’re the type na gusto parati ng white sand beach, madidisappoint ka. But I personally like this because it’s quiet and still very scenic.

  20. Norman says:

    Just made a reservation at Cerca Parola Resort this coming 15 Feb
    Overnight stay 4k per room 4Pax

    Will provide feedback after.

  21. ian henson says:

    mga sir malapit po b ung cerca parola resort sa malabrigo beach and pwede po b malaman ung contact nimbers sa cerca tnk u po

  22. Aeana says:

    Hi just want to ask if may daytour din sila?
    Nagpplano kasi kami pumunta next week eh.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Aena, yep, pwede sya i-day tour. Nag-day trip lang din kami.

  23. Esther says:

    Hi, if magcamp dun pwede po? And curious po ako magkano po nagastos nyo with this trip :)

    Thanks!

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