Borawan Beach in Pagbilao Chica Island is the nearest among the three beaches from the town of Padre Burgos. You can reach the island in less than 10 minutes by boat. It is home to fascinating rock formations reminiscent to that of Palawan’s. Its sand, though white, is not as fine as Boracay’s. There are cottages for rent and camping is allowed. Shower rooms and toilets are also available. The beach is suitable for swimming. You may swim at the netted areas to protect yourself from jellyfish.
- Take a bus to Lucena Grand Terminal. Travel time is around 4-5 hours.
- From Lucena Grand Terminal, take another bus heading to Unisan. Go down at Brgy. Marao or Brgy. Basiao in the town of Padre Burgos. Travel time is approximately 1.5 hours.
- Take a boat to Borawan Island. From Brgy. Marao or Brgy. Basiao, rent a boat to the island. There are a lot of resorts that offer boat service to the island. Canvas and haggle with boatmen since prices are not standard.
By private transportation: Take SLEX. Exit at Sto.Tomas then head right. Follow the Pan-Philippine Highway passing by the cities of San Pablo, Tiaong, Candelaria and Sariaya until you reach Lucena. From Lucena City, continue to Pan-Philippine Highway passing by the town of Pagbilao until you reach a fork with road signs to Old Zigzag Road (Left) and Padre Burgos (Right). Head right to Padre Burgos until you reach Brgy. Marao or Brgy. Basiao. From there, rent a boat to Borawan Island. There are safe parking spaces in town, just talk to your boatman.
WHERE TO STAY
There are no hotels or inns available in Borawan. However, you can rent open cottages and tents for a day or overnight. There are accessible shower rooms and toilets as well. For food, there’s a sari-sari store offering rice meals, beverages and snacks. Prices are quite steep though.
- 0300 Take bus to Lucena Grand Terminal
- 0700 Arrival at Lucena Grand Terminal. Take bus to Unisan.
- 0830 Arrival at Brgy. Basiao, Padre Burgos
- 0900 Take boat to Lukang Beach
- 0935 Arrival at Lukang Beach. Explore Kwebang Lampas. Swim.
- 1125 Depart for Dampalitan Beach
- 1150 Arrival at Dampalitan Beach. Explore Breakwater. Lunch.
- 1330 Depart for Borawan Island
- 1345 Arrival at Borawan Island. Set-up camp. Explore Borawan Island. Swim.
After exploring Lukang Cove, Kwebang Lampas and Dampalitan Island, we went straight to Borawan Island to camp. You will be approached by island staff and be asked to pay fees. Don’t lose the “receipt” they will give you just in case another staff will ask you for fees. You can basically set-up camp anywhere. Remember to avoid setting up camp near the shore. You may get your things wet from the early morning high-tide.
The right-end of the beach is where you will find the sari-sari store. They sell beverages, chips and meals. There are netted swimming areas at both ends since there have been reports of jellyfish on the island. You will see rock formations reminiscent of Palawan’s.
Climbing rock formations is allowed but tourists are strongly advised to take caution when doing so. The sand, though white, is not as fine as Boracay’s. It’s majorly composed of small shells and pebbles. The water can get murky at the crowded parts.
- 0900 Wake up call. Breakfast
- 1000 Break-camp
- 1100 Depart for Brgy. Basiao, Padre Burgos
- 1130 Lunch
- 1230 Depart for Lucena Grand Terminal
- 1400 Arrival at Lucena Grand Terminal. Take bus to Manila
- 1900 Arrival at Manila
Do some last minute swimming when the tide’s high in the morning. The water is also clearer. Don’t forget to get the number of your boatman so they’ll know what time you will be picked up. You can freshen up at Borawan before leaving since there are toilets and shower rooms there. You can also take a shower in Brgy. Basiao or Brgy Marao. Wait at the main road for your bus back to Lucena Grand Terminal, then from there transfer to a bus bound for Manila.
- Transportation: P440 Roundtrip bus Manila-Lucena-Manila. P80 Roundtrip bus Lucena-Unisan-Lucena.
- Accommodation: Free. Cottage Rentals: P850/day or P1250 overnight. Tent Rental: P500. Tent Space: P200 small and P250 large.
- Food: Free. There’s a sari-sari store offering meals, snacks and beverages.
- Entrance Fees: For Borawan, it’s P220/head overnight. P150/head day-trip. Student and senior day-trip and overnight rates: P115/head and P180/head respectively. Entrance for 4 years old and below is free.
- It’s best to visit during the weekdays. It can get really crowded during the peak season and summer weekends.
- The only sari-sari store in Borawan is relatively high-priced. It’s better to buy your food in Padre Burgos. It would be cheaper and better If you can bring and cook your own food. There are grilling stations near the sari-sari store.
- Don’t forget to bring your own light source. Borawan staff turns off the island’s generator at around 11pm. Bring your powerbanks as well.
- Netted swimming areas are available at both ends of the beach to protect you from jellyfish and sea urchin.
- You may contact Cris J, our boatman from Brgy. Basiao, at UPDATED 1/18/2016 New Numbers: 09501928546, 09055605947, 09074735193.