Bagolatao, a coastal barangay in Minalabac town, south of Naga City is less touristy but a visit to its white pebbly beach can surprise you with the many but simple possibilities that will make your visit memorable. Below are the ten simple things that you can do in this place that only locals know. For now.
Enjoy the warm and clean water as you frolic at the beach. During weekdays, expect the strip all to yourself. On weekends and holidays, locals take over. There’s no busloads of tourists, or touts selling you massages or overpriced and fake sunglasses. Alternatively, let the smooth and round pebbles massage your feet while you walk barefoot.
2. Eat native delicacies or sip on a freshly picked coconut
Turon on the cheap? Or ask the beach caretaker to bring you young coconuts and sip on the refreshing and healthy coconut water then enjoy the gelatinous and semisweet coconut meat while you look to the horizon and into the future to contemplate on life.
3. Sit back. Lounge on a chair at the veranda of the native house
Feel the wind. Let time pass by. Do nothing. Rest your feet on the porch railing. Or read a book. This is the slow, easy life. Unhurried. Listen to the murmuring of the waves or the sound of birds fluttering about. Or listen to the innocent laughter of children frolicking at the beach.
4. Check out interesting shells at the Bicol Shell Museum
It’s just across the road from White Pebble Beach and the shell museum showcases hundreds of different kinds of Philippine shells, from simple to ornate. From plain white to colorful. These are shells that have been collected by the owner, Leovigilio Basmayor.
5. Conquer a mountain or explore the marine protected area underneath
Why not hike to the peak at this mountain and take in the breathtaking view of Bagolatao? From a distance, you can already sea Burias Island and the perfect cone of Mt. Mayon. Or don your snorkels and explore the underwater flora and fauna.
6. Go boating and explore the coastline of Bagolatao
Bagolatao has more to offer than just frolicking at the beach. Go to the other side beyond the rocks. Explore the rock shelter or fresh mountain spring. Cruise the sea. Enjoy and get sprayed occasionally with sea water.
8. Explore the rock shelter
Hop on a boat and tell the boatman to bring you to the “cave” which is more like a rock shelter as it’s just a hollow opening with no tunnel going in. It’s a bit rugged and may require an experienced boatman to maneuver the outrigger boat. Once you’re here, it’s a pretty little place for photos.
8. Join the kids at the rock outcrop
From afar, the rocky outcrop is teeming with children playing. And why not just join them there or if you’re all alone, why not have your own moment or your own photoshoot? During high tide, the rocks become islets. It’s just a very short walk from the beachline and not too far from the beach huts.
9. Enjoy the cool waters from a spring
From White Pebble Beach, take a banca to the mountain spring that empties out into the sea. The water is cool and quite refreshing that I stayed there for a while and just enjoyed the mini waterfall. If you follow the water upstream, it will lead you into a kind of forest.
10. Look for shells and other sea life at the exposed sea grass
During low tide, sea grass is exposed. With the setting sun, it turns golden and people usually go here to look for shells. Explore this patch. You might discover something interesting.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Naga City, head to Minalabac. If you’re riding a private vehicle or hiring one, you can just go directly to Bagolatao’s White Pebble Beach. There are directions once you get to the coast. Or, if you see the Bicol Shell Museum, the beach is directly infront. If you’re on public transport, head to Minalabac and from there are tricycles and probably motorcycles or habalhabal that you can hire. Beach huts are available for rent, cheaply.