Social Media’s nowadays have been a great source of information for almost everything. It somehow makes you aware instantly of what is happening to the world, keeps you updated of the new trends and informs you of the recently discovered destinations to go either just with yourself or with your friends.
This is exactly how I got curious about Stella Maris in Bagac, Bataan. It’s been ranting on my news feeds for quite sometime. In result, my high school friends and I planned a trip to this destination about 3-4 hours away from the Metro. Of course, I did some research about its previous reviews, the photos I landed into were just quite convincing that it made me even a lot more excited to see the actual place. And what excites me the most is that the idea of setting up the tent as our only shelter underneath the big and tall trees. Of course, I did also encounter untoward reviews but it did not affect our plan at all.
My friend and I are working in the same company, so after our shift, we travelled right away to Genesis Cubao so we can catch the bus bound to Balanga Terminal. The bus will take you to the terminal approximately 3-4 hours where you can ride a jeepney going to the Bagac, Market where you can buy food and other stuff you might be needing during your stay. Near the Market lies another public beach they call “Playa”, it’s more accessible to the public so we assumed that the place might have been crowded already, which is true according to the tricycle driver.After we got everything we needed from the Market, we took a tricycle that will bring us to Stella Maris Beach about 10 Minutes away and fare of P150.00 good for 3 person. The road entering the beach is frustratingly rugged, so that trip will be like of a roller coaster (just exaggerating).
As we approach the first phase of the beach along the road, We noticed that’s being developed and their digging down rocks for business, that’s how it looks to me at least. It’s just so disappointing that some people are inconsiderate about the nature.
We arrived at the beach, after paying P100.00 as overnight fee and signing a waiver stating that there will be no lifeguard after 6:00 PM and it’s not advisable to swim after the stated time, we immediately looked for a good spot where we can set-up our tent. Good thing they don’t charge for setting up a tent unlike other beaches.As far as how it looked there, it is in your own discretion where you wish to set-up your tent.In our case, we walked a great distance so we can avoid the crowd.
I am not very much disappointed about the beach only because I already set my expectations when I was reading reviews about it. It is not as beautiful as other beaches wherein the scenery astounds you, It’s also maybe not your type of beach where white and pristine sand lies and the water not as crystal clear as it is in some other beaches. However, if you’re really into nature and exactly know how to pay appreciation towards it, then you’ll look at it at its best feature.
The sand is as grey as the rocks, but it shines like a broken pieces of diamonds when the sun kisses it. The highest mountains up ahead make that perfect backdrop for your selfies or groupies.The waves roaring as it splashes towards the shore line and transforms into foamy matters.The flaming sunset as it goes down below the horizon. And uncountable stars glisten above the sky narrating a million stories. These are its attributes I came to recognize that I find remarkable. Nature always has its innate wonder only visible to those appreciative eyes.
Overall, We sincerely enjoyed our overnight stay despite of the overcrowding visitors at the main beach. We got enough of a good spot just to chill and enjoy. The waves at the main beach are quite huge but with minimal movements, so it’s still safe to swim even for kids for as long as their guided by adults. But if you want to swim at the calm water and less crowded, just like what we did, we walked a long way heading towards the end of the beach. Some visitors frequently go there but they rarely stay because of the distance. They just purposely visit the area for taking pictures because it has a nice view from the open sea and huge pile of rocks creating an inland sea or some visitors mistakenly known as Lagoon :). The rocks are a bit slimy and razor-edged so just be more cautious when stepping onto its surface.
We stayed there a couple of hours and we felt like not going back and just swim all day. Unfortunately, that will only happen in our dreams because there is no escape from the reality. But it’s all fine, we maybe can’t stay a little longer but at least we’ll leave the place with footprints of happiness.
We went back to the tent area to take a shower and fetch everything up before we completely leave the place. We made sure that we leave nothing but footprints. Throw away garbage at the nearby trash bin. It’s a plus for the Management to have provided trash bin scattered throughout the area. However, there are pigs roaming around and they normally dig into the trash bin for food. Speaking of such, before you leave the tent or go to sleep at night, please ensure that your food or supplies left outside are elevated if you do not want see those messed up the next day morning or the moment you arrive back from swimming.
And by the way, when I say pigs, they’re not just 2 or 3, there are plenty of them including their loving mother. There are also goats roving around but they’re just as harmless as the pigs.
We contacted the same tricycle driver who took us to the beach. From Stella Maris, we travel back to the Jeepney Terminal going to Balanga Termina. There are also non-air conditioned mini bus at the Jeepney Terminal on which fare is P35.00.
We were so hungry so we decided to drop-off at Vista Mall, not so far away from Balanga Terminal. Just ensure that you stop the bus loud enough because the driver might not hear you, otherwise you’ll have to walk a long way to reach the mall. We did not worry about travelling to Balanga Terminal because there are already buses bound to CUBAO/PASAY that normally stops in front of the Mall to drop-off and pick-up passengers, its fare is about P180-P200 .
To Bagac, Bataan
Genesis Cubao (Bus)- Balanga Terminal : P200.00/Person
Balanga Terminal(Jeepney) – Bagac Market: P45.00/Person
Bagac Market (Tricycle) – Stella Maris: P150.00 (Tricycle Good for 3 Persons P50.00 Each)
Stella Maris – Jeepney Terminal : P150.00 (Tricycle Good for 3 Persons P50.00 Each)
Jeepney Terminal – Balanga Terminal : P35.00/Person
Balanga Terminal – Cubao: P200.00/Person
Total Transportation: P580.00
Entrance Fee: P100.00/Person
Food: 1,200 (Good for 3 – P400.00 Each)
Total Budget per Person: P1,080.00
Please also note that there are available Island Hopping in case you’re into it. As far as I know, there are two destinations to go to such as Sugong Cave and Looc Beach (La Salle Island). The rate rangers from P1,500 to P2,000 half-day tour. It also has entrance fees by boat about P100.00-P300.00.
We did not personally experience the Island Hopping because on of my friend does not want to. In result, I felt a bit of incomplete leaving the Island.
But undoubtedly, we had a wonderful weekend getaway. Though it was just a very short and sweet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. We had with us some of the memories that will surely last a lifetime.
I still have a pure belief that the beach can be more marvelous when maintained, monitored and less spoiled. So, in case you plan to visit the place, let’s all be those responsible travelers we want others to be.