Apr 1, 2017
In Search of the Hidden Beach
GPS waypoint: hmmm....nah, I'll keep this one to myself :)
Location: Camotes Islands, Cebu (province), Philippines
When I zoomed-in on my Maps.Me app, I saw this circular beach about 50 feet across with a narrow 8-ft sea entrance through the limestone rocks. There were no roads to it and even the narrow trail marks stopped far from it. It looked isolated and hidden from everyone. Google Maps didn't even show it. It was too easy to miss-off from the map since it was so tiny. Time to do some exploring on my bicycle to see if it exists!
It was a long bike ride under the heat of the sun. What's fun are the interesting spots I accidentally passed along. One was Mactang Beach. Nothing special really about the beach per se, but according to some folks in Poro, they unearthed historical artifacts suggesting that the actual battle of Mactan between Magellan and Lapu-Lapu took place here - not in Mactan, Cebu City! There is increased interest on this that I even met someone who came to do an ocular inspection. However, at the site, all I saw was a sign saying historical artifacts and human skeletons were unearthed there - no mention whatsoever about the Mactan Battle. I was a little disappointed.
Cagcagan Water Spring
I came upon a road sign, "Cagcagan Water Spring". As a big fan of natural springs, of course I followed the sign until I came upon a deep hole in the ground with a concrete flight of steps going down through some rocks until I saw the spring source. The place was narrow and claustrophobic - not ideal for swimming or bathing. A big pipe that was stuck into the source gives off water you could fill a container with. I took a big gulp. Surprisingly, the water was tepid. It wasn't even cold.
Flying Fish Resort
This one was not on my map though. It was also hidden and a bit of a ride further out of the main road, but when I came upon it, it was a proper resort with a generous beach view from the leisure chairs and rooms. The front is a coral reef for snorkeling activity.
The bike ride offered a few more surprises as long as I was willing to veer off the main road and explore interesting possibilities. After leaving the main road into the dirt trail, I thought the trail ended, but apparently, it went on...through small and obscure residential areas. At some point, the trail was too narrow and muddy with sharp protruding coral rocks - I had to carry my bike. I was thinking, this really is, a hidden beach!
Hidden Beach Revealed
Finally, I came upon the beach. It does exist! I thought I would be alone, but there were many kids playing around. Apparently, the beach is their playground. There were also a few grown-ups whom I approached to alay their curiosity. More grown-ups showed up curious what I was doing there. I just told them I was 'suroy-suroy' - just exploring places on my bike. They were friendly and pointed me to another trail where I could exit. I was just thinking, this place would be an excellent personal property for a beach where you have your own private cove. Of course it needs a lot of work - road access, manicuring the landscape, a cottage, etc. But I think it's best to leave it as it is where kids can freely play at will.
Having made so many stops before I reached the beach, I was exhausted already. This is what I like about exploring something you just saw from a map - you don't know what else you stumble upon. In this case, the adventure was as much the destination as it was the journey.
Reader Comments:Marie Roman
(Apr 2, 2017) Ur there at last. How was it?
"How was it?" -- Nandinii
(Apr 2, 2017) raw with great potential
(Apr 2, 2017) Wow looks amazing you still on Comotes Islands
Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines
Camotes Island FYI / Tips
- Camotes Islands is a group of islands composed of 4 municipalities:
- San Francisco - this is the biggest municipality covering the West major island. Its town center is the busiest with the market, eating places, live music and the Baywalk. The beach resort clusters, however, are concentrated in Santiago Bay, Mangodlong and Esperanza
- Poro - Poro is on the other big island to the East. It has its own port and the town center is likewise busy
- the busy area where most of the social gatherings take place, eating places, is located at the Baywalk area of San Francisco, 30 mins by motorcycle from the Consuelo Port. Travellers usually stay in their resort outside the Baywalk
- the resorts in Camotes Island are scattered around the island. There are none around the Baywalk area of San Francisco
- perhaps the only downside to Camotes Island is the inescapable deafening sound of karaoke - it is played very loud and it's everywhere. In Baywalk, there are 3 karaoke bars beside each other going full blast all at the same time
Camotes Island Cost Index(US$1 = Php 49.82 as of Jan 15, 2017)
- PHP 100 habal-habal ride from Consuelo Port to San Francisco
- PHP 55 Pale Pilsen beer
- PHP 10/pax regular fare for habal-habal within San Francisco
- PHP 500/tour habal-habal rate for island tour up to 2 pax
- PHP 800/tour tricycle rate for island tour up to 4 pax
Cebu City to Camotes Island
- via Consuelo - from Cebu City, take the northbound bus passing through Danao and get off at the Danao Port. At the Port, take a Jomalia Shipping boat for Consuelo (San Francisco, Camotes), P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
Camotes Islands to Cebu City
- Poro - Cebu City (fastest and most direct) - go to Poro and take the 8am or 5pm Ocean Jet to Pier One in Cebu City, P380/pax/aircon, 2 hours
- Consuelo - Danao - Cebu City - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only). From Danao, take the Ceres Bus to Cebu City
Cebu City to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental by Boat
- George and Peter Lines - Mon/Thur/Sat/Sun 10pm, (035)225.4337, 0922.557.1023
- Oceanjet - via Tagbilaran, daily 6am, email@example.com, 0918.898.2188
- Cokaliong - Mon/Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat 7pm, Sun 12pm, 6 hours, (035)225.3599
Danao to Camotes Island
- via Poro - at the Danao Port, take the Super Shuttle Ferry for Poro (Camotes), P?/pax, 3 hours, daily trip - 9:00am and 5:00pm (0936.823.8762 |0956.270.6610 | 0999.889.9999).
Camotes Island to Danao
Camotes Islands Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Daghang Salamat (Many Thanks) Camotes Islands, Goodbye Apr 6, 2017
- A Culture of Noise Apr 5, 2017
- Exploring Tulang Diot (Little Island) Apr 2, 2017
- In Search of the Hidden Beach Apr 1, 2017
- Pizza-Making Party in Camotes Islands Mar 25, 2017
- Zesto and Exploited Child Labor Mar 20, 2017
- The Bayot (Gay) Construction Worker Mar 20, 2017
- Yoga Calisthenics in Camotes Islands Mar 3, 2017
- Bathing with the Carabaos at Hagnaon Spring, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
- Taking a Dip at Capasanan Spring, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
- Exploring Bukilat Cave, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
- Exploring Tudela and Busay Falls, Camotes Islands Feb 21, 2017
- Settling Down in Camotes Islands Feb 19, 2017
- Clam Chowder Pizza from Scratch on a Rice Cooker Feb 15, 2017
- Exploring Timubo Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
- Exploring Holy Crystal Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
- Exploring Camotes Islands of Cebu Jan 13-14, 2017
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