Surfing, skim boarding and more at Bagasbas Beach in Daet.
One April weekend, my friends and I went to the Bagasbas Summer Surf Festival, an annual festival to promote Bagasbas Beach and the province of Camarines Norte as an exciting beach destination in the Philippines.
The highlights of the surf festival are the two consecutive days of surfing clinics where beginners learn surfing basics such as how to position on a surfboard, how to paddle into the wave and other precautionary measures. I wasn’t interested in learning how to surf. I just went there to take pictures.
Bagasbas Beach is recommended as an ideal place for people who want to learn how to surf because the surf here breaks left and right on a sand bar so the sandy bottom makes it easy for the starters to jump off from the board. The consistent rolling waves from the Pacific Ocean usually rise from two feet to six feet but Bagasbas has been known to provide barrels during typhoon season when the current gets very strong.
The beach is wide and long with fine grey sand so there’s plenty of space for everybody. The festival also featured other activities such as beach volleyball, beach ultimate, wall climbing and skim boarding.
The long stretch of beach is right next to the main boulevard of Bagasbas town. My friends and I were able to find a very cheap room right on the boulevard where other small eateries, bars and cheap lodging are located. We just needed to walk across the narrow strip of road to get to the beach. A bit farther but still within the town are other better looking and upscale inns.
Nearby we found a place that served cheap meals, including ‘kinunot’ which is a local specialty dish made up of either stingray or baby shark cooked in coconut milk with malungay or moringa leaves. My friends loved it. I liked it, too, but I think it would have tasted better with less salt.
Bagasbas Beach is in Daet, which is 350 kilometers from Manila. Travel by land takes approximately 7 hours, but could take longer depending on the traffic, road condition and weather. You can drive or take a bus or hire a van from Manila to Daet. Some airlines have seasonal trips from Manila to Daet but most commercial flights can only take you from Manila to Naga City, which is about a two-hour drive away from Daet. From Naga, there are commercial vans that operate like buses for people who need a ride to Daet.
For surfing and skim boarding lessons and board rentals, go to http://slicksurf.multiply.com/
For more info about Daet, go to http://www.philippines-travel-guide.com/daet-surfing.html