Postcards from Dasol

1:51 AM Beach Camping

April 21, 2011 2:00 PM
Barangay Osmena, Dasol, Pangasinan


We left a very busy bus station last night and after hours of land travel, waiting and boat ride, we landed in this quiet barangay in Dasol, Pangasinan. I was awed by its serenity. It was so easy to appreciate the beauty of the beach -- its very fine sand (just as good as Calaguas') and clear waters because there was no distracting noise or structures. We rested in the house of Joey, our guide. They prepared us a hearty lunch. We slept for a few hours to recover from the tiring trip. Pao swam. I chose just to enjoy the moment lying in a bed made of bamboo, watching some local boys play basketball and Mamu Rex having a few drinks with our host family. It was a sojourn I would have gladly agreed to become the entire trip, but the other sights hold so much promise.


April 21, 2011, 2:30 PM
Barangay Osmena, Dasol, Pangasinan


Christ' passion is all about love. I noticed this heart-shaped rock before we boarded our banca to Culebra Island. It was a moment of reflection, in Christ' love, that no matter what tides may bring, it will remain steady and strong. It was a bit disappointing that some of my friends decided to bail out last minute, but I realized that God designed it this way so that I would have lots of quiet moments, and He chose for me the perfect companions, my best friends Pao and Rex.




April 21, 2011, 4:00 PM
Culebra Island, Dasol, Pangasinan


It was a short boat ride. The sea was a bit rough, but that was nothing compared to what we experienced in Surigao. We thought there would be other tourists on the island. We were lucky. We had the island all to ourselves. All those fine sands, rock formations, grasslands and clear waters were all for us, even the only four coconut trees on the island.



April 21, 2011, 4:15 PM
Culebra Islands, Dasol, Pangasinan


I don't think I helped Pao, Rex, and our companions unload our stuffs from the banca. My bad. I was too excited to explore the islands. I followed the trail, and it led me to the other side of the island. Oh wow! The sea was glistening, and there were sea birds resting on the rock formations on the sea. I was staring at this marvelous sight when Pao arrived. We skirted the island until we landed back to our starting point.



April 21, 2011, 4:15 PM. 4:30 PM
Culebra Island, Dasol, Pangasinan



We started setting up camp here. While we were pitching our tent, our boatman Arnel left and came back with a lobster. That was while Joey, our other companion, just finished setting up the fire to grill the talakitok fish we bought at Barangay Osmena for Php 150.00. We were being fed like royalties in this little island. I couldn't think of any other place I would rather be.



April 21, 2011, 4:45 PM
Culebra Island, Dasol, Pangasinan


I took more pictures of the islands while Pao swam. Walking on sands as fine as this was really relaxing. That was while listening to the waves and not worrying about anything else. Yes, we didn't have the regular city comforts like bathrooms, comfort rooms, bed, etc. but I didn't mind. Those were too little to give up for the luxury of having a very beautiful island all for ourselves, with really good old and new friends offering great conversations.




April 21, 2011, 6:30 PM
Culebra Island, Dasol, Pangasinan


The lobster, as expected, was superb. Arnel went back to the sea, and he came back with Matangbaka, one of my favorite fishes. I feasted on all these grilled seafood. It was a little bit much for this holy week, but it was so difficult to resist. I excused myself for a while to go back to the other side of the island to capture this sunset. I went back to the group, and they started passing drinks. Cheers to perfect moments.


P.S. Arnel excused himself again from our socials and went back with lobsters.






April 22, 2011, 9:00 AM
Crocodile Island, Dasol, Pangasinan



2nd day and there were still a lot to see here in Dasol. We broke camp early because Culebra Island can get really hot because there is no tree cover. Before we left, a group of tourists arrived in the islands. They rushed to pitch their tents to protect them from the heat. I think evenings are the best time to stay in Culebra for a lot of peace and quiet, and stars to watch. Our first stop was Crocodile Island (named such because one end resembles a crocodile). Our banca stopped at this side of the island. This is where we got off to go to Cabacungan Cave.



April 22, 2011, 9:00 AM
Cabacungan Cave, Dasol, Pangasinan


Welcome to Mamu Rex' private jacuzzi. Good thing we arrived here early, so we were able to enjoy the pool while listening to Mamu's music on her iPod. The water was so cool, and we enjoyed watching the whirlpool effect of the strong waves. 



April 22, 2011, 9:00 AM
Balinmanok Beach, Dasol, Pangasinan

We dropped by Joey's house for lunch before heading to Balinmanok Beach. This is where we are scheduled to camp for the night. But, before that, Joey anchored our banca to this old sunken Chinese vessel so we can snorkle. It was fun diving here and inspecting the ship. Wonder what stories.



April 22, 2011, 9:00 AM
Balinmanok Beach, Dasol, Pangasinan



The first thing that caught my attention while on the banca approaching this private cove is the swing. I jumped immediately and swam straight to this spot. I didn't stop until Pao was able to get a good shot of me here. It brings back childhood memories. Simple joys are sometimes what really makes moments memorable.



April 22, 2011, 9:00 AM
Balinmanok Beach, Dasol, Pangasinan


After resting, shower and buko juice, I was able to appreciate the view of this private cove from a small cottage at the side of the cove. I loved how the colors of the sea, the sky and the reflections of the cove meld. There were only a few guests on the beach, so we had more time for quiet moments, reflections, and good conversations. We had a few drinks during sunset. Our dinner was freshly caught fish and ampalaya sauteed with egg. Pao was also able to harvest uni for our snacks. I will certainly miss all this. But, I am not worried. I am coming back.




Dasol Postcripts


After posting my photos of Dasol, Pangasinan on Facebook, I got a lot of likes and inquiries, even from people I do not know.

While we want Dasol to remain as pristine as when we first saw it, I guess tourism is also good for Dasol so the locals here can have additional income. The sad thing I noticed about Dasol is that there are signs of overfishing, even abuses. There is still abundant marine life, but it is not as much as before, as confirmed by our friends there. We also didn't see a lot of colorful corals. So, tourists can give our friends there alternative source of income and more reasons to protect their environment.

It was Mamu Rex who first discovered the place for our group. We were the second batch he brought there to Dasol, Pangasinan.

Our trip was coordinated by Joey, who met us at the town proper of Dasol. His uncle, Arnel, a former member of the Philippine Marines and ace fisherman owns the banca we used. Joey took very good care of us there -- cooking our meals, cleaning our utensils, coordinating our transportation and hosting us in his humble home for our mid-day rests. We slept one night in Culebra Island and one night in Balinmanok. We brought all our camping equipment and bought all provisions at the market of Dasol, including drinking water. There are sari-sari stores only in Tambobong Beach.


There are not a lot of tourism establishment in Dasol. Balinmanok Cove has a private resort with three cottages on the beach and a small house available for rent, with three rooms, kitchen and comfort room. I think there is also one in Tambobong Beach, but I am not sure. So, this adventure is really for those who are ready to rough it out. The best time to visit Dasol is now, while the waves are relatively calm and not so many jellyfishes.

Other Good Travels

13 comments

  1. h! crocodile island seems to be fantastic.. could you provide me the exact location of the island?

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  2. It is in Dasol, Pangasinan. You can rent boats from Barangay Osmena or Tambobong. There's a small hut in front of an old shed in Brgy. Osmena. That is where Joey lives, the one who arranged everything for us.

    We took the Victory Liner bus to Alaminos then another Victory Liner bus to Sta. Cruz. It will pass by Dasol. There are jeepneys going to Tambobong Beach but it only has two trips or tricycles. You can also ask to be picked-up by the boat there.

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  3. Hi! were planning to visit Dasol end of August? Do you Still Happen to have Joey's number? Thanks =D

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  4. Please try this number 09075183062

    I also got the number of one of the resort owners at Tambobong Beach, Lydia Bermudez 0949 17595157. I met her on our way to Osmena the last time we visited. You may also want to try her place.

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  5. Great Day!!! try mo villa balinmanok...from google search and type villa balinmanok..its a private resort hindi ito typical na resort..not crowded, not residential or barangay area..totally private place na kayo kayo lang ang tao..but super safe..this time they giving free sinigwelas and mangoes..you may call or txt ogie at this no. 09152092010, 09494142631...

    Sagarin mo ang summer mo! more fun villa balinmanok!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly thanks for dropping by...the balinmanok miss you and mamu's group see you again...

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    2. I really want to go back. Soon, I hope. Thanks Ogie! Balinmanok is really a nice place to relax. I miss the swing at the beach :-)

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  6. hi kelly...were here at singapore and stay for a while for diving...just incase you are planning to go back you may call Lily @ 0915-2092010 Globe & 0908-4551047 Smart...have a nice beach weekend getaway!! regsrds to Mamu Rex

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  7. Wonderful place i would like to visit that place can anybody tell me the best traveling plan for this place because i am traveling lover and want to travel these kind of places if you need more traveling places in Spain to i have a cheap and affordable source : http://www.clubvillamar.com/

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    Replies
    1. hi mr.shamar! yes,dasol has nice beaches and so is the neighboring barrios.all of these beaches has their own attractions.i am proud of htese places.been to villa balinmanok with a big group.if you still want to see the place,i can help you,if ever.contact me,lyn-09275322861.thanks.

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  8. Majorly things needs to be goodly managed and also maid of the mist boat tour is the thing that keeps it all in a manner. ''

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