Thursday, June 19, 2014

First Camping Experience @ Quezon: Dampalitan - Puting Buhangin - Kwebang Lampas - Borawan


I was once again thrilled to experience the outdoors. Ola never fails to organize the best trips ever. I always look forward to it. Being at one with nature and being able to detach one’s self from the urban and modern world makes me appreciate the simple things in life.

This time, we ventured to Quezon. We went to three different islands: Dampalitan, Puting Buhangin, and Borawan. Our agenda: C.A.M.P.I.N.G.

The easiest way to Quezon is by bus. We took the JAC Liner bus from the Buendia terminal to the Lucena grand terminal in Quezon. From there, you will take another bus to the UNISAN drop off at Padre Burgos.

When you get to the area, you may talk to Ate Tess and company to arrange your boat ride to the different islands. The people there are really hospitable and helpful so don’t hesitate to ask around when you feel “lost”. You might also want to go to the public market via trike to buy raw food such as porkchop, fish, chicken, and the like. You can also purchase soda, fruits, veggies, and more snacks if you wish. It will be more convenient buying it there to prevent it from rotting during the trip.

From there on, you will need to take a boat ride to the different islands. The first one we went to was Dampalitan. It was cozy and breezy on that island. It was the perfect place to pitch a tent, just right under the trees where you get a perfect glimpse of sunlight beneath the shade.

Swimming at this beach could be risky due to the number of jellyfishes swimming around. You’re only allowed to swim at a certain part of the beach, which we didn’t find quite exciting.

c/o mrbratpacker
c/o mrbratpacker

Another island that everyone might fancy would be Borawan – where Boracay meets Palawan. It is named such due to the white sand it has like that of Boracay’s and rock formation like in Palawan. It also resembles the stretch of stations that they have at Boracay.

Borawan would probably serve you the most comfort between the three islands. It has a toilet and a shower, however, staying at the island can be quite pricey. Entrance to the island is 80 PHP, to rent a tent is 500 PHP and to pitch a tent is 200PHP. So, if you’re tight on the budget I suggest that you camp at either Dampalitan or Puting Buhangin then spend a couple hours enjoying the beach at Borawan.

The Puting Buhangin island would probably be the best among the three islands. It has white sand and clear waters. Fishes would literally swim around you.

Another plus is the cave just along the coastline - Kwebang Lampas. The cave can be quite rocky to go to so I suggest that you wear aqua shoes. The current and waves at the opposite side of the cave can also be quite strong as it is very windy. You cannot go to the island without visiting this cave!

We were literally at the beach the entire day. This is also where we camped. Setting up a tent for the very first time is really challenging! Real life camping is not like what you see on family movies. In fact, it’s more fun.

There’s a sari sari store at the island, but believe me, everything they sell is GOLDEN. Well, at least, priced like gold. A liter of soda costs about 110 PHP will a bottle of Emperador light is about 200 PHP. I suggest you bring these with you if you’re not willing to spend.

One of the best things about this camping trip was having to cook without the use of a stove. I was really amazed by how innovative and creative the gang was.

They literally taught me everything I needed to know. And I must say, I think I’m definitely ready and equipped for my next camping trip.

I also learned a unique way to wash your pans, plates, and cutleries. No soap and sponge? No problem. You can simply do your dish washing at the beach.

Showering and going to the toilet can be quite tricky as you literally need to BUY water for showering. It costs 50 PHP for one container which is just enough for one bath.

At times like this, you truly learn to appreciate what you have back home. Something as little and as basic as water, which most people in the city take for granted, is treated like gold in this island. Getting your hands on fresh water would literally mean having to fill up gallons and gallons of containers then ship them off through a boat to the island.

My first time camping truly equipped me for my next adventure. Can’t wait for the future journeys with this lot!

Expected travel time from Manila to Quezon:

4-5 Hours


Padre Burgos, Quezon


Ate Tess - 0917-454-3137

What to wear:

Aqua shoes or slippers but I recommend aqua shoes as you’ll need to go to the water to get to the boat
Tank top/ tshirt

Things to bring:

Aqua shoes
Rubbing alcohol
Mat for tent
Mat for sand
Change of clothes (tops, bottoms, and undergarments)
Drinking water, LOTS OF IT!
Food (sandwiches, chips, rice, crackers, peanuts, etc.)
Pots and pans
Improvised burner
Lighter/ match
Ladles and spatulas for cooking
Insect repellant
Toiletries in small containers/ sachets (soap, shampoo, etc.)
Plastic bag
Trash bag
Camera and/or Go Pro
Alcohol (rum, vodka, tequila, etc)


Bus fare from Manila to Quezon - 210 PHP
Bus fare from Quezon to Manila - 210 PHP
Lucena Terminal to Padre Burgos bus – 35 PHP
Padre Burgos bus to Lucena Terminal – 35 PHP
Boat ride – 1800 PHP
Dampalitan Entrance – 60 PHP
Puting Buhangin overnight fee – 160 PHP
Putting Buhangin Cabana – 300 PHP
Groceries (meat, rice, drinks, extra alcohol,  soda, etc for 12-15 pax) – 2000 – 2500 PHP

Meals we prepared:

Cooked rice
Porkchop (with bbq sauce)
Fried rice
Eggs (scrambled, sunny side)
Adobo (from the market)
Pancit Canton
Soup with noodles