5 underrated swimming destinations for your long weekend trips

The cold months are coming and going real quick, and we’re about to welcome back the too-hot, overly sunny days of a Philippine summer once again. While we retire our oversized sweaters and exchange them for breezy linen polos, it might also be time to plan our beach trips. After all, March to May is the sweet spot for a bunch of long weekends, and the weather is just right to get a good dose of sunlight.

The thing about long weekends is you’re probably not the only one planning a trip to Siargao or La Union. To help you out, we looked through Instagram hashtags to find out which beaches are underrated and least posted about. Instead of trying to elbow through the crowd, maybe you can try these other destinations instead.

Calatagan, Batangas

The deep south holds a lot of underrated treasures, and one of those is the beaches of Batangas. I can personally vouch for how beautiful and, most importantly, how serene it is.

From Manila, it would take a 5-hour drive, but the peace and quiet is worth it. No need to feel the pressure of dressing up and expecting to bump into a work friend at the beach, because there’s typically not many people around, especially in the off-seasons. Enjoy clear waters and light sand all for yourself.

 

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Bolinao Falls, Pangasinan

This one is perfect for travelers who’d like to trade in the saltwater for something a little more, well, fresh.

Pangasinan is a bit more of a ways away, and will require a 6 to 7-hour road trip. Expect cold and crystal-clear waters to greet you at the falls, which has three levels to it. You can also go out and explore the local culture. Yes, that includes the food of course.

 

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Hinugtan Beach, Aklan

If you’d still like to visit the world-famous shores of Boracay but want to avoid the crazy summer crowd, Hinugtan Beach might be more your scene.

The place is often considered to be a duplicate of Boracay in its pre-party era state. Hinugtan has Boracay’s signature white sand and the cerulean blue waters, but all the cleanliness and serenity that it has lost over the years. Hopefully, it won’t meet the same fate as its look-alike’s.

 

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Kwebang Lampas, Quezon

Just to pick up from my earlier comment about the deep south, here’s another underrated treasure: the Kwebang Lampas Beach of Quezon.

Kwebang Lampas has waters that are clearer than a K-pop idol’s skin and sand that’s probably whiter than theirs, too. Okay, this might not be news considering the other destinations in this list, but what differentiates this spot from the others is that it has a cave perfect for wading during the low tide if you’re not about that tanning life.

 

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Nagsasa Cove, Zambales

Nagsasa Cove is just shy of La Union and Baler, and is usually a pit stop on the way to the surfing capital of San Juan. It’s often eclipsed by its more popular neighbors, but why not go ahead and make it your numero uno destination?

This place has all the peace and quiet that San Juan doesn’t really have as much of anymore, plus an impressive mountain range to add up to the view. Imagine the scene of setting up camp, whipping up a bonfire, and sharing stories under the stars a la an indie coming-of-age movie. Nagsasa Cove is a perfect place to do just that.

 

 

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Art by Renz Mart Reyes

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