Cabongaoan: A Tropical Paradise
by Danny Tariman
My family will always remember Cabongaoan as a tropical paradise. With its undeveloped, unspoiled creamy sandy beach, crystal clear bluish water, it was nature at its best.
Cabongaoan Beach is in Burgos town, in the province of Pangasinan, about 310km north of Metro Manila. It was an easy drive from the metro to Burgos town. Leaving the city at about 2 o’clock in the morning, we arrived the beach at about 8am, with few pit stops along the way, passing the NLEX, SCTEX, and the newly opened TPLEX – all of these are expressways.
From Burgos town, it was a bit of a challenge driving as many portions of the road are still under construction, and we have to drive through rough dirt-and-gravel roads. However, it was not ‘that’ difficult drive, even tricycles can manoeuvre the road. It took us about 35 minutes to reach the beach from the town.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the big blue waves splashing to the creamy sand beach. It was high tide, and so the waves were indeed big.
We checked-in at Roven’s Beach Resort, a simple, no-frills provincial resort. Oh, I need to say that the owners were so hospitable and accommodating. They assisted us in every way possible. Thanks to our hosts – Kuya Inggo and Ate Venus.
We got the best part of the long stretch of Cabongaoan beach! Fronting our resort was all sand beach, in its creamy-white nature. No rocks and rock formations unlike other parts. The seabed too is just alright – no sudden change in depth. My family and cousins enjoyed just lazing at the beachfront, exchanging all sorts of stories. At times we would go to the water and enjoy the waves splashing on us and ‘carrying’ us to the shores.
One of the highlights of our adventure is going to the “Death Pool”, a natural pond in the middle of a flat rock formation. This “icon” of Cabongaoan beach is at the right side of the beach, if you are facing the ocean. This can be reached by a short walk – perhaps 15-20 minutes from our resort, passing by a few other resorts.
It was quite scary to jump into pool, as tidal waters keep on splashing into the pond. During our stay in the rock formation, we were waiting for someone to try, but hadn’t seen one jumping into the “Death Pool”. Haha! But we had some photo ops in the area. Really nice views!
My son wouldn’t complete the adventure without scouring the seabed for fish and other creatures for his aquarium. We had some sort of a father-and-son bonding time. I accompanied him in his search. We saw and saved a sea urchin, a tang fish, among others. But the best part of this is his catch of a medium-sized octopus! Wow, we would have taken this home! But it was a challenge keeping it alive in the aquarium as its tentacles would enable this creature to go out of the tank. So he just released it back to the sea.
We have enjoyed this adventure more because we had some cousins joining us. We are actually three families who travelled over 300kms just to enjoy this scenic spot in Pangasinan!
All of us enjoyed the fresh seafood we bought along the way. We just grilled it on live charcoal, and wow, it was really very tasty as a fresh fish can be! Not content with what we ate at the beach, on our way back, we stopped and bought some more fish in Sual, Pangasinan. Make sure to drop by too, and if you have an ice chest, get some to take home!
My family enjoyed this pure-nature, tropical paradise. With beach so pristine, the sea water so clear, and the waves just right to enjoy, this was really an amazing family adventure!