Down south of Luzon, one can find an array of choices on where to go to escape the busy life in the city. From waterfalls, rivers, hot springs, and beaches, escape destinations are a plenty.
One in particular that I would like to share is the small town of Padre Burgos. It is a fifth class municipality in the province of Quezon. My first and recent visit to this small town was for the reason that it’s a gateway and home to unspoiled island beach destinations in the nearby area as it’s situated near the Tayabas Bay. The town itself is close to the mountains and to the shoreline which makes it not so typical type of town where busy streets are still visible.
A simple town calls for a simple way of life. They have their own concept of “Malayo” and “Malapit” (Far and Near) which I have learned and understood on-the-spot. When a local would say that a certain place is near, it normally is still quite far… you can just imagine what the other way around is like. Having a combination of land and sea resource, their means of living usually rotates on farming, fishing, and having their own stores or eatery. And as a means to have a sense of enjoyment, the young ones enjoy playing “patintero” on the sand bar of the beach during high tide, others team up to play some basketball, and the older ones attend and participate in “sabong” or cockfights.
As the town itself is known for island beach destinations, there are some resorts and boat rentals that can bring you to the different islands around Quezon, such as Borawan Beach, Dampalitan Beach, and Puting Buhangin, just to name a few. Boat rental rates vary depending on the distance and number of island destinations you want to go to. For Borawan or Dampalitan beach, it would normally cost you around 700php. As for our own experience, we paid 900php to go to both islands. Puting Buhangin is a much farther destination which is around 1200php, although according to the locals, it is a much more beautiful beach compared to the two. If you plan to go to these island destinations, I would suggest you go in groups so you can split the payment among yourselves.
It’s always a fun and memorable experience to dive into new destinations around your own country. There are still much more beauty to discover around the Philippines which can be appreciated by people who are in dire need of a sweet escape.