The sun was already high up when I gazed down the stunning scenery below. It was exactly as I saw it online except that I can feel the wind, slightly cool, comforting me from the heat. The distant sound of waves crashing was nothing more of a whisper as I savored the moment of seeing such a fine and beautiful cove.
In the three weeks I was in Puerto Princesa, subdivided in two trips last November, I was yearning to go to the beach. I searched online and got introduced to Nagtabon Cove, just around 45 minutes from the city proper. But after reading the directions wherein it said that it’s better to hire a motorcycle or a private vehicle to reach the place, I got disappointed. But fortunately, as an Airbnb contract photographer, a host requested the free photography service and his listing was right smack in Nagtabon Beach! He picked me up from the highway!
I waded into the water, warm in the shallow parts, cooler at the deeper sections. The fine sandy bottom was just great for the feet. There were quite a few rocks and what’s great with this beach is that there’s no sudden drop in the bottom but just a gradual deepening. Waves can get big at times, but the water is just so perfect.
The sand is fine, not as white as you might want it to be. The water is clear that you can see your toes clearly even at neck deep waters. The beach really looks wild and raw. Coconut trees line the shore and at each end there are two small resorts. I was told that the Marriott Hotel group was supposed to develop the area but had to stop due to some political wranglings.
What really makes Nagtabon Cove appealing is its undeveloped nature, to think that it’s quite near Puerto Princesa. You don’t have to pay and hire a boat to enjoy the sea like when you do the tours in Honda Bay. It’s so rural, its raw and it’s just darn so beautifully charming.
GETTING THERE: If you will just commute, ride a van going to the north at the New Terminal in San Jose, Puerto Princesa (P50, as of November 2015). Tell the driver to drop you off at the Filoil gasoline station in Bacungan. From there, you can either hire a tricycle or a habal-habal (motorcycle). The road is well paved till the fork with a sign going to Nagtabon Beach. From here to the beach, its a gravelly road and is said to be difficult to negotiate when it rains. If you decide to go to the viewdeck, just continue with the road after the fork and in about 50 meters you can see a small hut with a barbed wire fence where you can check out the scenery below. It’s private property and owner is planning to charge visitors. Note that there is no cellular signal at the beach.
TIP: Go on a weekday and you can have the beach, no, the cove all to yourself. Weekends can get busy.