Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tambobong, Pangasinan! 4 months later!

(photo: clear waters of Tambobong, Dasol, Pangasinan April 11, 2008)
We decided to go back and revisit Tambobong 4 months after our first foray into these parts. I'm really glad we did because we weren't disappointed. Our gracious host Mr.Leon Bobis, a local fisherman/mechanic, really took time to take us around the nearby islands and beaches.

We left Manila at 11pm and arrived in the town of Osmena, beside Tambobong, at 5:30am. For those who worry about road conditions, the last 18km or so is partly rough road but manageable even with our small rear-wheel drive, 600cc suzuki carry van.

(photo: hermana mayor island map, prime beach and airstrip images courtesy of TONET)

(photo below: hermana mayor island, NNE tip resort area)
Our host, Mr.Bobis, arranged our bangka and we were able to leave for Hermana Mayor Island at around 7am. I still know little about this so-called "private" island. A lot of rumors but little facts. What I do know is that there are deer and livestock injected into the island as well as leisure facilities constructed within it. When viewed via google earth, the island resembles a foot(and probably stinks as bad as its owners). Their lapdogs, literally stinky old men and obviously uneducated, were very rude and practically told us to just get lost.

To cut the story short, we decided to visit the nearby Balaki Island near Infanta and spend the day there, then go back to Osmena to setup camp in the evening. It was a true blessing in disguise as we would not have been able to fully enjoy Tambobong, Osmena and Burgos otherwise!

(photos: on the way to balaki island, aerial shot of balaki island courtesy of TONET)

Balaki Island is about 6.5 kilometers away from Hermana Mayor Island and about 4 kilometers away from the Infanta port. There is a new facility built there which the locals call a "Resort". I was so tired from driving all night that I immediately fell asleep when my back hit the folding bed. My companions and some of the local fisherfolk went ahead and caught some fish for our lunch and BOY did they catch a bounty! The beach water was BEAUTIFUL and there was plenty of fish here. One of the students, Deo, was able to catch fish enough to feed all of us by himself. The rest of the fish was brought back to their respective families for dinner that evening.
We drank mangganog (lambanog+mangga) that evening while we feasted on a delicious moray eel and octopus we caught earlier.

(photos: nipa hut houses in burgos, strange coral beach, cool resting place, friendly folk in burgos)


The next day we went to Timapog-na-bato which is a huge rock on a beach in Sitio Iliw-Iliw, Burgos. It is a barangay beside tambobong. The beach was a solid rock of coral or lime... The locals say that the sand comes and goes with the season. We brought only some mangoes and mangganog. We met a very friendly group there who shared their lunch with us and we shared our mangganog with them as well. Some in our group caught some more fish to add to lunch and we had a great time! There was a crisis when one of our boats ran out of gas and since nobody brought any money, we exchanged some lambanog for gasoline - to which the locals were just so happy to oblige! (siempre!)

(photos: on the way to balinmanok, balinmanok wreck, fresh fish for lunch!)

On our last day in Osmena, we visited the Balinmanok Wreck which, according to the stories, was a chinese smuggling vessel shipwrecked during the Estrada Presidency in 2000 carrying 600 kilos of shabu. The chinese were apprehended but somehow the shabu caught amounted to a mere 250kilos.

The wreck has been stripped of valuables and metals. It now acts as an artificial reef for small fish. According to our guide, the locals even dynamite this from time to time in desperation.

(photo: seagull in the eye of the crocodile!)

The surrounding waters around the wreck was cool and clear and we all enjoyed jumping from the bow of the ship into the crystal clear waters below. Our companions again caught some fish for us to lunch on and we all enjoyed our freetime after lunch just sleeping or playing frisbee and boomerang. The kids played in the waters all afternoon and got severe sunburns as a result.

(photo: waters around crocodile island, kabakungan cave, cave pool)

We then proceeded to go to one of the secret hiding places in tambobong. The Kabakungan cave! At low tide the waters in this cave is a clear ,chest deep swimming pool ! PERFECT for spending hot summer days!

The unspoiled beauty of tambobong is there for those who know where to look. There is nothing so beautiful as lying on its beaches while you let the sound of the waves lull you to sleep. Eating freshly caught fish with a sip of cold mangganog or an ice cold beer in your hand. Ah! Philippine summer is simply THE BEST!

PLEASE Visit the blog of my friend Allan !
(he posted fantastic images of our trip)
>> balaki island
>> balinmanok wreck
>> timapog na bato
>> kabakungan cave

VISIT the blog of one of the locals >> TAMBOBONGBOY


chinkee said...

love that shot of the water from the boat... gorgeous!

demeter said...

Thanks Chinkee. The waters of tambobong were very VERY clear. Not only that, the temperature was perfect! We played around in the waters until late in the evening because you won't notice the time once you enter the waters, sobrang sarap mag tampisaw dun talaga! I guess that's why we all ended up so dark.

Tonet said...

You obviously keep this blog with tender loving care. Been waiting for the next article... !


demeter said...

Hi Tonet. Sorry for keeping you in suspense but its the rainy season and there simply aren't much places worthwhile to go to. Maybe when the typhoon season is over? Thanks again for sharing your aerial photos with me!

kanunoy said...

keep it up!..

demeter said...

Hi, the contact numbers of the Bobises have changed. Please call 09075183062 and ask for Leon or Deo Bobis to coordinate your stay. These are not resorts but homestays. You can still opt to pitch your tents on the beach but please coordinate with these people first to ensure your safety. Also, some other guests might be arriving on the same day as you so if their house is already full then they can recommend the neighboring beachfront house. Relative nila yun. Mababait naman sila.

Anonymous said...

We visit Tambobong white beach resort and I admit it is beautiful place and I would like to go back again and bring my family for vacation we do have a lot of Fun., the road going there is kind of not easy but priceless when you will be there..!!!

demeter said...

@anonymous - thanks for visiting. stay anywhere or at any resort just make sure you visit again sir! Talagang maganda dun. I hope you do plan your vacation again soon. The roads have been mostly asphalted na. Konti nalang rough road. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sir, may I ask how much is the budget for two? Thank you! :D

demeter said...

@anonymous - Public transport ba? Bring your own food right? you will spend roughly 1k each for the trip back and forth, then 50 each for the maintenance fee, and maybe about 500 each for food. So you should total about 3.1k lang or thereabouts. Better checkout the latest info in the links below...




Anonymous said...

hi sir, im christian im just wondering if you can lend some detailed info bout how to get to balaki island what mode of transport is it best to get there, and how much would it cost me. im planning for a sunny vacation with my friends. hope you could reply. thanx in advance!

demeter said...

@christian - thanks for visiting. If you aim to stay on balaki island then you should find some cheap lodgings in Infanta or Sta.Cruz, the tip of Zambales. The island is near there and you can probably rent a banka thereabouts. I have not done this yet so I can't advise you properly, sorry. What I can advise is that you stay at Tambobong, preferably at the Pantalan Beach Resort with the Bobises, and then take a boatride (daytrip only) to Balaki Island. This way you get to hit two beautiful beaches in one trip. The boatride from tambobong to balaki will set you back about 1.8k round trip. I'm not sure if you can spend the night there as I have not done that yet. However, I saw some structures being built the last time I was in Balaki Island. Some kind of resort? unconfirmed ito. If you plan to stay at balaki island then you have to ask the Bobises if they can stay with you para tipid sa gas. Mabait naman yung kuya ni Deo, si Joey Bobis who runs the bangka.
You can view the images my friend took when we went to Balaki Island last 2008 by following this link

BALAKI ISLAND: images by Lantaw

ianisme said...

sharing my first time in tambobong.. this last weekend of may, it will be my third time this year

those who wants to join our trip.. please visit here

Anonymous said...

i've been to tambobong twice this year. gusto ko ulit bumalik doon. dinala ako ng friend ko kasi may mga pinsan siya doon. doon siya lumaki hanggang 7 years old siya. sa kabakungan & nagtaros beach niya ako pinapasyal. ang ganda ng lugar.

Jay-R Q. said...

RAT RAT RIDERS CLUB will see you on arpil 3 2015 ;)