I finally get to write about my trip to Burot Beach at Calatagan, Batangas with the BDT Gang some two weeks ago. It was a much needed trip and get together with the people I’ve known for almost nine years now. This also happens to be our first beach trip together, so it’s pretty special for me.
We left Las Piñas at four in the morning, with everyone in need of sleep. Everyone stayed up all night and had Krispy Kreme and Coke, which aren’t your best bet if you want to get some shuteye. We got some sleep on the way, but constantly woke up to check if we’re still alive. Our friend-cum-driver happened to be running at a hazardous speed, and we were all worried for our lives. Fortunately, we arrived in one piece at a public market in Calatagan to shop for food and other items we might need for the stay.
At 9 AM, we were already outside the beach area. Mind you, getting to Burot Beach is not normally limited to a five hour drive. It was just that we left early and our driver happened to have a death wish. The drive to the camp area was made difficult by the narrow, unpaved roads. When we finally got to the campsite, we saw that it was already populated with people setting up their own tents and securing their own areas in the camp. We found a spot and got busy setting up our place for the night.
At Burot Beach, there are no food establishments to buy food from. There’s a sari-sari store located far away from the campsite, but they offer very few food items, so buying food outside is still your best choice. They had several charcoal grills available for rent, but no stoves of any sort. The boys had to cook our food with firewood. It was fortunate that we brought a pan to cook our food with, and brought 5 gallons of water to last us through the day.
On the other hand, I was just busy slapping makeup on my face for a not-so-planned shoot we had in mind. I just wanted to make the most out of my first beach trip in years, so I decided to have a mini-cosplay shoot at the beach. I did get a lot of weird stares and got called out Dyesebel a couple of times. Cosplaying on the beach with makeup and a wig is not one of my best ideas (ever), but seeing the photos that we worked hard for makes it worth it.
One of the things we observed at Burot Beach was that the sand was very coarse, that it hurt our feet when we walked on the shore or jumped in the water without our slippers on. The waters of Burot Beach is also home to various sea creatures, making it extremely challenging for us to swim without freaking out every once in a while upon seeing jellyfishes, dead starfishes, and sea urchins floating around. It is an understatement to say that Burot Beach did not have a shortage on sea creatures. It would make a really good field trip destination if you wanted school kids to learn more about marine life.
The heat was intolerable that day. We couldn’t even go swim from 12 nn until 3 PM. It was impossible to swim without getting badly sunburned, the kind that not even sunblock can prevent. We tried cooling off by jumping into the water while holding an umbrella in one hand, but was unable to really dive in until around 4 in the afternoon.
After dinner, we lounged and rested for a while, before we decided to sit around the bonfire and share ghost stories. Luckily, I fell asleep, so I missed the spooky parts. We bought the firewood from the beach management, and (sneakily) gathered a few more from nearby campsites. There wasn’t any streetlights or lamp posts in the campsites, but we were able to get by with our flashlights and cellphones. It also follows that there was no electricity. It was a good thing that our friend brought with him his power bank. We were practically dependent on it for our gadgets.
Before we retired for the night, we headed to the shore and played 1-2-3 Clap. It’s really not the best choice of activity in a dark, spooky place, but we had lots of fun. I had my share of injuries for being too competitive, though. :)
Here are some of the things I learned from our trip, and some you might want to consider in planning for your outing at Burot Beach:
- Plan well. Figure out your mode of transportation early on. It would be best to secure a vehicle you can use for an entire day, because you can choose to sleep there instead of renting a tent and sleeping on the hard ground. Also plan what meals you can cook with firewood and a charcoal grill, because that’s the only way you can cook anything at the camp sites. Don’t forget to bring necessary cooking wares and utensils.
- Burot Beach has no decent comfort rooms and shower rooms. The place is considered a virgin beach. Unfortunately, this means they have not developed or built a decent CR for the guests. People, including us, found it preferable to pee in hidden areas at the campsite than using their unsanitary makeshift comfort room. The shower rooms are okay, but I preferred to shower at home.
- The beach has no electricity. Make sure to bring a flashlight and keep your phone fully charged before you head to Burot. It would be in your group’s best interest to bring a power bank with a huge charging capacity.
- Total Cost amounted to almost Php 800, inclusive of gas for our van, entrance fee, tent and charcoal grill rental fee, firewood, drinking water, and our meals for our whole stay. We had three meals, and lots of snacks in between.
- Don’t forget to plan activities you can do, especially during the peak of the afternoon heat. There’s not going to be a lot of swimming action from 12-3 PM, so think of what you can do during this time. Pack a frisbee or a board game, and maybe even a book to keep you busy. Also think of activities you can do at night. Gathering around a bonfire seems to be the popular choice of nighttime activity at Burot Beach, but you might be able to think of something else, because watching the firewood burn gets boring after a while.
- Be prepared to see a lot of sea creatures as you swim. Just a heads up.
If I think of anything else, I’ll add it to the list. Regardless of how lacking the beach is in standard comforts we enjoy in resorts, I had a great time at Burot Beach. At the end of the day, it’s not really the destination that counts. It’s the journey and the people you’re with that makes it interesting and worth your while.-HANA