Here it is! As promised, this is the post about my Valentine weekend getaway!!!
This is becoming a habit – if Valentine’s Day fell on a weekend, me and my girls (and gays) would automatically go on an out of town trip to escape the busy city. And also, since all of us are single (for now) we don’t want to feel out of place with all the couple love feels all over the metro….
But first, a little background on where we went…
Situated in the northern part of the Philippines, Bolinao is only a 6hour drive away from the country’s capital. Best way to go there if you’re not driving is via Bus. Based on our research, most of the buses bound to Bolinao can be found in Cubao, Quezon City (roughly 17kilometers away from Makati, 46 minutes travel time according to Google maps).
However, since traffic on a payday Friday was expected to be hellish, we left early and booked an overpriced grabcar for (yes, this is true) P650.
Normally, you can take a bus ride to Cubao and endure some 2 hour slow moving traffic (you’d be lucky if you get a seat, otherwise you have to stand) or queue in the godforsaken MRT (for sure you will stand). But we chose comfort over cheap travel options.
There are actually three bus companies with daily trips to Bolinao : Victory, Five Star and Dagupan. Usual choice would be Victory, but Dagupan has new and more comfy looking seats. Since we’re not sure of the time we
would arrive at the bus station, we asked Aki (one of the two gay friends I went there with) to buy tickets for the 10:40pm trip.
Our bus arrived on time but there was a problem because whoever did the seat reservations in their office booked more than what they should have resulting in multiple passengers fighting over their assigned seats. After more than 30minutes of heated discussions, the issue was fixed by giving those other
passengers another bus. That’s not any passenger’s fault but people were all feisty that night haha.
Bus fare is P460+.
I slept (or at least tried to) all throughout the trip to Bolinao. We arrived there at half past three, the bus was really fast.. We were supposed to be picked up by the staff from the resort, but since it was still too early, we just hired a tricycle to take us there. It was still a bit far from the town proper, so the driver charged us P150.
Arrival at Victory Bus Terminal – yes, I was wearing my crown hahahah!
We woke everyone up because it was just 4am when we arrived at the resort. Luckily, for us, the room (nipa hut with aircon) we were supposed to stay in was vacant and we just agreed to pay an extra P500 (overnight rate is P2300 for three people). We slept a bit and got out of bed at around 6am, just in time to catch the first rays of the sun. 🌞
Hello Mr. Sun!!! That’s Aki, wearing his “cloak”.
Marlon, my other gay friend, and his sunrise photo
We walked along the shore to check what’s in store for us. The place we stayed in was still a couple of Barangays away from the actual Patar Beach. The part of the sea accessible to the resort was not really meant for swimming as it’s a bit rocky.
A view of the shore.
Aki and the rocky beach.
We assigned each of us to bring a huge piece of cloth that we can use for “pictorials” just to make our vacation photos different from what is usually seen all over Facebook and Instagram.
After walking for 30minutes, we went back to the resort to have breakfast. The caretaker also informed us that there are tricycles we can rent for the whole day and they will take us on a tour of Bolinao for P1000. The main attractions of Bolinao include the Bolinao Falls, Enchanted Caves, Patar Rock Formations, Bolinao Lighthouse and the Patar Beach itself. We went to all except the caves coz none of us really liked caves at all, pun intended. Haha.
First part of the tour was Bolinao Falls. They actually have Bolinao Falls 1 and 2, and I forgot where we went to. But it was beautiful. The only downside was the roads – they were all rocky, not cemented and it was a really really bumpy ride in a tricycle. I would even consider Bumpy an understatement. I was already telling my friend that this better be worth it…
And it was…
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bolinao Falls!
There is an entrance fee of P50 to the falls, probably for the maintenance; plus parking fee of P20 (which is actually charged everywhere, except for the Rock Formations).
You can also rent a life jacket so that you can take a dip in the clear waters…
By clear, I meant this CLEAR.
More photos below:
The three gays, we call ourselves virgin people (from the movie of the same title) although I’m the only one who’s no longer a v. Hahaha.
And me! Hahaha!
We stayed there till 11am, and then we headed to Sungayan grill for lunch. But before that, we saw this empty space of what seems to be like a flattened land area and decided to take some photos!!!
That’s aki embracing the red cloth like it was a gown of some sort lol!
And that’s me running “Into the Woods” haha!
We had lunch at Sungayan Grill, where their famous “Sungayan fish” is being served. The place consists of floating cottages in the river. We ordered their platter which costs P850 and has the sungayan grilled fish, eggplant, okra, pork liempo, crabs and my favorite shrimps!!! They also serve this with a tray of rice plus a pitcher of your drinks of your choice.
I’m sure the #Dayrefatties would love to devour this feast haha! We ordered an extra tray (yes, tray!) of rice for P60!!!
Patar Rock Formation
Probably the highlight of this trip, the Patar Rock Formation features boulders of rocks – a search in Google would yield results of the beauty of this place especially during sunset. Unfortunately, for us, we went there at 1pm, when the sun was shining brightly upon everything. It was really hot.. But we just realized that well, this was the reason why we came here, to indulge in the beauty of the majestic scenery while also taking photos of ourselves… So.. Without further ado, I present to
you, some of the photos that occupied 2Gb Worth of storage space in my phone (would you believe we took close to 500 photos in this place alone???) i kid you not, for someone who frequently empties his phone’s memory deleting photos became a really hard task!
#Couture lol. Seriously, we just can’t get enough of this place. I even injured myself from running around those rocks..
Hi from the three of us.
Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
Our next stop was also a famous spot in Bolinao. It’s an old and abandoned lighthouse that also serves as a favorite tourist destination for photo shoots.
We used panorama in taking these shots.
Notice we changed our clothes? Yep. We are pros baby hahahah!
Another interesting place beside the lighthouse is an abandoned and ruined house. Of course, we did not waste this chance to take glorious photos haha.
The three of us – i asked one of the girls there to take a photo of us. No she’s not a good photographer, I placed my phone in her hand and told her not to move and just take photos hahahah!
And another one of those signature impressive jumpshots (yes I’m really bragging) haha.
Patar Beach is a long stretch of powdery (off white) sand with clear waters. Sadly, this photo is from Google because I left my phone in the tricycle because I wanted to enjoy my time with the sea.
There are cottages here that you can rent for 300 (day trip) and 600 or more (overnight). Check out photos of the beach online 😅✌🏻️
Casa Almarenzo Bed And Breakfast
We stayed here!!! The reason why we chose this is because of the infinity pool hahaha! Plus they have the cheapest accommodation rates, but then it was too far from the beach itself. It was our first time, so our intention really was to tour the place and not to stay in the beach or the hotel/resort. Pool photos to follow!!!
Their Infinity Pool is ❤️❤️❤️ it’s only 5ft hahahah!
We all had an amazing time there..
They also serve breakfast and you can request for your choice of dinner and they will cook it for you! In my opinion, the dinner actually tasted better than our lunch at Sungayan Grill – or maybe it was because we were very hungry.
They also have a hammock for those who want some me time outside their rooms lol.
And their staff is very friendly and polite!! So this resort is highly recommended!!!!
Saint James the Great Parish
A trip to a new place wouldn’t be complete without a visit to their church! This is the facade of the St. James the Great parish church, where it had been said, that the first mass on Philippine soil took place. I don’t know why, I’m not really big in history but the locals claim that the one in our history books isn’t real (from what I learned during Grade school, the first mass was held at Limasawa, Leyte)
Inside the church
#History #architecture #church
We left Bolinao at 10am and reached Manila around 4pm. It was a rushed but packed Valentine weekend and the three single gays totally enjoyed it! 😎