Holidays are all about fun, and Ayza Querejero and her friends captured the excitement, laughter, and camaraderie in this video of spectacularly beautiful Balabac, an island off the southern tip of Palawan. There's drone footage and upbeat music thrown in, but what you really notice is that sparkling white sand beach with no one around except Ayza and her travelling buddies.
Balabac is not an easy trip. It's a flight away from Manila to Puerto Princesa and long hours on the bus and boat to get to the island, but the wondrous white-sand beach and unspoilt beauty of the place make it all worthwhile. "We stayed for four days and three nights on the island and hired bangkeros (boatmen) who also served as our guides," Querejero said. Definitely another for the bucket list.
How to get there
Philippine Airlines flies from Manila to Puerto Princesa. From the airport in Puerto Princesa, hire a tricycle to take you to San Jose Terminal, where you can get on a bus or van bound for Rio Tuba. There are departures from 4am to 9pm daily. Travel time is about five to six hours. At Rio Tuba, head to the Rio Tuba Port as early as 6am to have your name registered on the passengers' boat list for Balabac. The boat usually leaves at about 10am and it takes about four to five hours to reach Balabac.
The passenger boat going back to Rio Tuba usually leaves Balabac Port at 6am. Querejero's boatmen and guides were "Kuya" (casual Filipino term for brother or an elder) Buboy/Onyok, tel +63-9363988961. For van services from Puerto Princesa to Rio Tuba and back, contact "Kuya" Gerry at tel +63-9462606260.
Where to stay
Querejero stayed at MLK Lodge in the town of Balabac for about P400 (about US$8) a room night for two to three people. There are only basic lodges on the island.
For inquiries, contact the Provincial Tourism Office of Palawan at +6348 4349845 or +6348 4332968.
Cover photo is a screengrab from @thetravelicious on Instagram.
Published July 2016