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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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May 19, 2014

dasol | pangasinan: i finally found my way back to tambobong


Early Morning in Tambobong

One of the places that got me to shoot and blog about Philippines' hidden gems. For years I have been going back there to enjoy its beauty and its people's hospitality. Then I stopped. Four (4) years of no Dasol. Work and some lame excuses got in the way. I vowed to be back, and so I did. This time I got the whole family in tow (all the way from South Cotabato in Mindanao), and several of my good friends (we were 14 in our group!). It a great weekend of sun, sea, sand, and warm hospitality. No fancy accommodations, no beach parties - just the way we like it.

Life in a Fishing Village

Despite the popularity of Pangasinan as a beach destination, particularly Alaminos for its Hundred Islands, Bolinao for its Patar Beach, and some of the beaches in Anda, this fishing village on the western-most coast of Pangasinan has remained relatively off the radar.

Related post: Salt making in Dasol


Sure its getting some "air time" lately - getting featured in some travel shows, but nothing much has changed since I last saw it. And that is definitely a good thing! I did saw a lot more make-shift huts on the beach, but its summer and that is seasonal.

Tambobong Boats

But change is inevitable, and I'm sure the province has plans to "develop" the place into a major tourist destination. I cringe when I hear the word "develop", for it usually spells disaster. The bad roads that has kept Tambobong out of reach for years are now being concreted. Soon it will be as accessible as any of the popular spots in the province.

For now, I relish the fact that its still holding on to its rustic and raw beauty that has attracted many of us in the first place. If you somehow find yourself in the piece of paradise one weekend, be sure to check out the following, while they are still there for you to enjoy:

(1) Cabacungan cove

Cabacungan Cove

This is a short bangka ride from Tambobong beach. Its a small cove just off one end of Tambobong beach. During lowtide its actually possible to walk to that area, but the best way would be via outrigger boat.

On the way there you'll see interesting rock formations like the Crocodile Island, whose shape has an uncanny resemblance to that of a crocodile's head.

Cabacungan Cove

Cabacungan is not great for swimming, but its nice for snorkeling during low tide. The shallow area is dotted with small holes that are filled with colorful fishes. But the great attraction in the cove is probably the small cave on one end with a pool of emerald green water. There are blow holes on top of the cave and I've seen folks jump into the pool via the hole.

Cabacungan Cove

You will also notice that the beach is lined with rust and red colored rocks.  Years ago, the beach is also full of white sun-bleached round rocks. These white rocks are almost gone now, for tourists collect them as souvenirs. Its sad, mournful actually, seeing that some of the boatmen actually help these tourists collect the rocks.

See my previous photos of Cabacungan here.

(2) Colibra Island (Culebra)

Colibra Island

That white gem that you see while standing on Tambobong beach? That's Colibra island ("Snake Island"). Its named as such because of the presence of sea snakes, especially at night.

Its uninhabited and with just about 3 coconut trees on it, there is hardly no shade. The south side is great for swimming, while the rest of the small island has rocky shores.

Colibra Island

No one is collecting fees at the moment, but some of the locals have mentioned that the "owners" of the island have plans to develop it soon.

Colibra Island

Will it become a private island resort in the future? Its not far fetched. Just google "Balesin" and you'll know what I mean.

(3) Balinmanok

Balinmanok

Sitio Balinmanok is south of Tambobong beach and is already part of Brgy Osmeña. Its a great  place to snorkel as there is an abundance of sea grasses just meters from the shore. Sea grasses = lots of fishes.  It was there that I first saw clown fishes waist deep water.

There's also an interesting shipwreck there, although its just half a shipwreck now that most of its timbers were "harvested" by the locals.

Balinmanok

If there are any visible signs of commercialization in Tambobong/Osmeña area, then its here in Balinmanok. The end of the beach you see on the photo above is already an established resort (complete with a swimming pool) and further beyond that in the next cove is Villa Balinmanok.

(4) Tambobong/Osmeña  Beach

Tambobong Jumpers

Look no further, the beach front in Tambobong/Osmeña is well kept by the locals that its a great place for swimming. So take time to enjoy the whole stretch while you're there.

Happy!

Tambobong used to be one huge barangay that includes the present day Osmeña. That whole stretch of beach actually crosses into Brgy. Osmeña, with an old dilapidated port marking the border. However locals usually don't make the distinction and just call the whole stretch Tambobong beach.

(5) fresh water cave

Cave in Osmena

There is a cave with a fresh water pool just a few minutes hike from the dilapidated port. Its not usually "advertised" but most of the locals know about this cave. There's no official name for the cave, but its on a property owned by the Abella family.

Fresh Water Cave

The water inside the cave is amazingly cold and perfect after a hot day on the beach.

(6) don't miss the sunset or see the stars

Tambobong Beach Sunset

And while you are in Tambobong, don't miss the chance to enjoy the sunset. The beach faces the west and the sunset can get very dramatic at times.

Tambobong Twilight Glow

There is also very little light pollution there that the stars are clearly visible, especially when there is no moon. So get up at midnight (sleep is overrated!) and do some stargazing on the beach.

Stars above Tambobong

best way to get to tambobong

  • If you are bringing your own car, the best route is via Burgos. Rough road is just about 30% of the way, the rest is cemented in odd segments (for example about 200 meters is cemented, then rough road again)
  • If commuting and you are with a large group, its best to have a Tambobong-based jeep pick you up in Alaminos bus terminal. Jeep rental is Php 1,800 and good for 15 pax + bags/gear
  • If commuting and relatively smaller group (i.e. 2-6 pax), best is to travel up to Dasol and have an outrigger boat pick you up in Dasol bridge. Travel time from Dasol to Tambobong via boat is about 45 minutes.
There are commuter jeeps but the trips are very limited, usually just once a day. These jeeps leave Tambobong for Dasol at around 3-4AM and will return to Tambobong around noon (or earlier if it gets filled right away)

where to stay

  • Most of whats there are homestay accommodations or vacation houses with some rooms made available for rent by their owners. Air-conditioned rooms are very limited. You may contact Aling Precy Bobis (+63-907-518-3062) and she can help you look for accommodations that will suit your group.  You may also inquire via this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/osamatoda
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Lantaw
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6 comments:

Renante Mina said...

wow ang ganda nito sir ang dami pala talga tinatago ang pangasinan :)

Lantaw said...

Thanks. All provinces, specially those with really popular destinations in it, usually have one or two (or more!) hidden gems :)

Jet said...

bai - pa copy ng contact number ha. thanks!

Lantaw said...

Sure bai!, Lets go back and camp in Cabacungan :)

Kate said...

I am so glad to have found your blog! I actually came across it through a search for Imugan and was taken away by your beautiful photos. :) Well done!

Lantaw said...

Thank you very much Kate. Let me know if you need more details on Imugan.

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