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Secret White Sand Beaches in the Philippines

Updated on May 25, 2012

Yes, Virginia, there are other white sand beaches in the Philippines!

Boracay is easily the most popular, but by all means it isn’t the only one. There are many little known yet equally captivating beach escapes, and the best part about it is that they aren’t all overcrowded. The land is pure, the waters placid, and the scenery is a lot more breathtaking, giving a whole new meaning to peace and tranquility.

A few of these beaches have adopted titles that refer to their own comparison with the famous Boracay; however, that’s only as far as the quality of sand and sea goes. They are a far cry from the hyped up and overly commercialized resort.

Maira-ira Beach, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Maira-ira Beach, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte | Source

Maira-ira Cove – Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Maira-ira Cove is at the northernmost tip of the Philippines, and looks straight out to the Pacific. The beach is noted for its distinct crescent shape, and goes more by the name of “Blue Lagoon.” A first-time visitor would immediately be struck by the breathtaking blueness of the water. From Manila proper, travel to Pagudpud can take anywhere between 9 and 12 hours by land.

Dapdap-Anda,Bohol | Source

Anda Beach – Anda, Bohol

The more notable beach destinations in Bohol can be found in Panglao Island. But they say that the white sand which more closely resembles that of Boracay than any of the other beaches around the province is in the Municipality of Anda, at the opposite end of the region. It is located about 100 kilometers (roughly 62 miles) from the main city, Tagbilaran, and the trip may take up to 1.5 hours.

Babu Santa Beach in Talicud, Samal Island, Davao City
Babu Santa Beach in Talicud, Samal Island, Davao City | Source

Babu Santa Beach – Samal Island, Davao City

Like Panglao Island in Bohol, Samal Island in Davao City is also renowned for its beaches. One tourist favorite, Pearl Farm Beach Resort, is located here. But further along, in a corner of Talicud Island, sits Babu Santa – all sea, sand and towering coconut trees. The shortest way to get there is by taking the ferry boat in Sta. Ana wharf. Travel lasts an hour, but totally worth it; en route, one can easily get a fantastic view of the coral gardens beneath the clear waters.

Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental
Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental | Source

Dahican Beach – Mati, Davao Oriental

Some folks might declare that Dahican Beach rests “hidden in plain sight.” It’s in “plain sight” because this lengthy strip of uninterrupted white sand and coconut trees actually faces the open seas, which conveniently makes it one of the coolest venues for various water sports. Now here’s the tricky part: it’s “hidden” because the place is so isolated it takes about 3 hours to get there from the main entry point, Davao City.

Mariscal Beach, Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur
Mariscal Beach, Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur | Source

Mariscal Beach Resort – Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur

Although it’s two hours worth of land travel by private or public transport, the trip actually helps to heighten one’s anticipation as scenic views abound, culminating in the famed Mariscal Beach. This place has been fondly called “Little Boracay” by the locals for quite some time. The tide is high in the mornings, but the waters are cool and clear, and by noon the waters recede and the glorious crystal sands are revealed.

Gumasa Beach in Glan, Sarangani Province
Gumasa Beach in Glan, Sarangani Province | Source

Gumasa Beach – Glan, Sarangani

Dubbed the “Small Boracay of Mindanao,” or alternatively the “Boracay of the South,” Gumasa Beach in the Municipality of Glan rests almost at the tip of Mindanao – essentially the tail end of the country, an hour’s drive away from General Santos City. Like Dahican Beach, it is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, and is home to many resorts, each as pristine and untainted as the first.

There are a lot of other white sand beaches worth mentioning, such as Pandanon Island in Bohol, Dinagat Islands in Surigao del Norte, Lakawon Island in Negros Occidental, Cagwait White Beach in Caraga and many more. Some have opted to retain their natural beauties, while the rest are slowly but surely modernizing their sites.


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