Sand, sun, and sea are what Ilocanos are proud of. Ilocos’ fine sand that stretches from norte to sur carries with it pieces of what holds the South China Sea. Its grains can be used for self-foot scrub, but its fineness can cover one’s body without scratching the skin. The sun is simply perfect for tanning (see, many Ilocanos are bronze skinned). A dip in the sea is enough, though, to hide from the heat of the midday sun–so cool, so refreshing.
What Pagudpud beach in Ilocos Norte has that others don’t is the feel of a rich cultural heritage surrounding the place. Bantayan island’s beaches, for instance, were sure packaged for the foreigners: the restaurants, the night bars, the signages, the rates–they all cater to international guests; whereas, Pagudpud simply asks you to come and enjoy this country.
Bora is worse. It doesn’t conceal its pretentions, but I have to give it up to its famous fine white sand and ice cold waters. IF only tourists–foreign and local–would stop polluting the island resort with its wild parties, prostitution, commercialization, and undermining of indigenous cultures.
Bora’s beaches can also upstage nearby beaches like that in Roxas City, which is equally spectacular.
Speaking of spectacle, some beaches in the Philippines sell because of the amenities, water sports, resorts, and landscaping that they capitalize on. Still, the best beaches for me are those that present themselves just as they are.
PAGUDPUD beach and other pictures by ai (except for the bora, bohol, and virgin island pix, which are by kei tan).