Gubat Bay, about 500km southeast of Manila, is a relaxed and rural surfing spot not many have discovered. Its 3km long Rizal beach offers perfect conditions for surfing, with decent winds and good beginner waves, making it an ideal spot for learning. Shallow waters stretch out to sea for some 50m or so.
And there are no crowds. There is, however, a surf camp, Lola Sayong Eco Surf Camp, founded by Noli John Mercader, who left Manila for life on the beach, originally setting up the camp to give local teenage kids something to do with their time.
The surf season is from September to January. The rest of the months are ideal for longboarding only.
For surf lessons and camping
If you want to surf at Lola Sayong Eco Surf Camp, or simply enjoy the beach, there's an environmental fee of P25. A one-hour surf lesson plus use of surf board is P350. For overnight stays, simple open-air cottages are P850, tents P150. Pitching fee of P75 for your own tent. Shared toilet and showers. Visit Lola Sayong Eco Surf Camp on Facebook.
Where else to stay
Another option is to stay in Sorsogon and make day trips to Gubat (about 30 minutes). Try Siama Hotel, a modern resort in a garden setting with chic rooms and infinity pool. Rooms from P6,585. Siama arranges day trips to Gubat with picnic lunch. Visit Siama Hotel.
How to get there
Flights from Manila to Legazpi City, northwest of Gubat, on Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. From the airport, take a jeepney tricycle to Legazpi City Grand Central Terminal then a van/jeepney to Sorsogon City (about P100 per person). Ask the driver to drop you off in Sorsogon at the city terminal or at the jeepney terminal near Chowking; from both you can hop on a jeep to Gubat (P29 per person).
Published June 2016