Everybody needs a little time away.
Sometimes, life just gets so damn busy that I just want to be away for at least a day or two. So two weeks ago, we went for another roadtrip to the North. Running 100kph at most, it took us 7 hours to reach the municipality of Bolinao.
Long hours on the road left us looking for food. So as soon as we saw Giant Taklobo Resto Grill, we immediately parked the car, asked for the menu and ordered food for our late lunch.
On the way (and I guess for almost a month now), I craved for crabs for a delish lunch. Luckily, the restaurant serves steamed crabs. With a glass full of buko shake, I’d say late lunch would never be the same again. Yum!
Giant Taklobo Resto Grill is open from 10AM to 10PM (Monday to Sunday) and they can also serve breakfast from 7AM to 10AM.
After eating, we drove at least another 10 minutes and arrived in our destination. We booked a room in Punta Riviera Resort via Travel Book PH.
You may check out my other blog post for more details.
It was already late in the afternoon when we’ve settled down our things. After resting for about an hour, we decided to go see the well known Cape Bolinao Lighthouse.
Having built for almost a century now, one can see the stained whitewash covering the trunk of the 351 ft lighthouse.
Beside this towering history resides The Ruins of Bolinao, as many have called it.
The horizon of the South China Sea from Cape Bolinao somehow made me sad because of its pale gray-ish color. Nevertheless, it’s still a moment that deserves to be cherished.
We headed back to the resort just before sunset and spent the rest of the night just watching the sun hide away from view.
And oh by the way, it’s our 41st monthsary. Another memory to keep.❤️
On the next day, we really didn’t do much. Since relaxing is a luxury for us these past days, we just decided to stay in the resort until check out.
With a view of the creamy-white sands of Patar Beach, I could say, it was a nice and relaxing stay.
Since Enchanted Cave is just nearby, we paid a visit to this famous tourist destination in Bolinao.
It is called as Enchanted Cave because according to the tour guide, it was once under the ocean. Giant clams or Taklobo (how their locals refer to it) are even preserved and kept as is.
Even the corals are said to be existing within the area for quite some time now. Like 10 million years ago?
It was amazing to know that caves can be found under the ocean pretty much that long years ago. I didn’t know this until our visit to this place. So anyway, you can reach the cave pool for just 46 steps. Yes, you’ve read that right so no need to worry for your spelunking gears!
The cave pool underground was said to be connected to the South China Sea. That means when the ocean is on high tide, the cave pool would be around 10 ft. the least and on low tide, just around 6ft.
Entrance fee is Php 150 per head, inclusive of the amenities inside. It’s not the usual cave attraction. It’s actually privately owned and you can also book a room for your weekend getaway. Room rates ranges from Php 2,500 (kubo w/ aircon good for 2pax) – Php 8,000 (2 storey room w/ aircon good for 10 pax).
Hammocks are also all around the place so guests can freely rest if they’d wish to.
You can contact them at 09985774303, send them an e-mail over at email@example.com or visit their facebook page for more details.
Before we headed back to Manila, we went to the town proper and visited St. James the Great Parish Church.
And bought this local delicacy called Binungey. It’s a sticky rice cooked with gata in a bamboo. Best partnered with sugar, it tastes like suman!
HOW TO GET THERE
Via Private Transportation
From NLEX, head on to SCTEX then TPLEX. We just followed the GPS and the shortest route brought us to the Paniqui exit heading to the province of Tarlac. I was asleep most of the time in Tarlac so I’d say just follow the GPS! Tee-hee!
Once you’re in the vicinity of Pangasinan, you will get tired of seeing rice fields as you hop from different municipalities to the next. From Mangatarem – to Sual – to Alaminos – to Bani – and then finally, to Bolinao.
Via Public Transportation
There are direct routes straight to Bolinao from Cubao if you’d take on a Victory Liner Bus and it’s just for Php 459! More details on their website.
Five Star also has a direct route to Bolinao from Cubao. Bus ticket is also for Php 459 and if you happen to be from the South, you can alight from Pasay Terminal and pay Php 469 for the ticket. You may visit their website for more details.
I guess compared to private transpo, it would only take you 5-6 hours when you ride a bus. When you’re finally in Bolinao bus terminal, you can haggle with the tricycle drivers to bring you to your hotels in the cheapest fare possible. You might want to ask your hotel accomodation beforehand about the trike fares. You don’t want to be paying more than what it should really cost you.
05:00 ETD from Manila
07:00 Breakfast in NLEX
11:00 ETA + Lunch in Bolinao
12:00 Visit Bolinao Falls
14:00 Check-in + Rest
15:00 Cave Hopping (Enchanted Cave + Cindy’s Cave + Wonderful Cave)
17:30 Watch Sunset + Swim + Photo Ops
05:30 Watch Sunrise + Photo Ops
06:30 Breakfast + Rest
08:00 Kayaking (30 mins free in Punta Riviera)
08:30 Billiards + Pingpong (30 mins free use in Punta Riviera)
09:30 Swim + Rest
11:00 Check Out + Lunch
12:00 Visit St. James the Great Parish Church + Buy Pasalubong
13:00 ETD from Bolinao
20:00 ETA in Manila
ESTIMATED BUDGET BREAKDOWN
Gas + Toll Fees (Private Transportation) – Php 2,000
Bus Fare (Public Transportation) – approx. Php 1,000
Accomodation – approx. Php 4,500 / night
Food – Php 500
Entrance Fees – approx. Php 300
Pasalubong – Php 300
Another long happy hours on the road as we headed back to Manila. This time it took us 9 hours. Yup, that long! And I know you already know why. EDSA.
It was another weekend spent away from busy days and I’m glad to have spent it with my favorite person, again. It’s a routine I won’t ever get tired of.
Thank you for reading and I hope to have inspired you to travel more.