A boatman once told me that Filipinos are naturally people of the sea. Perhaps this is the reason why most of us flock to the seaside whenever we have the chance to do so. But sometimes, life happens and it becomes challenging to make time for the beach.
But guess what? Challenging doesn’t mean impossible. For when our hectic schedules only permit us to go on day trips, here’s a list of some affordable beaches near Manila.
1. Laki Beach
Pristine paradise best describes Laki Beach. Its white sand, calm waters, and swaying coconut trees welcome beach bums to chill all day round. Make sure to bring enough food and water to last you your whole trip as there aren’t many restaurants and resorts in the area. If you’re planning to stay overnight, you can either bring your own tent or rent one.
Estimated cost: ₱700 – ₱900
Address: Mariveles, Bataan
How to get there: From Cubao, take the Genesis bus bound for Mariveles. Ride a tricycle to Barangay Balon or Porto from the Mariveles bus terminal.
2. Anilao Beach
Image credit: R924
If you’re fascinated with the underwater world, than there’s no better place to head than to Anilao. Being the birthplace of Philippine scuba diving, this beach guarantees breathtaking diving spots for beginners to professional scuba divers alike. Diving lessons, gears, and tours are available around the area.
Estimated cost: ₱400 – ₱600
Address: Mabini, Batangas
How to get there: From Cubao, take any bus bound for Batangas City. Get off at the Batangas Grand Terminal, then take the jeepney to Anilao.
3. Masasa Beach
Masasa Beach is known for the abundance of its marine biodiversity. This said, travellers can snorkel around its clear blue waters and then rest by the beach. Its supple sand makes the shore a perfect place to bum around.
Estimated cost: ₱400 – ₱600
Address: Tingloy, Batangas
How to get there: From Cubao, take any bus bound for Batangas City. Get off at the Batangas Grand Terminal, then take the jeepney to Talaga Port.
4. Isla Verde
Isolated from the rest of Batangas City, Isla Verde is only accessible by water; thus, less tourists pursue the land. However, this hidden treasure proves to be worth the journey as vibrant sea life awaits persistent travellers. Known as the “Center of the Center of the Marine Biodiversity of the World,” Isla Verde is undoubtedly among the best diving spots existing today. With this, snorkelling and diving are the most sought-after activities in the island.
Estimated cost: ₱1300 – ₱2000
Address: Batangas City, Batangas
How to get there: From Cubao, take any bus bound for Batangas City. Get off at the Batangas Grand Terminal, then take the jeepney to Bagong Palengke. From Bagong Palengke, take the jeepney to Tabangao Port. At the said port, ride the paddle boat to MB Super Mario. Finally, ride the Super Mario boat to Mahabang Buhangin or Sampalukan.
5. Boracay de Cavite
But a small cove nestled in one of the fastest growing provinces in the country, Boracay de Cavite exudes a certain kind of serenity exclusive to private beaches. Located inside the Gregorio Lim Marine Base, the cove has a towering stone wall that secludes it from the outside world. From the inside, though, one can still view the scenic Corregidor Island and Mariveles mountain range.
Note: Since Boracay de Cavite is a secluded area, it’s hard to access when you’re not travelling with your own vehicle.
Estimated cost: ₱300 – ₱900
Address: Ternate, Cavite
How to get there: From the Southwest Integrated Bus Terminal in Parañaque, take the bus bound for Ternate. Take the jeepney going to the beach.
6. Dampalitan Beach
If you want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, Dampalitan Beach is what you need. The island will truly bring you back to basics: There are no resorts, no electricity, and barely any restrooms. Prepare to build your own bonfire, unless you’re ready for darkness and cold to swallow you come nightfall. If you’re staying overnight, bring a tent to sleep in.
Estimated cost: ₱500 – ₱1000
Address: Padre Burgos, Quezon
How to get there: From Cubao, take a bus bound for Lucena City. Get off at Lucena Grand Terminal, and then take a bus to Unisan. Alight at Padre Burgos, then take a tricycle to Aplaya.
7. Alibijaban Island
The Philippines is blessed with numerous islands, but those adorned with mangroves are especially one-of-a-kind. Mangroves exist exclusively in tropical areas, and are called “a gift of the tides” because they can only live in coastal intertidal zones. In Alibijaban, there is a 140-hectare mangrove forest that surrounds the crystal clear waters — just imagine how beautiful it is! In addition to the lush forest, Alibijaban is also known for the occasional appearance of whale sharks and manta rays.
Estimated cost: ₱1500 – ₱3000
Address: San Andres, Quezon
How to get there: From Cubao, take a bus to San Andres, Quezon. From there, ride a boat to Alibijaban Island.
8. Puting Buhangin
Another haven for those looking for solitude, Puting Buhangin is a small beach area good for relaxation. This paradise is almost unknown to many beachgoers; thus, it remains unspoiled and picturesque. In the vicinity, Kuwebang Lampas is another famous spot you can explore at low tide.
Estimated cost: ₱800 – ₱1000
Address: Pagbilao, Quezon
How to get there: From Cubao, take a bus bound for Lucena City. Get off at Lucena Grand Terminal, and then take a bus to Unisan. Alight at Padre Burgos, then take a tricycle to Aplaya
9. Cagbalete Island
Lately, Cagbalete Island has drawn much attention as a backpacking destination. The beach is not only a sight to behold (see: agoho trees lining the coastline) — it also offers multiple activities for the adrenaline junkie. Its diverse flora and fauna allowba travellers to go birdwatching and admire different species of bonsai. Its waves are good for surfing and skimboarding. Near the area, waterfalls abound, too.
Estimated cost: ₱800 – ₱1000
Address: Mauban, Quezon
How to get there: From Cubao, take a bus bound for Lucena City. Get off at Lucena Grand Terminal, and then take a bus or a van to Mauban. From Mauban, ride a passenger boat to Cagbalete Island.
10. Liwliwa Beach
Zambales beaches are attracting more and more travellers, and Liwliwa Beach is just one of the province’s many treasures. But unlike the other beaches in Zambales, Liwliwa is significantly more affordable. It does not have an entrance fee, there’s an accessible camping site, and cheap eateries sprawl across the area. The beach is most visited for its strong waves suitable for surfing, but those who would rather laze around and catch the sunset would definitely enjoy the place, too.
Estimated cost: ₱400 – ₱800
Address: San Felipe, Zambales
How to get there: From the Victory Liner terminal, take a bus bound for Iba or Sta. Cruz. Alight at San Felipe.
When the waves are calling, you must go. With these beaches near Manila, you won’t have a hard time doing so.