When we hear the word “beach”, what usually comes to mind is an expanse of sand along a shore. Until I came across White “Pebbles” Beach at Brgy. Bagolatao in Minalabac, Camarines Norte. I had been to several beaches in the Bicol Region but it is only when I had my vacation a month ago that I heard of that pebble beach, from my sister who had been there in 2013. According to her and google, it is still considered less frequented, to date, given its proximity to Naga City.
The Wandering Feet in me is always driveling on setting foot in less visited places. There is something special about it. My exposure to the hurly-burlies of a modern citied life transcended my appreciation of discovering places off the beaten track, somewhere less world-beating but quieter. It was there that I started to object to following the herd and prefer places from tourist clichés, which are often the case. That being said, I am, of course and still, eager to explore touristy places if there is a chance.
Those information really banged my curiosity. I then thought that it will be a perfect place for nature therapy (which I do religiously), backpacking experience, and advance-romantic-anniversary celebration. I immediately stretched the budget at hand just to include it in my itinerary.
In the early morning of April 17, my travel buddy, Ms. Wonderwall, and I travelled to Bagolatao via a jeepney from Naga City, which is just a fifteen minute drive from our abode. The terminal for jeepneys going to said place is located beside the biggest, first ever LCC Mall in city. We failed to catch the first trip so we had to wait for four hours (i.e., up to 8:45 AM) to trap the second. I seized the opportunity to converse with a woman, who is apparently from the place, beside me. Our conversation ended up informative. She warned me that returning from Bagolatao is quite a challenge. I had to make a note of it.
Cruising the provincial road for approximately two hours signifies remonstrance on the part of the driver. It entails passing a declivitous terrain not to mention the 200-meter ridge two kilometers before capturing a glimpse of the deep blue Ragay Gulf. This marks reaching the area of Bagolatao proper. We saw a signage bearing “White Pebbles Beach Resort” a few minutes later.
An hour before midday, we checked in to one of their five native houses made of native bamboo and nipa. Since it was a weekday, the beach was literally ours—thank God! I could induce Ms. Wonderwall to dance with the camera. I can no longer remember the last time she posed for a primary photo. I am glad she did.
The picturesque pebbles beach and its glorious natural scenery are just too silken to ignore. We needed to feast on them before we had our lunch. For a moment, we had a piece of something to call ours–even though transitorily.
The sky looked like a blue still life stippled with white, fine clouds.
When we were having lunch, the stupendous view of the cerulean waters and clear sky made us pause and throw a gander at each of them every once in a while.
One thing that makes the whole of Bagolatao a standout for me is the absence of fancy real estate developments like hotels or air-conditioned resorts in the area. Laid-back is the word. I believe that should be the way nature is—not exorbitant.
We took a nap after stuffing some food in our sacs then lounged on our tavern’s veranda while resting our feet on the porch railing—simultaneous with harking to the purring waves and cantillating birds. This is one of those rare moments that will really force you to put your phone down.
When the scorching heat of the sun slackened, we explored more of what the place has to offer.
We were enamored with the mini waterfall at the foot of the nearby forest, which is just a short walk from White Pebbles Beach’s huts. I tried to capture its charm.
What made us truly knuckle under by then are the smooth and round pebbles forming a bevy of instant gemstones. We needed to traipse the wide expanse of pebbles barefoot. The product is a free, rejuvenating massage to our soles.
Looking intently at the pebbles in the photos later on led me to consulting the modern dossier. I learned that a beach made up of pebbles is very young. This kind of beach is formed gradually over time as the ocean water washes over loose rock particles. Such process gives the pebbles their smooth, rounded appearance.
Much later, we hiked our way to the hilltop. We stayed there for a while to fully appreciate the almost circumambient view of the whole Bagolatao shoreline.
Our plan to dip in the waters was postponed. We decided to swim in the morning.
It was already dusking when we descended—just in time to catch another exquisite feat of nature: sunset. But before that, the sight of golden seagrass that emerged because of low tide did trap our attention.
Sunsets never fail to infuse wonder into this kind of routine. Gazing out into that color-soaked sky brings every sightseer into the present moment and empowers him to regain control of the clock. It did bring us to the present moment but, I bet, I was the one who experienced the regaining of the clock control more.
The unhampered view of the sunset was a wonderful way to end the day. There is something more inherently powerful and spiritual in watching the sun forming an intense effusion of its reflected light from a mountain rather than a skyscraper. This is one of God’s handiworks that reinforce the idea of celebrating life’s gifts always and being thankful each day.
The Pebble Beach in Bagolatao, Minilabac (maxtermind.com)
White Pebble Beach near Naga City | Travel Up (traveling-up.com)
White Pebble Beach BEACH in Bagolatao (happytrips.com)
It’s more fun in Bicol: Bagolatao Pebble Beach in Minalabac (itsmorefuninbicol.blogspot.com)
bagolatao: the pebble beach of bicol – traveling balance (balance31.com)
Bagolatao, Camarines Sur (wikipedia.org)