Monday, May 6, 2013

Travel Story | Burot Beach - Sunset, Sandbars and Shooting Stars

clear skies and calm waters

It all started with a phone call...

A couple of nights before this adventure, I was talking on the phone with my friend, Israel, when I casually mentioned my desire to go to Burot Beach. He immediately googled it and said that we should go after checking out some of the photos online. He was very relentless in persuading me (there was some pleading involved). I finally said yes (barring the tears that might eventually follow the pleading. hehehe).

And so there was two...

The next day, my brother and her girlfriend added me to their conversation on Facebook chat (they were arguing about my brother's crazy haircut). I casually mentioned the trip and all hell broke loose. Again with the pleading and then there was some drama... 

To cut the story short, there were four of us who embarked on this adventure.

"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It's always our self we find in the sea."

- E.E. Cummings -

Being the more experienced member of the group when it comes to camping and outdoors stuff, logistics was my responsibility. I researched and planned our trip, from how to get there to the things that we should bring and other details (thank God for the many travel bloggers out there who share their experiences online, they sure make research easy). 

The only problem we had was that we only have one tent (my poor Wenzel and yes my tent has a name) and it can only house three persons at the most (sardines-style). Luckily, tents are available for rent at Burot Beach (see details in Travel Guide | Burot Beach, Calatagan, Batangas).

the old port
We traveled to the Bus Terminal near the MRT Taft Station around 3:30 am last Friday, hoping to catch the 4:00 am BSC bus to Calatagan, Batangas, only to arrive and find out that there isn't a trip that will take us directly to Calatagan. The bus driver and conductor explained to us that they were recently prohibited from traveling directly to Calatagan because of some political issues and that they might be allowed to do so again after the elections. They told us that we can get off at Lian, Batangas and that we can just ride a jeepney or bus to Calatagan. And so we loaded our things on the bus, shared two cups of hot Taho (I ♥ Taho!) while waiting, boarded and got comfortable (I mostly slept for the first 2 hours of our journey) as our bus left the terminal at 4:36 am.

After a two and a half hours on the road, the conductor informed us that we have arrived at Lian and that we can ride the ordinary bus behind us to Calatagan. Our second bus ride was not as comfortable but since it was still around 7:00 am, the wind from the open windows was quite refreshing and we were too excited to care about the bus being full or that we had to sit with our backpacks on our laps.

the view from our campsite
The ride to Calatagan Public Market took around 45 minutes. We still had a few supplies to buy and we were quite hungry, so we stretched our legs, shopped and ate breakfast before embarking on the last leg of our journey to Burot Beach, a 15 to 20 minute tricycle ride to the beach.

We arrived at Burot Beach around 9:00 am and we were greeted by a nearly deserted beach, clear skies, and peaceful waters. We were very lucky with the spot that we picked for our campsite because it was right in the middle of the shore, we were under a tree with a wide canopy that offered shade anytime of the day and we were beside a big old bamboo raft that we used as sitting and lounging area.

We enjoyed our stay in Burot Beach a lot. It was relatively quite in the area since we arrived there on a Friday morning but more and more campers arrived as the day progressed and more kept coming until the next day. I bet staying in Burot Beach during weekdays is like heaven, especially to those who love the quite and solitude.


taken from our campsite using my mobile phone at 6:13 pm

I saw some amazing photos of sunsets taken from the shores of Burot Beach while I was doing my research on the internet and was excited to witness it myself. My companions shared the same feeling and were already tinkering and setting up their DSLR's an hour before sunset. At around 6:00 pm, I stayed at our campsite to watch the sun slowly sink and disappear while my companions roam around to get better camera angles.

The view was so captivating. The skies changed into so many colors, from blue to pink to gold to an almost reddish hue. It was amazing!


Here are some photos taken by my brother, Aaron and my friend, Israel.




After having dinner, some booze and some card games, we decided to drag my big blue tarp near the water so that we could all lie down and watch the stars. It was such a clear and cloudless night that staring at the stars made me feel so insignificant compared to the wonder of what we were all looking at. 

While we all just contentedly laid there staring at the vast night sky, we were all surprised when we saw several shooting stars. Israel mentioned this earlier that day, that there might be some sightings of shooting stars. I saw a shooting star before but it was my first time to witness a meteor shower. It was so amazing! I laid there, craning my neck left, right, up and down every so often so that I don't miss the sometimes brilliant streaks of light. I counted 20 very visible shooting stars in two hours (made a wishes every single time, yes I did!) and I think I saw more than 20 but they were farther and not as bright that I couldn't be sure if they weren't just my imagination. Sometimes, we would all see one shooting star at the same time and we would all shout and point to where we've seen it apear. It was so cool!

Note: I immediately researched about the meteor shower that we witnessed as soon as I was back in Manila. I found out that it was from the comet dust that smashes into Earth's atmosphere. This event is called Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower and it happens because our planet crosses the orbital path of Halley’s Comet. Read about it here.

Star Trail photo by ISRAEL

I wished upon a shooting star as I lay alone one night;
To send me someone wonderful who'd love me all my life,
Someone really special who would take me as his own;
Then that shooting star exploded, leaving me in darkness all alone.

I Wished Upon A Shooting Star
- Andrea Kennedy -


The following morning, we were approached by a local boater who asked us if we wanted to go island hopping for less than Php 50.00. It turned out that the "island" is actually a shoal or long stretch of sand in the middle of the water (just a 10 minute boat ride away) beyond the right side of the Burot Beach. It was quite the experience because our ride left us in the middle of the shoal for like 20 minutes and we were stranded in its knee-deep waters. Unfortunately, there were no starfishes (or any other sea life for that matter) during our short exploration. We swam some and walked around a bit but we all decided to head back to Burot Beach as soon as the boater returned with other "island hoppers". We rode out around 10:00 am and it was really hot. According to "Kuya", our boatman, this stretch of sand is visible and dry when the tide is low and starfishes are often around when it isn't.

Overall, our Burot Beach adventure was so much fun and very memorable. I am planning to go back soon because given that it is but a few hours from Manila, Burot Beach is very accessible compared to other "beacheneering" sites that I've been to. Also, according to online sources, this beach is now privately owned and that it will soon be closed to vacationers and visitors, perhaps to develop it into a private resort. I will come back. I just hope that I will get to see another marvelous sunset and a shooting star or two on my return.

Planning to visit Burot Beach? Read my Travel Guide.

TERE TEREBOL | i  backpacking


    i'm sure you can enjoy the beautiful
    white sand the clean water
    you can relax the beautiful place
    Try it Believe it
    just call or text : kuya Romy
    to guide you any time you want
    or tricycle ride to burot beach
    php 150 good for 1 to 3 person
    from public market to burot beach
    contact no : 09266452950

  2. hi! I'd like to ask what month did you go to Burot Beach? thanks! :)

  3. Sorry for the late response...

    To answer your question:

    > I think it is best to visit Burot Beach (or any beach area for that matter) between the months of February and May. Summer time!

    > You can also check the Comments section of my Travel Guide post for Burot Beach for the phone numbers of some tricycle drivers from the area. Send them a text message to ask if the weather is good and if the water is clear.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Thanks for sharing your travel story, you never get wronged of choosing Batangas! Thera are really awesome places in Batangas! You may also visit Playa Calatagan Residences that offer a beach condos for sale in Calatagan Batangas.

  5. Burot beach soon become private resort own by SM maganda sa burot beach laluna pag mahilig kang kumain ng sea urchin marami talaga doon specially low tide high tide will start at 1pm until evening time

  6. Hi I am from Philippines but living in United States now. Hindi pa ako nakapunta ng Burot pero plano namin pumunta soon sa aming next travelling to the Philippines.

  7. Great post! Have you ever checked out these beach coolers with wheels for your next beach adventure?