We made it to Pagudpud last weekend! I went with Popo, Tony, Nilo, Ed, and Joy; none of us had ever been, so getting there (and going back) was part of the adventure. We got most of our info off the Internet, so I’ll post what we learned here for those who want to follow in our footsteps.
We took the Florida bus trip – it left Manila a little after 9:30 PM and got to Pagudpud 11 hours later, with two stopovers. Ed went to the station at Lacson St. corner Espana two days before to reserve, but was only able to get the last row of seats as the bus was almost fully booked! The ride was comfortable enough (as comfortable as you can get sitting on your butt for 11 hours), and there was a CR on the bus, though after the first stopover it seemed to have “exploded” with a foul smell so nobody used it anymore.
Once we got to Pagudpud, we made the ticket reservations for our return trip home (a man was walking around with a clipboard – no receipts!). There were tricycles nearby waiting to take us to the Saud White Beach.
(The bus going home left at 8:00 PM from the same terminal we arrived in, and we got tricycles from outside the resort.)
Cost of bus: P650 each way = P1,300 total per head
Cost of trike: P40 going there, P50 going back = P45 total per head
We stayed at Evangeline Beach Resort, one of many resorts side-by-side on the Saud White Beach Cove. Everyone shares the same sand and sea so it didn’t really matter where we stayed. Our room was pretty basic – two large beds plus two extra mattresses, an aircon, a ceiling fan, and a bathroom (the shower was okay, if not salty; our sink wasn’t working!). But it did its job as a place to sleep and bathe – we were never in our room anyway.
The resort had its own restaurant called Emohruo that faced the shore. We had ALL our meals here (even if other people had recommended walking the shoreline and exploring, we were all just too lazy to leave ;). They had Filipino and continental food, at around P115 to P150 per meal (inclusive of a single-serve glass of iced tea or OJ). They also had desserts like halo-halo and fruit shakes. The food was good, not spectacular, but we gobbled it all up, sometimes ordering seconds. One thing we all didn’t like about Emohruo was that the food took forever to serve – 30 minutes to an hour each meal! But as we were never in a hurry, it gave us some time to lounge and look dreamily at the beach.
Cost of room: P2,500/night + two extra mattresses at P250 each = P500 total per head
Cost of food: P876 for dinners, lunches, drinks, and snacks for myself
The white beach
We spent all afternoon Saturday at the white beach. Some parts of the shore had lots of seaweed, so we swam a few resorts away where the water was much clearer. Compared to other public beaches, Pagudpud had a very small crowd, so we could have a large area all to ourselves. The water was cold and clean, and the sand in particular as great – white but cool to the feet. There are no rocks to worry about, just the occassional floating seaweed. One thing to note is the water in Pagudpud has a very strong current, so nobody swims very far (and if you float on your back you’ll be washed up onshore in no time).
If we weren’t swimming, we were walking along the shore looking at the jewelry to buy – many vendors set up shop in the shade, selling different kinds of necklaces and bracelets. They can even customize a necklace for you. Prices ranged from P30 or 3-for-a-100-type bracelets to P150 and up bracelets and necklaces.
There isn’t really a nightlife on Pagudpud, though the restaurants will serve drinks and be open until 10pm or later. There was videoke in the resort beside us, but we decided to walk a bit further and get henna tattoos instead. A tattoo costs P100 and only takes a few minutes to apply. (Brilliant person that I was, I waited two hours for my tattoo to “dry”, slept, and then woke up with henna marks all over my body – turns out two hours are definitely not enough! So I’m a dalmatian for the next three weeks!)
Cost of jewelry: P243 for three bracelets and a necklace
Cost of henna tattoo: P100
Our favorite part of Pagudpud was the tour, a service provided by the resort for P2,500. The tour started at 10am and we had the whole van to ourselves. First, we went to the Bangui windmills – an awesome sight, with the windmills towering over you, making grand ‘whoosh’ sounds as they spun. Then we had picture-taking points at the famous sign that marks the entrance to the city, the Patapat winding viaduct, the Bantay Abot Cave (a hole in a rock – fun!),
and a small pair of falls called the Paraiso ni Anton. But the best parts of the tour were the Blue Lagoon and the Kaibigan Falls.
The Blue Lagoon was the most gorgeous beach we’d ever seen – clear blue water as far as the eye could see. Unlike the white beach, the waves here were softer, and there was absolutely no seaweed! Plus the water was much shallower so we had a larger area in which to swim. We were warned though that many people drown in the Blue Lagoon because they swim too far out, so we made it a point to stay onshore.
(I don’t have much pictures of Blue Lagoon because I was too busy swimming to take any 😉
Kaigiban Falls was near the Blue Lagoon, but you had to hike up a mountain to get there. The long hike (and no lunch) was worth it – it was a pocket of waterfall in the middle of a forest, with a small swimming area good for a group or two of tourists. The water is FREEZING – but it’s worth it once you get used to it. The swimming area gets very deep near the bottom of the falls, and the floor is rocky and slippery too, so best to wear hiking shoes or sandals to get there and then aqua shoes while swimming.
Cost of tour: P2,500 = about P400 per person
Cost of Blue Lagoon: P20 entrance fee per person
Cost of Kaibigan Falls: P10 entrance fee per person + P100 for the tour guide
The grand total
Not counting all the chips, bread, and drinks I brought along for the tour, I spent P3,594 for everything. Not bad at all for a weekend of fun. I actually can’t wait to go back – maybe next time we’ll stay at Blue Lagoon, take the tours we didn’t take (like the Laoag or Vigan tours), and this time I will NOT sleep on a wet henna tattoo.
Photos of Pagudpud are here!