beach bumming, travel

Pretty chill at Burot Beach

For the first weekend of March, Justin, DJ, and I headed to Calatagan’s famous Burot Beach. Other than encountering a couple of poisoned youths, it was a pretty relaxing weekend.

I’ve been fascinated with Burot Beach ever since I read a blog about it being a cheap beach getaway that has all the makings of greatness; no electricity, no commercial establishments, and an overnight trip can cost you about PHP1000. When Justin finally got his tent, I convinced him to check out the place. We invited a few friends to come along, but only DJ obliged our invite. OUR FRIENDS DO NOT LOVE US.

Burot Beach is a 3-hour drive from Las Pinas via Cavitex and the Ternate-Nasugbu Road. You can take the SLEX and the travel time would be pretty much the same, except it wouldn’t be as scenic as the Ternate-Nasugbu Road. On a clear day, you’ll get fab views of the Mariveles range in Bataan, just sitting majestically across the bay. Thanks to DJ’s dad who bought us a full tank of gas, we headed out on a sunny Saturday for a chill ride. The road to Calatagan was pretty straightforward, and in no time at all we found ourselves in a market in Calatagan, buying food.

Although we tried to plan our meals, we were a bit lost in the market. We forgot to have the fish cleaned, and we weren’t sure whether to get chicken or pork. In the end we returned to the market to have the fish cleaned, buy a humongous block of ice, and buy some pork cubes for a spicy Sunday lunch. DJ, being the ever-ready tita, brought with him a huge cooler and probably 50% of the utensils and kitchenware found in his house. I don’t think Justin and I would survive  the weekend without DJ.

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Dirt road to Burot Beach

From the market, it took us about 30 minutes to get to the entry point to Burot Beach. We paid P10 (for the three of us) and the guard gave us a trash bag. A really great initiative considering that there are zero maintenance workers to help clean the beach. Because of this, I expected the beach to be somewhat clean, but we’ll get to that later. A 10-minute drive from the guardhouse through a rough road was the last stage of the drive, and we soon came upon the campsite. There we paid… I forgot. It was about PHP300 for the three of us for an overnight stay. Still relatively inexpensive.

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Having read the LostKidsPH entry about Burot Beach, I quickly convinced Justin and DJ that we should camp out in the “secret” beach, which is just another stretch of sand west from the parking space. We walked there under the heat of the sun and to my delight we discovered that yes, the “secret” beach didn’t have much campers. Yay! When we got there, there were about 3 separate campsites set up with enough distance from each other. Unfortunately, the best spots were taken. Thankfully, we saw what seemed like a nice, quiet spot enough to shade our tents that we decided to settle there.

Remember what I said about trash and trash bags? Yeah, that was what greeted us in our chosen spot. A small hill of trash. How hard is it to take your trash bags to the campsite and dispose of it properly? Jeez. Thanks to DJ, who had enough foresight to bring gloves and shitloads of trash bags, we cleaned up the space to make it at least livable for the remainder of our stay. I was really disappointed. We keep on promoting and sharing lesser known beaches to other people but irresponsible tourists rape the places we fall in love with. At least take your trash bag and give it to the guard in the entrance of the campsite before you leave, guys.

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Nothing says “welcome” more than a pile of trash.

After that bit, DJ, Justin and I had a swell time. We hung out at the beach, cooked some fish, and tried desperately to light a bonfire (we failed). The next campsite had a mini bachelorette party for one of their friends called Mary, which was really fun to watch. The sunset in Burot Beach is pretty great — although you can’t actually watch the sun set over the horizon, the colors of the sky were beautiful. I would go back on a weekday when there’s less people. Come night time, we gazed at the stars while listening to house music c/o DJ. Then we decided to sleep.

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Obviously we can’t build a fire with that but they still tried.

Around 3 in the morning, however, I woke up a bit scared. I thought somebody was rummaging through our cooler, only to find out it was DJ, having a bit of a tantrum. When he was done getting a beer, Justin and I realized why DJ was so fucking mad. Apparently, in the middle of the night, a bunch of people our age went to the area and just started hanging out there. While we have no problems with that, the fact that they were so loud and so obnoxious was really annoying. Justin had the decency to go out and ask them, politely, to turn their music down. They did as they were told, but their voices were so loud. I really, really didn’t need to know that their individual contribution for the trip was P110. Really.

It was hard to go back to sleep after that. Justin started to prepare for his morning run while DJ and I just hung out. I walked to the farthest side of the cove to escape the noise, but yeah, I could still hear the “poisoned youths” and their horrible music. 😦 Not exactly how I imagined I’d wake up in Burot Beach. The fellow campers were annoyed, too. The bachelorette party group packed up early and talked to the poisoned youths. After that, they were gone. And with that, everybody else was gone except for the three of us, which suited us just fine. We prepared our lunch and ate and talked in peace. After that, it was time to pack up and leave at noon WITHOUT SHOWERING.

Just joking. We stopped by one of the homes near Burot Beach that offer showers for a fee. Boy did it feel great to finally wash off all that salt and sweat in my skin. I felt like a new person. After that, it was back to the road and we managed to be back in Las Pinas by 3 in the afternoon.

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I can’t really give you guys a complete breakdown of how much we spent for the weekend, but individually I think we spent nothing more than PHP1000. Actually, I think our individual expenses fell under a thousand bucks. The fish and the pork were cheap, DJ’s dad took care of the gas, and we brought most of our supplies anyway.

If you’re planning on going to Burot Beach for a camping weekend, leave early so you can secure a nice spot on the main beach, where the shoreline is actually prettier in my humble opinion. There is no electricity in Burot Beach, so bring head lamps. You can also do what my friend did — buy rechargeable lamps in Daiso. There are public restrooms in the campsite, but I was told they can get really dirty. If you’re not too big on that, you can always clean up after the trip in one of the homes located a couple of meters away from the guardhouse. I’m not sure how to get there by commute, but check out LostKidsPH for tips. It was my go-to guide for the Burot Beach trip.

Our camping weekend in Calatagan just marks the start of our summer adventures. I still have plenty of stories to share with you. Hopefully I’ll find time to write them — I have about 3 separate trips to blog about hehe. Until then!

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