Bagolatao Trilogy’s Part 1: Basking In The Natural Scenery

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 Sur. 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 traveled 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 development 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 was 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.


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23 Comments Add yours

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    Jeepney. What a cool sounding word. Never heard of it and interesting mode of transportation. What a beautiful place Bagalatao is. As you said, no hotels and touristy attractions around, just the beach. Just peace. Nature. Being at one with nature and the world. Beautiful shots from start to finish. Love your angle on the pebbles. I bet walking on them felt therapeutic with such views all round…like walking on eggshells that will never crack – bit unsteady on your feet but quite an exhilirating yet calming experience. Hope you enjoyed your trip, Sony 🙂


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I had the time of my life I must say, Mabel. It’s one of those trips that I remember vividly.

      Thank you for the kind words as always!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shofar says:

    I really enjoyed this post and all your beautiful photos! God bless you in your travel adventures! Did you get to swim?


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Yes, Liz. We swam on the second day. That would be the last of the trilogy.

      Thank you for always sharing your kind words here! I very much appreciate them.


  3. Bro, Bagolatao is a indeed God’s masterpiece, an island paradise, pure and untarnished from the materialistic, modern world. Time seemed to be on a stand still and the golden sunset so blissfully peaceful. Everything about it reminded me of home and all my happy, simple childhood memories. Thanks for sharing your adventure. Somehow, it felt like I walked the beach with you barefoot having the most amazing time. Belated Happy Mother’s Day to you wife. God bless you and your family always.


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Thanks for the greeting, bro. Consider it relayed to my wife. Bagolatao is indeed a perfect place for respite. I hope it will still be as it is when I get back there in the future. Less touristy, quiet, cool clime, young beach, are only some of the best descriptions of the place.


  4. Cecilia says:

    Great post and beautiful pictures. I felt as if I was there. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      The pleasure is mine, Cecilia. That is exactly the idea. Bringing you in my country or giving you a feel of my country’s beauty.


  5. ella decena says:

    Bagolatao is such a wonderful place here in Bicol Region.


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I am confirming that, Ella. Bicol is indeed a wonderful place…not only in the Bicol Region but Philippines as a whole.


  6. Mariyah says:

    I am a bit concused abou the room rates. The one with 3 beds is cheaper the the single bed one? How much is the single-bed room? Thanks!


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Hi, Mariyah. The answer is P750. That’s what we booked when we were there.


      1. Mariyah says:

        Ok thanks! One more question, how do I get there from Naga and back? Are there jeepneys that don’t have to be rented that go straight to bagolatao or do I have to get off at the terminal in minalabac and get another ride?


      2. Sony Fugaban says:

        There are jeepneys going straight to Bagolatao but their pick-up time is limited. The last jeepney leaves Naga City (terminal is near LCC Mall) at 8:00 am. But I advise you to be at the terminal earlier.

        The real challenge is the availability of jeepneys bound to Naga. If I remember it correctly, the last jeepney leaves before 3:30 am. We were unable to catch it, of course. We then rented a habal-habal in the morning but that is only until Minalabac junction where regular jeepneys can be taken. This is the second option.


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